Monday, August 27, 2007
Down the M6 and turn right at Chester.
I'm on holliday this week. Guess where? We're going to have a llovelly time savouring the ddellights of Gwynnedd, Snowdonia, and Ivor the Engine country around Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Don't worry, I'll be back before you can say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Auxiliary. Plumage - yellow A-line dress.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Yesterday, finding ourselves in the Ocean Terminal in Leith, with time to spare, we went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I enjoyed the film. I appreciate that the scriptwriters had to do an awful lot of compromisin' to turn a thick hardback into a two hour film. There's a lot more in the book that didn't make it to the screen. The main miss was the extent of the revolution at Hogwarts. The Weasley brothers pyrotechnics are the culmination of a long simmering trail of sedition against Umbridge and her minions. This is the great irony of this particular book, JK Rowling has managed to get children to read about how to foment rebellion in a school, with their parents' blessing. But they did show Harry teaching Defence against the Dark Arts, which was one of my favourite bits of the story.
The good thing about the film is that it shows that fascism is not about jackboots, but that it can insinuate its way into society with a smiling face. Imelda Staunton as Umbridge enters the hall of great movie villianesses, in my opinion.
Monday, August 20, 2007
He's also a statesman-level politician. You can't get more senior than running a country. This job will allow him to continue the work he started as First Minister, and also to concentrate on it. It's a job he's obviously going to enjoy doing.
Can you think of anyone more qualified?
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Obviously this is a dramatic device used by Conan Doyle to further the plot. Readers of the Strand would have these fifty six tales spread out over a few years and perhaps might not notice this repetition of, for them a mundane act of aid. Of course, now it would be unusual to offer alcohol to someone who felt faint, or shocked. We'd be more likely to lay them down, wrap them in a blanket, and offer them a cup of tea.
I'll find out from my wife, once she has finished the book, if this pattern of medicinal brandy tendering continues to the end.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Here's another one from the same catalogue that brought you the towel holder and pencil sharpener - the Litter Kwitter, which will train your cat to use the toilet! Just think, no more having to pour pongy litter into a plastic bag for disposal, just let your feline companion have free run of the bathroom. All you need to do is put the above contraption on the rim of your toilet.
You know what's going to happen, don't you? It'll be three o' clock in the morning, and you'll wake up, needing to go. You'll wander through, half asleep, and plonk yourself down on the ... $&%£!! That's when you'll remember about it, as you slip to the floor with the Litter Kwitter and contents about your ears!
Your cat will use next door's rose bush as he always does.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Keep an eye open for the next one, and get your entry in. I have now retired from the fray, and will not be entering, (though it'll probably kill me to stay aloof from the proceedings) There's some good poetry out there, and the more that can be produced through competitions like this, the better. I would love to see a revival of poetry as a major art form.
To read my chilling entry, click on the link above.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Saturday, August 04, 2007
I am an atheist. I consider the universe and all within it to be wholly natural, adhering to fundamental laws, some of which may be as yet undiscovered. I see no place in this universe for the supernatural.
Being British, I grew up in the religion of my family. I was baptised in a Methodist church, and when we moved to Scotland, attended a congregationalist church in Leith. I attended Sunday School from the ages of four to fourteen, and I enjoyed it. But when I was too old for Sunday School, I wasn't that interested in sitting through a whole service, so I just stopped going.
I knew from an early age that Genesis was a creation myth. There wasn't really a Garden of Eden or a Great Flood, and later I found out that the Tower of Babel was a ziggurat. I found out when I was nine that the earth was four and a half billion years old, and dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. I found that no-one was really bothered about this, and my concept of God was similar to most people round me, which was a nebulous something that was behind everything, but didn't interfere much in the world.
Of course, when I was in my teens and early twenties, I read everything - books on Astrology, the Tarot, Ceremonial Magic, and Celtic Ritual. But I also read books by Isaac Asimov, Patrick Moore, Stephen Gould and Richard Dawkins. I watched Carl Sagan's Cosmos, Horizon, Connections, and I slowly moved from mild agnosticism towards atheism.
Once I got on the internet a couple of years back, and discovered blogs such as Pharyngula, God is for Suckers, and JanieBelle's favourite - the Bad Astronomer, then I finally felt I was coming home.
Now although I am an atheist, it is my philosophy that all people should make their own spiritual journey, just as I have. I am happy to debate religion on this blog, but I'm not looking to convert anybody.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
By an amazing coincidence, my friend Howard's party was only ten minutes drive away, so as the first party was winding down, I was able to nip over to the beginning of his party, where I stayed until one o' clock.
Boy was I full.