Sunday, 29 June 2008

More madness

Those of us who have children and cars will have used the car to take the children to some children's event - scouts camp maybe, swimming club, a chess tournament.  Many of us will have been asked by the Scout leader, club organiser or school whether we would help out by agreeing to pick up another child who lives on our route to the venue.  It happens all the time and most parents are happy to do it and glad when another parent agrees to pick their own child up to return the favour.  It's normal family life.
Not any more it isn't.  From next year if you are asked to pick up Mary Smith from the next street to your own and deliver her home when you collect your little Johnny from an after school panto rehearsal then if you haven't been CRB checked you'll be breaking the law.
This is sad news for organisations which provide activities for children, it's sad news for helpful parents who, precisely because they are helpful, are to be treated as perverts, and it's sad news for children whose own parents can't collect them.
However, on the bright side it's good news for perverts because CRB checks are only required if the activity organiser asks you to take another child - if a paedophile sidles up to a harassed dad and directly offers to collect little Damian after soccer then well, there's no problem and no CRB check required.
This new CRB requirement is vitally necessary because parents who are asked by a 3rd party (ie the activity organiser) to transport carless kids are, obviously, much more likely to be sexual predators than those who secretly whisper their obliging offers directly into parents' ears.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Royal choppers in the trough

In the media headlines today news that HMQueenie costs £40 million a year.  Hoorah say the headlines, that's only 66p per person.  Super value.
What they don't say is that Queenie's police and security costs us over £100 million a year, or that she gets another £15 million of our money per year for property maintenance.  No, they don't mention the £15 million, the headlines on property maintenance merely say that the wiring in Buckingham Palace hasn't been renewed since before she became Majestied and that she's very worried about it.  That, and some roof repairs will cost £4 million and she wants us to pay extra for it.
So how many years has she had the equivalent of £15 million for buildings upkeep and not spent one sodding penny on making sure that the Buck House sockets aren't going to up and bite some poor footman or perhaps some American tourist paying through the nose to look at stuff with some vague royal association? 
Then again, the media hasn't mentioned the hundreds of millions spent on what they (surely ironically) call the Civil List - the bucketsful of money handed out to Queenie's kids, grandchildren, cousins, 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins twice removed etc etc who also have security costs, property maintenance costs, jaunts in government helicopter costs to impress their latest squeeze, hire of Nazi uniforms for dressing up games, polo ponies, etc etc etc.
Never mind, just remember that tourists only come to Britain in hopes of seeing a regally radiant smile.  I mean come on, if it weren't for Queenie Britain would be as bereft of tourists as Paris and Rome.
Tho we would all be 66p + the unmentioned add-ons a year better off.
Okay.  Off with her head and gimme my money back.
PS June 28 In today's paper:
Queen's £22000 Yankee
Glasgow Daily Record - 2 hours ago
THE public spent £22000 on sending the Queen to the races by helicopter, figures have revealed.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Ban this ban that, what's the world coming to????

Are you an iTunes subscriber?  If so then I hope that you read the licensing agreement properly before installing the latest version.  I'm guessing you're going to be either astonished or totally gutted but you cannot use the iTunes software "… for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture, or production of nuclear missiles or chemical or biological weapons ".  So there. That's put paid to your fiendish plan to use high decibel James Blunt as a Weapon of Mass Destruction hasn't it?
Or, perhaps, being canny and worried about rising fuel costs, you had planned to use iTunes software to run your back garden nuclear reactor?  Well tough because Apple saw you coming sunshine and they've got it covered here "The Apple software is not intended for use in the operation of nuclear facilities, aircraft navigation or communication systems, life support machines, or other equipment in which the failure of the Apple software could lead to death, personal injury, or severe physical or environmental damage."
Myself I don't subscribe to iTunes, not having megalomaniac tendencies but I bet you do.  Well I just want you to know that Apple know what you're up to and if you do use the iTunes software to create any WMD or run your personal nuclear reactor then you'd better watch out because, and this is the crunch - they could stop you downloading.  Unless you've Blunted them first of course.

Sunday, 22 June 2008


There's been quite a fuss in the media about Primark sourcing clothing from foreign companies - mostly Indian - which employ children and as a result Primark have said that those contracts have been cancelled.  The children were employed in sewing on sequins and ribbons, often as outworkers in their own homes. 
I have 3 hand knotted silk Kashmiri rugs which were in all probability made by the small nimble fingers of children - at 400 knots to the square inch I know for sure no fully grown adult fingers could have done the work.  The money I paid for my rugs made a profit for the shop owner, and for the person who owned the frames and supplied the silks, but it also helped feed poor families and possibly paid for one or more younger siblings to attend school.
For around 15 years now we have helped to support a school for 300 of the poorest children in a small Indian town.   Over time we have come to realise that the only really succesfull way of using that money and promoting the children's education is to provide a reward for regular attendance which is meaningful for the child and it's family.  The only useful reward and the only one which actually has a positive impact on the education of the poorest children, because it keeps them coming to school, is to reward attendance with cash money to replace the wages they could otherwise earn by labouring on building sites or by begging.
The shock and outrage here in the UK arises from the fairly new-found western belief that children should not work for money - and this moral outrage from a society which allowed British 11 year olds to leave school and go out to work only a hundred years ago.  Many children still do work in the west, but they work for their family business and don't get paid for their labour  - many farms, restaurants and small corner shops would go under if school age children were actually prevented from breaking the law by working for free.  On a BBC4 programme about London's Hasidic communities only this week it was quite openly stated that Hasidic Jewish children in London leave school and start work at 14 - two full years before the legal school leaving age.   So child labour is obviously tolerated here regardless of our self-righteous clamber onto the high horse of child protection for foreign children.
Now that those Primark contracts have been cancelled of course, those unemployed children will all go skipping merrily back to school.  Not.  Instead of sewing sequins on to tee shirts they will likely be employed in road making, carrying heavy hods of stones, or smashing large rocks into smaller chips.  Or they will be sent climbing up bamboo scaffolding carrying breeze blocks for new hotels or office blocks, or they will wander their towns rummaging amongst rat-infested rubbish piles for empty bottles, or tins, or old paper to sell.  They may even have to resort to prostitution or begging.  Some may starve to death.
But still, when all's said and done we have to do what we can to discourage children in other countries from following the life patterns which have sustained poor people throughout the ages so that we can wear £3 tee shirts with a clean conscience.


The garden here is a scene of widespread devastation.  Whole large flowering plants broken off at base, climbing Rambling Rector roses wrenched from their supports - including from 20' up in the old pear tree, even rhubarb stalks snapped in half, but worst of all, 6 years growth of Virginia Creeper torn from the walls of the house and crashed onto my Brown Turkey fig tree.  The winds have been utterly ferocious and it looks as if a hurricane has passed through.  I've just spent 30 minutes out there getting buffeted by tail winds while trying to clear the pond of what turned out to be a 10 gallon drum full of leaves and gathering ceramic pots, plants, ground cover matting and overturned wheelbarrows and I've come back inside full of gloom.  It's amazing that the polytunnel is still standing and no damage has been done to the house or cottage.  I'm telling myself it could have been worse but..........  :O(((((((((

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Beauty and the Beasts

Today I'm sure we've all heard the tragic reports about the father who put a hoax bomb in his estranged wife's home with a note saying that she would hear about him in the newspapers, who then took his two little children for a drive, parked on a lonely Welsh lane, attached tubing to his exhaust and murdered his tots. 

This follows two fairly recent cases in Scotland of fathers murdering their little children, plus the man who murdered his little lad by tossing him from a holiday balcony before jumping off himself while carrying his toddler daughter, and, I think worst of the lot, the father who drove a car containing his children into the sea and then phoned their mother so that she could hear them screaming as they were drowned.

I can't be the only woman who wonders what is going wrong with modern men - and who wonders why people are surprised that so many women now are choosing to have children without fathers.

I wonder whether tho it isn't something wrong with men per se (tho it could be) but that these particular men don't actually regard their children as human but merely as objects which their wives, whom they have come to hate, actually love more than they now love their former husband.  They tried to get custody of the children and when they failed they simply killed them.

They murdered their children, all of these men, as a way of punishing their wives for not wanting to continue being married to them.  It's the same impulse that can make some people kick a pet dog or cat.  If only they would think before they murder their nippers that someone willing to murder small children as revenge isn't a suitable husband or father at all.  Someone who would even contemplate such evil horror is barely human.

I think it's a great pity that this latest man died with the children he murdered because now he cannot be made to suffer torments for the rest of his life. 

On a much lighter note, yesterday evening I went to Colemere to see the orchids. 

There are literally acres of orchids and yellow rattle, the most I have seen anywhere in the world and they're all right on my doorstep to see for free.  Fabulous, aren't they?


Monday, 9 June 2008

It's a hard hard life

I love the garden at this time of year when there are plenty of flowers and yet still lots of favourites to come, and some yet in the polytunnel waiting to be bedded out.  It's a busy time but I'm not the sort of person who can just sit and look for very long without seeing a weed needing a tug or something needing an extra stake.  The one exception is first thing in the morning when I sit near our rough ponds and watch the dragonflies prising themselves out of their ugly adolescent carapaces, reminiscent of a Hammer Horror film, to rest and dry their wings in the early sunshine until fully pumped up they can fly away.  Here's where I sit every day from about 6am until 7am when I fetch the lead and get the dog out in the lanes.

When it gets too hot to do anything but read then I take my chair into the dappled shade under the old apple tree and spend a couple of hours wafting away money spiders which drop from the branches and watching the birds in the pear tree nest boxes.

Then at the end of the day, I sit at my dining room patio waiting for my hair to dry and sipping something cold while I watch the swallows flycatching over the paddock and listen to the swifts screaming overhead.

My fingers are permanently stained, my nails are ragged and my sandalled feet don't bear description but all in all a summer spent gardening takes a lot of beating.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Equal under the law?

Click here: UK National News - Sentence increased for baby rapist (6 years gaol increased to 8 years, female victims aged 12 weeks and 14 years old)
BBC NEWS | Scotland | Glasgow and West | Baby rapist jailed for 13 years (female victims 11 months old and 12 years old)
BBC NEWS | Scotland | Crown appeals baby rapist sentence  (5 years gaol, female victim 13 months old - rapist posted images of himself raping this baby on the internet)
( 17 years gaol, male victims adult)

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


Do you always walk when you could drive?  Do you use a hairdryer instead of letting your hair dry naturally?  Do you not have a hybrid car?  Are you still buying the occasional pineapple or maybe black peppercorn?

Shame on you!  In fact, shame on you for using electricity to be online and read this.

You, yes YOU are morally as evil as Josef Fritzl.  You sit there possibly wearing shoes made from the skins of cattle which eat corn that starving people could eat - and don't think that limiting yourself to sandals exculpates you even if Jesus did wear them too.

Everything you do which is not part of the conscious fight against global warming damages children to the same extent as Fritzl did.  Oh yes it does.  The Bishop of Stafford has made it all quite explicit.  Eat a burger or keep your milk in a refrigerator and you, sunshine, are one of The Damned.

Get on your knees right now and switch your PC off. 

Global warming inertia 'as bad' as Josef Fritzl, says Bishop of Stafford - Telegraph

Monday, 2 June 2008


At a time when the average Zimbabwean salary is $20+ million (ZWD) per month, the Victoria Falls Hotel in Jungle Junction is charging 1.25 Billion dollars for 2 beers, a mineral water and one dinner.
Mugabe is currently attending an international conference on the food crisis. Why has no one shot him???