Sunday, 30 March 2014

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

All things share the same breath...

"All things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man, the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports." - Chief Seattle

I wonder if that applies to a Cheshire Cat as well?    

For the last year or so this one has been climbing a tree outside Avanti, one of our favourite coffee shops in Heswall.  Just by its tree is this work of ‘art’ (?), of which we have, as yet, not found out the meaning.

Birkenhead & Liverpool

At the start of the month I spent a morning in Birkenhead.  From the pier coffee shop there is a great view of the Liverpool waterfront across the river.  

The clock on the Royal Liver building is one of the largest in the world.  It has four faces – three on the front tower of the 295’ high, seventeen storey, building and one on the back tower.  Each face has a diameter of 25  feet.  The minute hands are fourteen feet long and each hand is 5 hundredweight in weight.

 The Roman Catholic cathedral is visible across the Mersey.

As is the Anglican one.

The ferry T.S.M.V. Snowdrop  (formerly the Woodchurch) was built in 1959 and is the sister ship of the Royal Iris.


Only a few hundred yards from the Birkenhead pier head is Gallaghers, one of the country’s most unusual pubs. 

It isn’t just a pub it is also a barber’s shop.

And more sport

Sorry but I can’t resist mentioning that Liverpool FC beat Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford.  No wonder Steven Gerrard kissed the camera!

Just 26!

Dear Karma ….


Saturday, 15 March 2014

A real Ramble - my first for ages

So much time has been spent in bed lately that I didn't think I'd have any news for you.  But once I started typing I found there were a few things.  Non-sporting folk might want to ignore the first two paragraphs.

Look what they done to my song...

There are new rules for Formula One racing this year.  I won't bore you with them but I will mention that they now have a power unit rather than an engine.  One result of that is that the roar of the motors that we have been used to for decades and decades (and so love) has disappeared.  The cars sound like Playstation games which is appropriate because Hamilton (on pole ) described driving them as like playing a Playstation Game while negotiating the corners.   When you look at one of their steering wheels you can understand what he means!

The cars are like those of the '80s where there is so much more power than needed. If you put your foot to the floor anywhere other than on the straightest straight the car just disappears up its own exhaust. Balancing how much you put your foot down has proved difficult for most drivers and during qualifying Maldonado couldn't keep his Williams on the black stuff, Vettel gave the wall a gentle kiss and ended up 13th on the grid while Raikkonen put his car in the wall, knocking off the nose. 

Which brings me to another issue.  The horrible shape of the new noses.  Knocking them off is the best thing you can do to them. 

It is possible that all these changes may make for better racing but we are paying a heavy price.

The best livery is the gorgeous silver McLaren.  I just hope Button (starting 11th) can do it justice.

My favourite quote of the Qualifying was when one of the drivers (totally unable to control his car, even in a straight line) was told over the radio by his engineer - who assumed he was just making space for himself on the track - "OK, speed up please."  This was followed by a strangled cry from the driver. "I can't!"

The football season is reaching it’s peak

Liverpool FC are second to Chelsea in the Premier League and have a game in hand.  But even if we win that game we will still be four points behind with about none games to play.  But the objective of being in the top four at the end of the season is well in sight.  If we are in the top four we will be in the European Champions’ League next year.  We have been out of Europe for five years and it has seemed like a lifetime.

Liverpool have won the Champions League five times – 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, and 2005.  We also won the Europa League three times – 1973, 1976, and 2001.

The most spectacular European match in which Liverpool were involved proved to be one of the best matches ever.  Liverpool faced six-time European champions Milan in the final at the Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul on 25 May 2005. Trailing 3–0 at half-time, Liverpool scored three goals in a six-minute spell in the second half to level the score at 3–3. There were no goals during extra time, so the match was decided by a penalty shoot-out. With the shoot-out score at 3–2, Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek saved Andriy Shevchenko's penalty to give Liverpool victory. The nature of Liverpool's comeback victory has led to the match being referred to as the "miracle of Istanbul." As this was the club's fifth European Cup victory, Liverpool were allowed to keep the European Champion Clubs' Cup permanently, and a new trophy was commissioned for the following year's competition. The victory also entitled Liverpool to compete in the 2005 UEFA Super Cup at Stade Louis II, Monaco in August. They defeated UEFA Cup winners CSKA Moscow of Russia 3–1 to win their third Super Cup.

Postcards et al

 Even lying in bed I can appreciate all the wonderful postcards that I have received.  Indeed, they have helped to cheer me up, to ignore my pains and to get me back on my feet. 

And letters from friends often have cheerful envelopes too.   Most noticeably from China.

And stamps can be both beautiful and fun.

Dai Li, a Chinese student friend has been very generous and amongst the other things she sent me was this lovely Chinese tassel.


Winter this year was wet and windy and generally horrible but not cold.  Indeed, it has been so warm that Geraniums that were left outdoors, and which would normally be killed off by the cold quite early in the winter, have survived quite happily and are even blooming.  The last couple of weeks have been sunny and warm and there was a promise of Spring in the air.  Daffodils are out and the Primulas and Primroses are making big splashes of colour around the garden. But then, the last day or so has turned very cold and there is a real nip in the air.  Perhaps we are going to have a cold Spring to make up for the warm Winter.


This morning when I went on-line the first e-mail in my in-box began ‘If you have a £250,000 portfolio….’.  Aha, I thought.  I must have logged in as the wrong person.  This was confirmed when the second e-mail said ‘Now is the time to sell your stocks and shares’…. 

Some short quotes

"Don’t expect the mirror to smile first."  ~ A’Court Bason

"Destroying species is like tearing pages out of an unread book, written in a language humans hardly know how to read, about the place where they live." ~ Holmes Rolston III, professor of philosophy (b. 1932)

"To be on a balanced diet is to hold two similar pieces of cake in both hands." - Anon.

“Stop trying to shrink the world into the size of a self-help book. It doesn’t fit...  Reading about how to be a pilot doesn’t make you a pilot.   Plane gonna crash.” ~ Laurie Ann Fuhr

"It reminded me of one of my old girlfriends - good from far but far from good."  - Anon.

“The Rose is without an explanation. She blooms, because she blooms.”  - Angelus Silesius

"My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot." ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

"There are three things that cannot be forgiven to a woman.  But nobody knows why or what these things are.  ~ Janina Ipohorska

"I hope you're having a good weekend" - Me!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Playing the System

Mr Hogan, You claimed on your expenses for: £1,600 on a table, 6 chairs & chest/bookshelf.
£1,997 on a Wardrobe & something else unclear
£358 on toilet & kitchen 'bits n bobs'.
£650 Decorating
£320 Food & Cleaning
And you want to lecture the public about "gaming the system"?
Mate, if this country were run by honest people, you would be in jail, not lecturing the poor, and criminalising them.
Do you want to tell us why your firm paid 2% in tax on £600 million in profits?
And why you claim a £200 a week food allowance?
Playing the system?
That's rich coming from you.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

International Women's Day

I have always liked the quote of Rebecca West -  “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.

And like her I don't know what feminism is or if I am a feminist or not but when reading Charlotte's Web last year I happened upon an article by following a link under 'male feminists'.

On this, International Women's Day I would urge everyone, male and female alike, to READ THIS ARTICLE  by Michael Kaufman who writes The Guy's Guide to Feminism.  There are a lot of men who agree with what he writes and would want to join him in sending this letter of love to all women on this day.

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