Rants and Observations

Jul. 27, 2019

Relying on electricity, green or not, does not save us from the dangers of increased temperatures. 
In the UK.

We have just had record temperatures. This has caused electric power for trains to crash and set fire to parts of the network. Diesel trains are still running.

Major supermarkets have lost refrigeration. There are multiple other failures in infrastructure, partly due to related lightening storms.

The true costs of global warming are likely to be higher than anticipated, if the electricity infrastructure is insecure.

One activist complained that the BBC made it seem like a competition between areas for the hottest, instead of a climate crisis.

Another claims we should be saying that this might be the coolest temperature in the next 125 years,

Whatever, it was bloody unpleasant!


Jul. 13, 2019

In agreement with Samuel Johnson’s, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”, sign me up for euthanasia.

We struggled there for a few days, suffering from nasty bronchitis, gasping and croaking around Mayfair. Ivy went shopping and meeting her friends around Oxford Street. It was thronged with people from all over the world.

Visiting the area around Carnaby Street, I had wandered into some future dimension. My apparent invisibility saved me. There had obviously been a cull of all people over 55. The young were into expensive fashions, eating tofu and speaking into their coms-devices. They had lost the power of speaking to each other. Other escapees from the cull were to be found in art galleries and Fortnum and Mason.

Wandering around Old Bond Street and the Burlington Arcade, revealed the depths of decadence and unnecessary consumption of modern Londoners. Jewellery for multi-millionaires and fashions for the uber rich were everywhere. No wonder the people in the North and Scotland have nothing in common with those here.

The workers, from Eastern Europe, are rebuilding the west end. They eat their sandwiches in the grand squares. Doorways host beggars. Romanians and North Africans have replaced the traditional ex-servicemen and mentally ill. The contrast with the parades of throbbing gold-plated Ferraris, Lamborghinis and McLarens is disgusting.

Friends dined with me in a vast eatery owned by a well-known Russian oligarch. It was opposite our hotel. At night, there were hundreds of tough looking Russians around the street outside. Why is anyone worried about the threat of Putin? His hard men are already here.

Our London friends all want to remain in Europe. They are champagne socialists with pricey houses and fat pensions. My view is that a wall should be built round London. It should be seceded to the highest bidder. The EU, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and the US might all bid.

The money could be spent on the cash starved, newly independent countries of the former UK. Unfortunately, the Saudis, the EU and oligarchs already seem to own the place.

Jun. 19, 2019


The epicurean delights of Yorkshire have left me for once stumped for words.

English supposedly offers more choices than more succinct tongues. Please suggest existing or new words to describe the following feelings.

1. You have almost finished eating something wonderfully delicious. There is just one mouthful left. We need a word that combines various feelings. First is the regret that the exquisite experience is almost over. Next is the inhibition you feel about the waiter’s and fellow diners’ feelings of disgust, if you order a second enormous plateful. Lastly, you suffer extreme anguish from the realisation that you are unable to fit a mouth-watering desert into your distended stomach.

2. Although enjoying your own choice from the menu, you felt that a fellow diner’s selection was also enticing. Now it appears on the table their order was clearly superior.

You notice that they are about to leave the most attractive morsel on the plate. The restaurant is very upscale and full of diners who look like your mother. She was a stickler for the correct holding of cutlery and good manners. This inhibits your natural inclination to harpoon the morsel with your fork and gobble it down. You sneak a peek around the other tables. The matronly women all seem very alert and are looking in your direction.

How do you describe your feeling of utter desolation and anguish, as the waiter removes the plates?

If you wish to avoid such torments and inadequacy of expressing yourself, avoid Betty’s Tea Rooms. We will be visiting one for the fourth time in two weeks tomorrow.

Jun. 13, 2019

The recent D Day celebrations in Europe exposed some who fraudulently claimed participation. Others claimed deeds beyond the reality. Psychologists explained that exaggerating one’s deeds of daring do is common. Those who do so may even come to believe them, or they create an exaggerated or false reality to hide their traumas. Shakespeare recognised that old soldiers relate their deeds ‘with advantages’ in Henry V.

We can see this in many exaggerated memoirs of the Special Air Service and those of US Navy Seals. The writers were likely brave men, with an opportunity to sell books. Hilary Clinton falsely remembered being under fire in the Balkans. Lyndon Johnson claimed he was a hero on a bomber raid against Zeros. He was decorated, but his aircrew saw him as just a passenger. John Kerry remembered events that those who were there did not.

This may all be part of the fog of war or PTSD. Some see an opportunity to cash in reputationally or financially. Largely this is driven by the propaganda needs of the various combatants.

All media stories need careful evaluation. ‘Who benefits’ is always the critical question.

Some of us write about our exaggerations or fantasies of our time in the military.


Jun. 9, 2019


This BBC Documentary is a must see for anyone who includes murderous characters in their books or who has those enticing inclinations. 

In a nutshell, many/most murderers have a mixture of 'the warrior' gene, (30% of the population); were abused and unloved as children or suffered damage to their brains, through head trauma.
This fits the idea that we succeed or fail, murder or not as a result of scientific determinism or luck. Free will either does not exist at all or allows only minimal manoevre within our predetermined destiny.