We have guests for the next day or so. ‘North’ and friend are gracing our humble abode with their metropolitan presence. This has meant a small extra drain on our resources, but nothing we cannot cope with. The weather has turned as well. I can sit out on my back porch in the evening in my Pj’s. Spring has arrived. Not before time. This year everything has been three weeks late.
Of course this is nothing out of the ordinary. Just part of the normal cycle of warm, wet and cool years.
For me this means an opportunity to keep the lawn trimmed and take an occasional day out to Galway city, where I got to read some of the writing on the wall, much of which is “#freeassange” or “Free Julian Assange”, who is still languishing in Belmarsh jail in the UK. Of course the UK doesn’t have political prisoners (and other such bollocks)
Personally I think Assange should be released. All he did was embarrass the Yanks and expose their administrations war crimes. For this he was originally arrested on trumped up charges of sexual assault of an embittered ex-girlfriend (Which have since been dropped). Besides, he’s Australian, not a US citizen, so their administration should be told to go swivel. Unfortunately the UK are slavishly in lockstep with the warmongers, and have as much to cover up as the Yanks, so Julian Assange will remain in unjustified detention.
As for the forthcoming Irish ‘hate speech’ laws, aren’t those an affront to democracy? They violate the single basic premise of civil rights in that we are all supposed to be equal (Yeah, right) by pandering to ‘protected characteristics’ which means that some people will have more rights than others, or else.
I mean Mrs S and I wandered into a Galway shop and some person sporting lavish curls, a frilly shirt, eyeshadow and curly moustache was serving. I may have raised an eyebrow, but said nothing, trying to work out whether it was a biological male looking female or biological female trying to look male. Failed on both counts, but they were doing a decent enough job, so there was nothing to be said.
Did the raising of a curious eyebrow constitute a ‘hate crime’? When a maths teacher gets fired for saying “Well done girls” because one of them suffering from pre-pubescent dysphoria (a condition mostly cured by puberty) gets offended and a parent gets nasty, then I’m truly glad I live out in the sticks, where at least everyone can tell a steer from a heifer.
We’ve hit a spell of warm dry(er) weather (but not entirely so) out here in the wilder west of Ireland. While the rain has held off I’ve been busy brushcutting an area of around a third of an acre, or over thirteen hundred square metres. It’s hard graft in the sunshine when I’d rather be doing something else, but hey ho, jobs have to be done.
As for the ‘Green man’, at the moment that’s me, covered in spotches of green from head to toe from all the plant fragments. A spotch being an informal measure of smaller than a glob, but way bigger than a spot. It’s an interesting look.
At present I am routinely covered with green spotches after a working day. Mrs S complains mightily about all the green dust I’ve been leaving in my wake when re-entering the house. She insists that I strip off the moment I come back indoors and change into clean clothing. For the sake of a quiet life I acquiesce.
Alternatively, a spotch is also slang for a small area of the perineum or a very slow thinker, but I like my version best. So there.
As for being truly ‘green’, my brand of environmentalism isn’t based in making other people’s life difficult by getting in the way of their morning commute. My philosophy is predicated on doing the right thing, creating habitat and managing my little patch of Ireland as a wildflower pollinator resource. Not that there’s any shortage of this kind of habitat locally, but a few extra trees and all the good stuff like growing my own to save a few pennies on groceries can’t hurt, can it?
As for the whole ‘carbon footprint’ thing, I think I’ve made my contempt for that concept abundantly clear. CO2 is an effect of climate, not a primary driver. So all the crazy policies of ‘Net zero’ won’t make a spit of difference to the weather / climate. Even if said policies failure wasn’t baked in.
What else? The greenhouse project will be completed when the rain sets in again, and my bees look happy. I think I’ve also located a colony of wild bees that have been living in an old Sycamore tree since before we arrived. I can hear the buzzing, and am pretty certain I know where the hive entrance is. Not that I’m going to do anything as said hive entrance is a good fifteen feet off the ground, and the bees do a useful job of pollinating. Live and let live, say I.
As an antidote to all the idiocy out in the mainstream world, there’s more trees to plant, and I have a putative plan to plant some English Oak, Beech and more Birch in the top meadow to provide shade and wind shelter for more bee hives. I’ve even managed to get a couple of Ash cuttings to propagate, so those can be planted out this September with the extra fruit trees. Two new rose beds went in this weekend. Then later on there’s a field boundary to shift about four or five metres south. So yes, I’m busy with all things green.
One last thing. I’ve just heard a rumour in financial and investment circles that the World Economic Forum is bleeding financial backers. No idea whether this is true or not, but it would be really good news for most of us peons if true, because the WEF (a.k.a. S.P.E.C.T.R.E.) is one of the major drivers of the crazy stuff like ULEZ and ‘fifteen minute cities’ and the hugely unpopular ‘hate speech’ laws.
It also appears that the writing is on the wall for ESG ratings. So there is a possibility that the one size fits all, top down model of the future the WEF and people like them are pushing will fail during the late Summer and Autumn of 2023. It may take longer for Schwab and his crew to disappear up their own agendas, but I live in hope.
Not that this means that the pushback has to slack off. That would be a huge mistake. Now would be a time to double down. Pull money out of high ESG rated companies, boycott ‘woke’ products like Bud light. Because no investor wants to see their stock drop twenty five percent because of a woke marketing ‘mis-step’. Mass consumer boycotts can do this. It’s far more effective than street protests, and highly democratic.
Now if someone could create a really stable and easy to install cross-platform computer operating system which could wipe Microsoft off the map, that might cripple the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, another of the authors of humanities woes.
I’m increasingly noticing that companies and corporations are beginning to wake up to the fact that the anti-human agenda of the WEF and Woke HR departments are toxic to their bottom line. This means the revolution is not being fought on the streets, it’s happening where it really matters, on the balance sheets and in the board rooms of major corporations. For an example; after Twitter got bought out and lost ten thousand non-coding jobs, Meta (Facebook) and others also had to cull their top heavy administrative overhead of ideologues.
If the WEF and it’s anti-human fellow travellers can be neutralised by customer and investor pressure, maybe we can get out of the mess we’re in relatively unscathed. And that’s a happy thought I shall be entertaining while getting spattered head to toe in green fragments this week.
My mobile phone is having a sulk. It says I’m not playing with it enough and it keeps sending me plaintive little messages to say that I used it less than last week.
Even now it sits neglected on my desk while I go outside to work in my garden or up the meadows. I’ve even left it at home while I pop out to the shops, which doesn’t help. I swear it’s taken to glowering at me when I finally get back in the house.
To be honest there’s too much to do outside while the weather is nice. I can even take a break in the shade and watch the world go by from a Laurel shielded corner of the garden with a mug of tea, a book and a few rich tea biscuits.
My mobile phone and I are becoming more and more alienated. No one’s calling me at the moment anyway, so the intrusive little thing can stay wherever I last put it. If anyone wants to call or message me they can always leave a message and I’ll call them back. Maybe.
We have several uneven spots in our main yard which during wet periods, accumulate water to form puddles. Whenever the rain lets up I often place a seed tray or pot plant that needs watering in them to a) soak up some of the water. b) give my seedlings sufficient water by osmosis without ‘drowning’ them. Then popping them back in the germination shed after a five minute soak.
At present our eclectic collective of puddles are threatening to become one large one covering the entire yard. Because by my and Met Eirann’s observations, it’s a much wetter than average start to the year. Now according to weather lore this should mean a warmer wetter Summer ahead, but not always. Weather lore (by it’s very definition) is not an exact science. One of the things you can rely on is that you can’t rely on folklore alone. And I haven’t been here long enough to get a proper handle on local weather patterns. All I can say is that it’s very Atlantic.
I’ve been sitting in my office watching snow fall. Work outside came to a halt because I am my own boss and there’s no imperative to do any planting. According to the local forecast, the next planting window is early next week when local temperatures will have risen to just under ten Celsius.
Can’t do anything about my bees at present, I intend to leave the hives alone until the weather goes above fifteen Celsius. They don’t need feeding at present as there is plenty of Gorse, Heather and Ivy around the area whenever it gets warm enough for them to forage. The meadow is full of dandelions and daisies too, and I’m keeping a weather eye out on how the Yellow Rattle seeds I sowed in November are doing.
Then there are ten silver birch whips to go in, a ‘whip’ being a small tree between two and four feet tall sold as a bare root sapling. As trees go this is the cheapest way to buy them. We shelled out twenty five Euros for this batch, and like our new proto privet hedge, they will be planted by sticking a spade twelve inches vertically into the ground, levering forward, dropping the ‘whip’ in roots first before removing the spade, leaving the soil to close in around the roots. No need to dig holes, all you need do is drop a little soil on top and lightly stamp down before adding water. Watched our landscapers doing this for our new hedge, and they managed a twenty yard stretch at one whip per foot in less than five minutes.
New flower bed in the yard is almost ready for planting. Another two barrowfuls of soil and wood for the base, then cover with about six inches of topsoil and compost mix, and hey presto, we’re ready to transplant some Azaleas which will hide the gas tank. Picked up some bulbs corms and rhizomes yesterday to add a splash of Summer colour to that corner of the premises, so, weather permitting, we’re good to go.
Notwithstanding, all that is for when the weather warms up next week. Hopefully before the March winds start blowing. We were lucky to have a mild February, which allowed us to get ahead of the game in some aspects,
Regarding the ongoing saga of one of our drains, I’ve tracked down a problem and fixed it myself. During our building works last year, the builders went over one of our drainage inspection hatches with their machinery and crushed it, unfortunately their ‘fix’ blocked off a five inch soakaway drain. Something that didn’t become apparent until Winter and Mrs S nearly went arse over tip on a puddle of ice the overflowing drain had caused.
So after the snow stopped I poked and prodded and dug around the hatch, using my mini jackhammer to punch a six inch gap in the concreted in inspection well, thus opening up the drain mouth and restoring it’s proper function. Which means that’s that until the next daft Eejit decides to run heavy machinery across my drain inspection covers. Not that I’m going to let them. There’s an access from the field for any machinery of that type, so that is where they’ll have to get in. However for now, we have no more overflowing soakaway drain. No more long ice skids across the yard in the freezing weather.
All this outside activity means I’m not paying much attention to the news and media apart from a grim satisfaction at being proved right on several key issues. Although I have been watching season 2 of Clarkson’s farm on Amazon Prime, which brought back memories of my own families frustrations dealing with Byzantine planning rules in the UK.
There are, I am sad to say, too many people who live in the British countryside who don’t really belong there. And I’m not talking about Jeremy Clarkson. Rather my observations about the personal vendetta against him being waged using the planning regulations by, we are told, just one person.
Having grown up in the English countryside, I am sad to say that there are some people who have never quite moved on from their urban and suburban hyper competitive mindset. The few whose only interaction with their neighbours are arguments via lawyers over hedges and boundaries. The people I’m talking about are those who rarely frequent the village pubs because they felt the locals were too ‘common’. You know the types, the serial complainers. The NIMBY’s or more entertainingly titled and extreme BANANA’s (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything). Those who like to think themselves a cut above ordinary folk and tend to look down their noses at their neighbours. Scorpions in human form. I’ve met a few. Unfortunately. They don’t socialise with their neighbours over the garden fence, they have ‘dinner parties’. Social climbers all, they will not pitch in for their neighbours unless there is something in it for them alone. Never happier than when they have done someone else down, they hide behind high Leylandii hedges and don’t care whose light they block. Sine Nobilitate the lot of them.
This is the kind of person who has it in for Clarkson and his attempts to diversify. But he’s just the most high profile of farmers suffering from the deeply personal ways some people use the planning rules and local politics to interfere and prevent any kind of rural development, thinking that any alteration to anything anywhere near them will devalue their property. They are wrong of course, because if the area becomes depressed because no one is allowed to make any money, then the communities that these people thought they were buying into will gradually die, and the value of their property will likewise suffer.
Clarkson I’ve always had a soft spot for, as he’s an entertaining buffoon who does try to do what he’s told is a good thing. Although I can’t say the same thing for the people trying to take him down. However, they may well succeed if local politics does lead to him selling up and moving out of the district, but theirs will be a Pyrrhic victory. Their loss. No farm shop with really fresh local produce, no good local restaurant where people can dine on locally produced food while enjoying a pleasing Cotswold view.
I’ve heard people argue that such enterprises ‘take trade’ from other local businesses. However, as someone who has watched the decline in rural life from the 1970’s onwards, my own observation is that small local businesses need other businesses to cross pollinate with. One successful business always generates passing trade for it’s neighbours. It’s a simple equation; Increased trade volume=new business=money=jobs=prosperity. Strangle trade and everyone loses eventually. Something the NIMBY’s don’t seem to understand.
Of course Oxfordshire Council are complaining that Clarkson’s Farm series 2 gives a misleading picture of their conduct. From first hand experience with the planners and NIMBY’s, I can tell you that how they are portrayed is not misleading, it’s bang on the money.
Maybe Clarkson made a rod for his own back by just bulling ahead with some schemes to make his farm profitable, but that doesn’t justify the response. UK and Irish Farmers are already under pressure to diversify, and they should be allowed to adapt to circumstances, seek new markets and provide goods and services. Not be hamstrung by rules meant to stop developers covering the countryside in concrete. Which is what will happen when the stewards are finally driven from the land.
Anyway. The mountains have been spectacular today when the snow cleared. I swear I could see the pyramidal peak of Croagh Patrick, the air has been so crystal.
Oh, the Holly and the Ivy, when they are overgrown, of all the trees that are in our yard, the holly is a feckin’ pain in this eejits arse. With the Ivy not far behind.
Today dear reader, I have been cutting through dozens of Ivy and holly stems thicker than my wrist. Sometimes four or five of them on each tree. The last owners must have ignored this infestation for at least twenty years for the vegetation to get this tangled. Then there are the Laurels I’m still killing off, bloody things. At least the roots are getting attacked by drilling half inch holes in the base and said holes being attacked with good old Epsom salts. Now Epsom salts is normally good as a fertiliser and soil conditioner, but packed into a hole close to the roots is supposed to kill said rootstock.
However, I’m going to let things run their course, but the next attack on these unwanted plants will be with salt and boiling water. I’m also trying it on the remaining rootstocks of our Rhododendron and Laurel hedges, Bloody things. Along with the Leylandii, which is about to be decimated by a firm of landscape gardeners. Oh they may look nice and green from a distance, but they provide no wildlife habitat, and any nectar from these plants may prove problematic. So they’re going. Permanently.
Took a look at my hives as well. I have a feeling at least one colony has fallen victim to the recent cold snaps. If I’m wrong and at least one colony of bees are still alive and kicking I’ll just plant some bushes around two metres from that hive to give my workers a bit more shelter. The other ’empties’ can be moved and I’ll have to shell out for three new colonies. I’ve also managed to pick up some Lemon or Bee balm seed, which I shall pot out for germination, then put in a largish planter near to the new hive location to attract a swarm or two, if I’m lucky.
Then there’s the greenhouse. Fortunately I have the timber and glass on site, so it’s just a case of some assembly required.
Still angry about the unnecessary pandemic deaths. At the time I too dismissed the whole “Midzolam” story, which I too thought was a conspiracy theory, but now see that there was a huge spike in prescriptions during the worst of the pandemic.
There has to be a reckoning, or there is no justice in this world. Unfortunately this is a state of affairs which I have long suspected. That there is no justice, just unjust laws.
“The rain it raineth on the just And also on the unjust fella; But chiefly on the just, because The unjust hath the just’s umbrella.”
Leak prevention work proceeds to get my workshop dried out. I keep finding junk left by the previous owners, some of which may be useful, most not. Spent most of today on my back fighting dust and cobwebs while sealing holes in the cladding roof. The things I do just so I can work in the dry and get more done for outside, eh?
One of my worries is always safety, and I go at things slowly and carefully, ensuring nothing can fail and dump me over ten feet to unforgiving concrete, something which might not prove fatal, but more than likely injurious and possibly disabling. So I remind myself daily that I am not twenty three and fit as a butchers dog any more. Getting it right uninjured is more important, no matter that it takes longer.
On the topic of getting things right, I was watching a YouTube video last night about volcanoes and what they do. Well, it’s a hobby. Does anyone recall that big undersea volcano that blew it’s stack about a year ago? The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano, supposedly the biggest boom since Krakatoa in 1883?
Direct impingement was a 15 metre (Around fifty feet) high tidal wave which caused damage in places as far from the explosion as Japan, Peru, as well as the more localised Island nations of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga itself. Fortunately resulting in only three or four deaths.
What also happened was the explosion punching gigatons of water vapour and particulates over fifty kilometres into the upper atmosphere, where the mechanisms of Coriolis and Earth’s natural atmospheric circulation will eventually spread said huge tranche of water vapour, SO2 and particulates all over the globe, where they will persist for years, possibly decades.
Now the political rhetoric said that the Summer heat waves and / or unseasonable cold snaps were all down to humanity being such a wicked organism for driving around, taking nice holidays, eating meat and breathing.
None of which is true, by the way. Indeed, compared to water vapour, the ‘Greenhouse effect’ of atmospheric CO2 is, as I have stated so many times before, a mere bit part player, a brief walk on in Earth’s climate / weather systems. As the aftermath of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai is amply demonstrating.
Did you know that the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai eruption displaced ten cubic kilometres of material under the ocean? No one is quite sure how much water vapour went skywards, but it was a lot. Not millions, but billions of tons. Giga, not Mega. Into the upper atmosphere, where it has been falling to Earth ever since as ash, and much later rain and snow. And also reflecting more sunlight back into space.
The weather patterns following Pinatubo in the 1990’s were very reminiscent of what is currently happening. Alternating hot weather and cold spells caused by the triggering of La Nina and El Nino phenomena, both of which are Pacific Ocean driven. Never mind the normal AMO and PDO climate / weather oscillations.
Then the amount of water vapour and particulates finally cleared and we had that glorious hot Summer of 1998. Not so much as Hunga-Ha’apai will do, because Pinatubo was a more land based eruption and kicked up less water vapour than Hunga-Ha’apai. Which makes Hunga-Ha’apai a different animal altogether. But the effects of said eruption will last just as long, if not longer than Pinatubo, as water vapour stays in the atmosphere far longer than mere particulates. No-one really knows what that will mean, but we do know enough to make educated guesses.
Talking of such guesses, I may be wrong about this, but we may be in for a chillier and wetter, not warmer few years, coupled with a series of deepening solar minimums that are currently kicking into gear. With, as some Solar Physicists have said, around thirty years of less solar energy from the sun than we’ve been used to. So perhaps I’m not that far off track.
So; work on creating a decent greenhouse space will be made a priority once my workshop is waterproof. Then there’s doing a proper job of wiring the sheds once they’re ready, oh yes, moving soil, seeding, planting and nurturing.
The politicians have screwed us all with their focus on chasing the Net Zero bunny down into a corkscrew labyrinth of failure. Renewables will prove to be worthless boondoggles, as one 3MW rated Wind Turbine will only produce 23% of that capacity in optimum conditions. Which don’t happen often. Don’t even get me started on Solar. In Ireland? Don’t be an Eejit.
As for EV’s, we’d need to triple the size of the electrical grid to come even close to powering enough for Ireland’s transport needs. At some stage the politicians will wake up and allow fracking to help power the nation, while a couple of nuclear Small Modular Reactors would bring much needed baseload capacity.
Capacity for the next time dear old mother Earth has a significant burp, which seems to happen every twenty or so years. Three examples spring to mind; El Chichon (1982), Pinatubo (1991), and now Hunga-Ha’apai (2022). Then again, if you look at things globally, there are a lot more reports of eruptive volcanic activity over the last couple of years, from Kiluwea and Mauna Loa to the intensification of activity elsewhere, like Etna and Stromboli in Italy and Iceland.
Some have suggested this uptick in volcanic activity is due to changes in Earth’s core and mantle, triggered in turn by changes in the solar system spanning electromagnetic influence of the sun. Given that the heliopause, or boundary where the sun’s magnetic influence ends, comes way outside the orbit of Pluto, I’d say that the evidence suggests there may be some truth in this.
Another clue comes from Earth’s polar shift which has accelerated to 55 miles per year, moving magnetic north from tootling around Victoria bay in the northern wastes of Canada to almost on top of the geographic north pole at the time of writing.
However, part of said uptick may also be due to crustal flexing caused by Lunar and Solar influences. I just haven’t found any credible research yet. Although given that so much research funding goes to the ” it’s all CO2″ faction, the real truth of what drives our constantly changing climate will come from the fringes, not the seductive blatherings of mere politicians. Who incidentally, have a worse track record than the ‘conspiracy theorists’ they and the other mainstream media bubble inhabitants often rail against.
How did I spend New Years Day? Easy, Mrs S, ‘North’ and I went for an hour at one of Irelands many sandy beaches. ‘North’, the hardy soul, went for a full blown swim like a bunch of others. Mrs S and I settled for a paddle in near freezing water. Very refreshing. Bloody cold on the old tootsies, but what do you expect?
The little jetty we parked near was fully occupied by many other vehicles carrying sea bathers who had elected to see in the New Year with a dip in the Briny. A few made a fuss, with lots of shrieking as they gallumphed into the sparkling cold blue water. Because it was a sunny lunchtime for a change. We do get sunshine in the wilder west and it sometimes doesn’t last more than a couple of hours, but this part of the world is as nice a place as I would want to spend time in.
However, an hour later the clouds rolled in over the mountains and snow began to fall on the highest peak, but otherwise it was very scenic. Much better than slumping down in front of the idiot box.
Right. That has set the tenor for the year. We’ve survived 2021 and 2022, but now we’re going to make the most of 2023. There may be lots of work to do, but now I’m completely my own boss I will be scheduling regular time outs into my week for a beach day out in the fresh air.
Six in the morning. The air is clear and sharp as frozen crystal. The fields are basted in white and the snow capped mountains rise majestically above the plain. Errr, hold on a minute. This is Ireland isn’t it?
We’re in our sixth straight day of sub zero temperatures, where the temperature has not crawled above zero all day. According to Met Eirann, this state of affairs looks to continue until the weekend.
The cars are both iced up and I couldn’t even open the drivers door on Mrs S’s car this morning when we decided to pop over to LocalTown to get a couple of minor decorations for the stairwell prior to the arrival of ‘North’ next week. The ice had formed a crunchy decorative crust over half an inch thick on the bodywork and it took almost a quarter hour into getting it ready for the road, with clear windows and de-iced lights.
I do not recall this kind of frost this time of the year before. January and February yes, but December? December over here is normally pretty damp and chilly, but not usually this cold. I hear tell it’s chilly across the northern hemisphere, with the jet stream dipping far south of it’s seasonal norms. It’s more like the early 70’s when I was at school and we had a run of very cold late Autumns and Winters. What with all the UK strike action that’s heading our way, I’m getting this awful sense of Deja vu.
Myself I’d put it down to the several large volcanic eruptions earlier in the year chucking large amounts of particulates into the upper atmosphere. That and the climate ceased warming around ten years ago, then began to bimble along with no real changes. Now it’s begun to get colder, probably with more to come over the next few years.
Sure we’ll get bouts of hot weather and occasional droughts like 1976, but Winter is here and a white Christmas, despite the whining of certain non-entities who complain such a thing might be ‘waaaaycist‘ is a possibility. As an aside; could building a snowman be seen as a gesture of ‘white supremacy‘? Or could it just be symptomatic of people just unwinding and having a little old fashioned fun? I think the latter.
Fortunately this cold air has made it easier for me to go around the house today finding where all the draughts have been coming from. After a foray with a can of expanding foam filler, there are now far fewer draughts and the heating system doesn’t have to work so hard. All the painting is finished and the last job is to ensure our second bathroom is properly sealed with no nasty little gaps where incoming cold air can leach all the warmth out of the room.
We have enough alcohol to float a rather large boat. The bills, for the moment, are under control. We have two or three invitations for over the festering season.
The cold has put a crimp on a few things, but we’re getting about, passing vehicles rammed nose deep into ditches and hedges. Mrs S has been directing me in the last minute indoor paint and varnishing jobs on some second-hand furniture that we thought would fit in with our eclectic tastes before ‘North’ joins us in a week and a bit. Then there’s the usual fuss over Christmas tinklery. The tree has arrived and sits outside the back door ready to come in next week.
Outside we’re all white now. Everything is rimed with ice and I will be keeping my hands securely within gloves while working out in the yard or shed. Winter is here in all it’s crystal majesty, even though it’s still officially Autumn. So we’re hunkering down indoors. Things aren’t getting done as fast as I’ve hoped, but my neighbours have offered a helping hand, so maybe we can keep project slippage to a minimum.
What’s in the news apart from Sparkly Meg and her slow on the uptake spouse? I see Oxford and Canterbury councils will be trialling what is effectively an open prison for residents of their jurisdictions. There is only one real answer; move. The only problem is that you might not be able to sell up. As an aside; wonder what these daft ’15 minute cities’ will do to property prices?
Maybe the powers that be can trap all these ‘refugees’ within their bounds and the bigger retailers will move to premises outside the containment area. Small businesses might join them in updated premises, removing themselves from the local business rates. My take on it? Watch while Oxford and Canterbury become spaces.
Oh well. In the meantime I’m hoping that even with no wind that the power won’t go out. Although we’ve had a couple of glitches recently.
Heating is finally fixed. The main fault was a faulty regulator on the tank which was replaced during one of the heaviest frosts of the year so far. A bout of light snow is prophesied tonight and again at times over the weekend, but at the moment out in the wilder west of Ireland, it’s just plain chilly. Compared to BC this is child’s play -2 Celsius here as opposed to -10 in BC. What I’d call ‘brisk’. Still, outdoors is rimed in white. Very scenic.
The weekends jobs are some indoors painting and outdoors building some of the frames for converting our open sided shed into a greenhouse. Then refining beeswax. There’s not much of it, as I left the majority in the hives to let my bees successfully overwinter. Looks like my insect workforce are going to need all the help they can get. I’ve done what I can and I’m leaving them alone until the temperature hits 15 Celsius in late March / early April. Still, if we get a few warm Winter spells in January, there’s plenty of Gorse flower around for the foragers.
It wasn’t that great a Summer, as my honey crop will attest, so what are all these ‘Just stop oil’ lunatics blathering on about? Are they out and protesting with their insane rubbish about the planet burning up. No, they’ll all be hiding indoors in their centrally heated homes waiting for the first mild day to come out and make everyone else’s life a misery. If they tried that nonsense over here, one or more of my neighbours would fill up a shit spreader and there would be an unfortunate discharge and a lot of quietly mocking laughter.
On a more serious note the Teagasc are trying to push ahead with a large scale cull of cattle. Irish beef is big business, and over here is reasonably inexpensive, for the moment. It’s also very tasty. Some of the nicest prime beef I’ve had the pleasure of consuming. Lamb is the most expensive meat, with beef coming in at about two thirds the price.
This is all due to the ‘Net Zero’ insanity being pushed by major governments. Indeed, the current economic crisis is all due to government interventions. Governments are mostly run by urban ‘elites’ who have as much idea of economics as they do about quantum physics, flailing about, chasing the ‘woke’ insanity, and causing more trouble than they fix.
First automated power cut warnings went out in the UK recently, so we’re told. We’ve had nothing of that kind over here in the wilder west of Ireland, but it’s probably incoming. Hey, we’ll just get the cuts without the warnings. What larks eh?
Having said that, on November 18th, ESB sent out the following;
“If it’s windy outside, it is a good time to use your appliances as wind generates renewable energy and Ireland will be relying on that more and more.”
This is the downside of demanding ‘renewables’ (Hah!) to ‘save the planet’ (They can’t). We here at Maison Sticker have contingencies. Portable gas heaters. (Note to self; check and replace gas cylinders) UPS power supplies and good insulation. Gas alarms. Cooking standbys. Local Credit Union account for cash transactions if the high street banks go offline. All that shizzle.
As an aside; one of the things that occurs to me about all this nonsense spouted by the WEF is that their evil anti-human agenda can only happen if there’s a stable infrastructure to base it on. Intermittent (and ‘noisy’) power means bad comms, and without permanently stable communication there is no control. When those go down the authorities are reduced to sending gangs of armed enforcers (Knowing my neighbours, they’ll need to be) roaming the countryside, extorting what they will and a massive bureaucracy to back it up, which is practically impossible and economically unsustainable.
There are workable solutions to the current power crisis. Rolls Royce have had an SMR solution for decades. Similar nuclear power units to those that safely power the UK’s Nuclear Sub fleet. Gas powered power stations, backed up by Fracked gas. But oh nooooo. Nuclear is seen by a noisy ignorant few as too dangerous, despite having a way better global safety record than wind turbines. And fracked Gas? All those earthquakes? Which are all below magnitude 2.0 which humans can’t feel and don’t result in subsidence. Throw a little hydro into the mix and you’ve got clean reliable power and low CO2 emissions (For all the good that will do) Better by far, lower particulate emissions.
All this and four inches of snow predicted. Enjoy. I may go out and build a snowman.
Cold and windy today, a stiff 50 km/h (32mph) breeze and pretty wet. Not weather I care to be out in, so I’m going to watch events transpire from indoors with a hot cup of tea or coffee in hand. On the Met Eirann site there’s an orange warning for the Atlantic coast, but this is normal weather for this part of the year. Hardly a storm, but enough to not want to work outside. So I’m not going to.
The heating in one of the rooms has been a bit dodgy of late, so calls were made to the sparky and plumber who duly turned up, scratched their heads and after half an hour found a loose wire that linked to one of the heating manifold actuators. Fault was fixed, and we just have to wait for the floor to heat up again so we can use the room.
That’s the thing with underfloor heating. It’s nicer than radiators, and I believe up to 25% more economical, so (allegedly) we’ll be saving on the fuel bills, even though the installation made a dent in our savings. Which, given the currently Government created energy crisis, should provide a little respite from over inflated fuel costs. Also means the payback period should be shorter since we bagged a bargain deal on gas supply before things really started to go up.
Have completed my feasibility study on converting our open lean to into a greenhouse, and the numbers look good. I got a batch of old double glazing donated from a builders yard. The sizes are good and should help me create a temperature controllable space for early sowing in February. I was slow off the mark this year with my seeds and my vegetable harvest has been the poorer for it. That and the damage done by the market gardeners traditional foes, slugs, snails and cabbage white butterflies. If by seeding in a protected space I can keep them at bay, that will mean better output.
While measuring up in my more reflective moments I am moved to wonder at the latest talk of what is or is not a ‘conspiracy theory’. Especially over this Twatter business. I mean, are the Department of Homeland Security and the other US alphabet agencies now known to be deleting social media content they don’t like going to let Musk throw away their backdoor access? See Redacted’s video below
Facebook, and likely all the big name social media all have similar back doors, allowing US agencies access, even down to the state level. Talk about mission creep. I think said agencies original mission, to counter terrorism (Allegedly), has morphed into something far more creepy. Do they consider everyone a potential ‘terrorist’? Is the administrative arm of the US really our friend? I’m beginning to have serious second thoughts about that one.
This is not a conspiracy theory, I wish it were, it’s real. All dressed up in words like ‘cognitive infrastructure‘. A term I’d never heard before today. Which begs the question; why does our cognition (Thinking) need ‘infrastructure’? Who gets to control it? Although I feel the uncomfortable answer is staring us straight in the eye. And that’s a creepy thought for such a windy day.
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.
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.
‘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?
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.