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Monday, 30 November 2015

Months passing faster?

Someone said that time passes faster as you get older. It certainly seems this way. November came and went in no time at all. October was just as fast. It will soon be Christmas, January will soon go, February is a short month and before you know it there will be buds and daffodils everywhere. I am not wishing my time away, but time does seem to disappear.

Sunday, 29 November 2015


We are at the "pits" end of the year as far as sunlight is concerned, but the evenings start to get lighter from mid December here even though the mornings get darker for a few weeks more. By the end of January the evenings are getting better light-wise by almost an hour. February is a short month. It is good to think the nights will soon be getting lighter again. It may be a little different where you live.


Family weekend

Family weekend - a typical scene
This weekend we had our "London" grandchildren here with their mum and dad. As you can see, our grandson, aged 8 years old,  decided to play dead on the rug.  They left quite late in the afternoon.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Very early daffodils

This evening we went to nearby Anglesey Abbey, a National Trust property near Cambridge, to see the winter lights. To our utter surprise there were a couple of daffodils already out. This is only Nov 28th!! This particular clump is always early, but November is just odd.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Stroke update

Things here seem to be on a plateau with no real improvements for months.

Just after breakfast seems to be my worst time, as I am always exhausted. A short sit-down rest and I am back to normal - well normal as I can be for now.

My main issues are my voice, which is still poor, liquid swallow, giddiness when on my feet and bouts of exhaustion after physical or mental exertion.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Cambridge Parks

Cambridge has several parks and, of course, the famous Backs (of the colleges) along the River Cam.
This is the park that is behind Drummer Street bus station. Most trees are now bare.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Stroke after-effects

It is true to say I am really fed up with the after-effects of my stroke. Most of the time on my feet I am exhausted and giddy. My voice is still very poor. Nobody, and I mean nobody, seems to comprehend the hell I am living through. Outwardly I look "normal" and healthy. Inside is a different matter.

All I want is for things not to totally exhaust me and not to feel so wobbly. I feel so useless inside. Sitting down on the PC is fine, but the moment I try to do anything physical or mental I am soon "done in".

It seems a long time since I was my old self.

Made in China

Today is my wife's birthday and one of her presents was a Cath Kitson 3-tier cake stand for the table. Even this is marked "Made in China". Surely suppliers can source this from the UK? It is just 3 slabs of plates, a few screws and some wood.

In the end this "Made in China" rubbish has to end. The wealth of the UK depends, in the end, in adding value and making things. They must make huge profits on this stuff. A few pence more to source from the UK would mean a few pence less profit. So?

We are addicted to goods made abroad, mostly in China. Ultimately this cannot go on for ever. The sooner we make things here again the better.

Monday, 23 November 2015


Seen on Facebook. Written by a 92 year old lady.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy: 

1. Free your heart from hatred. 
2. Free your mind from worries. 
3. Live simply. 
4. Give more. 
5. Expect less.

Not bad advice.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Getting older

I got sent a photo of my wife and I when we were about 19. It is hard to believe just how thin we were then. Our combined weight was about 17 stone. I won't say what it is now!

In some ways those days seem like only yesterday. All our futures were before us. On the other hand, it is an age ago.

Second chance

A very moving, but uplifting, account from a Paris hostage.
See .

"We've been given a second chance - we have to live life to the full!"

No snow

We seem to have missed the snow.  But there is a biting cold noth wind, it is dry and the sun has come out. It would not surprise me if we got a frost tonight. This would be the first time this autumn. Up to now it has been very mild.

This afternoon we are doing a walk in the village, but we will have to dress up in warm clothes.

Friday, 20 November 2015

FTSE 100 and Dow

The FTSE 100 is recovering but it would only take a successful terrorist attack in the UK or USA to send both the FTSE 100 and the Dow into a downward spiral.

UPDATE 2045z: The FTSE 100 ended the day just marginally higher on the day.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015


We are about to get our worst storm so far this autumn with gusts later tonight of 60mph. The worst is expected at 2200z. This is very far from the hurricanes seen in the USA and Caribbean areas. 

Nonetheless, it should help to bring down the leaves which remain on the deciduous trees. I hope no-one has to cope with floods. The garden looks its best in spring. Now most of the leaves have fallen it is starting to look bare and "winter".  Thankfully the nights start to get shorter from late December. By mid-February, even though winter, there are clear signs that spring is on the way.

Who visits?

My blog visitors puzzle me.

My amateur radio (mainly) blog gets around ten times the visits of this blog and yet people still come back here! Already today this blog has had more visits than at the weekend for the whole day. As far as I can tell, there is nothing special today. This blog is updated most days. It is usually an eclectic mix of thoughts - some days politics, others finance, family etc.

FTSE 100 well up

At the moment the UK FTSE 100 share index is up well today. Currently it is 1.64% up on yesterday. A lot can happen still. The rally could just disappear or it could end even higher.

UPDATE 1408z:  It is currently up 1.88%.

UPDATE 1750z:  The FTSE 100 ended the day up by 1.99%.


One of the answers to the recent spate of terrorism is to work on the false certainty of those willing to die as "martyrs".  In any religion, anyone who sets out to kill innocents would not be a martyr at all.

No, they face hell or nothingness and their actions are reduced to pure criminality. We need to understand what really motivates these individuals. They have a grievance that must run very deep.

Yes we need fair societies in all countries but violence is not the answer.

Monday, 16 November 2015


This remains a total mystery. Many religions talk about "life after death" and who knows? With talk of multiverses who knows, maybe the universe is unique to us only and everyone else experiences something different. Maybe what we experience when we die is a total absence of life, much like we before we were born. The only thing we can say with any certainty is no-one really knows.

Sunday, 15 November 2015


Just before cutting the cake
We have been to London today for our grandson's 8th birthday party, with his cousins. The day went well. We drove there and back and managed to get back just before dark.

Friday, 13 November 2015


At this time of the year here in the UK, sweeping up fallen leaves from the lawns is an almost endless task! We have quite gusty winds (although nothing like those in Scotland), so I expect the remaining leaves to fall soon. I spent some time this morning raking up leaves, but the rear lawn will be covered again by tomorrow.

We have an ornamental cherry that lost its leaves a few weeks ago. The silver birch was next and a copper maple on our boundary is losing leaves now. The lilac next door is dropping leaves as well. Oh the joy of seasons.

It won't be too long before the nights start to get shorter again and a new cycle of life is evident. It is good to think that the fallen leaves help to produce the strength in the new season.

I like our seasons. In each there is something good. We have had rich colours this autumn and there is something lovely about a crisp winter day with a low sun and no leaves on the trees. There is also something good about drawing the curtains early and just watching the telly. Then, before you know it, it is spring again, with breakfast sun and lighter evenings and mowing those lawns! England - still lovely.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Churches blog updated

Today we visited Moulton Church not too far from Newmarket. The East Anglian Churches blog has been updated to include this.

See .

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

War propaganda

War - you don't know who to believe.

One thing you can be sure of is that all sides will tell lies in the name of propaganda. In the end wars fought with military might rarely really solve a conflict. In the end the only answer is to truly understand what is behind all the anger and negotiate a just peace for all.

To this day, I do not understand Israel's appalling treatment of the Palestinian people. All sides need to recognise the rights of the other side. As for Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, clearly little good is being done by wars.

I feel ashamed of the UK and USA who seem very biased in favour of Israel. We have to treat all sides equally. They are all humans like you and me.

Grandson's birthday

Our older grandson is 8 years old today. It is hard to know where the years have gone. It seems only yesterday he was born. All our grandchildren are special and each one is an individual. The youngest is 3.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

UK weather forecasts

OK, this is yet another moan about UK weather forecasts.

I checked the BBC and the local Burwell weather just 1 hour ago. Both said dry until tonight so I planned a last cut of the grass. Stepped outside to, yes you guessed, rain.

Yes I know that the UK weather is complex, but surely they can get it right just 1 hour ahead? Apparently not.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Back pain

Well, I have enough to contend with as a result of the after-effects of my stroke, but now I have a re-occurrence of lower back pain. Usually this goes within a few weeks. I am taking pain killers and I am OK if I am flat on my back. Walking is painful. My wife has given me a hot-water bottle for my back.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Grandchildren gone now

On bikes near "our" windmill
Our "London" grandchildren went home this afternoon. As with all our grandchildren, we love having them. Sadly, my stroke of 2 years ago means I can do less with them than I would have done in the past. Nonetheless, they had a great time. They enjoyed Halloween and played silly, simple games. In the picture they are enjoying bikes in our quiet close.