Are there any others willing to share their own experiences of quiet contentment?
I've always appreciated the healing effects of heat; and, as someone who has suffered from a lifetime of fairly constant - mainly low-level - pain, probably the best part of my day is when I plunge my hands into a wash-basin full of hot water and the aches and pains disappear for a few seconds of blessed relief; at absolutely no cost to myself (or the NHS).
Are there any others willing to share their own experiences of quiet contentment?
Following on from the earlier blog which mentioned the fact that Trixie has been replaced by a younger and more slender model, I can disclose that in order to continue with a tradition of giving an appropriate name to some of my vehicles (the name Trixie was chosen because she's a tricycle), I have christened my new trike Newt. Crossword enthusiasts may undestand why (see below).
It's hard to believe that it's over four years since I bought Trixie and, although I didn't get to use her very much last year after she leaned against me rather heavily; causing me to hobble about for several months with a fractured ankle, I've enjoyed her company enormously.
The fact remained, however - and although I tried to ignore it, those close to me were noticing it - I was starting to struggle on occasions to cope with her weight; and in particular, when we were stationary. So, I made some enquiries and discovered that a lighter version on the trike concept had been introduced since I met Trixie; and, to cut a long story short, I've traded her in for a newer, lighter, model. (photos can be enlaged by 'clicking' on them).............
Basically, the new trike (above - centre) has dispensed with the side and rear panels which can be seen on Trixie (above - left) and the front has been streamlined, too (above - right). Dispensing with the top-box has also eliminated a tendency to be top-heavy at times and there is still a storage compartment beneath the seat (big enough for my helmet). So, I've decided that a small/medium sized rucksack would be a sensible option for longer journeys.
I was lucky enough to find a used model (only 850 miles on the clock) and it had the advantage of larger windshield than standard which makes longer journeys less of a problem insofar as wind and rain is concerned. The difference in handling and the improved nimbleness is really impessive and I'm hoping to make up for the mileage I lost last year. The reason for wearing my best bib and tucker in the photo was that I attended a small ex-military function, this afternoon.
I stumbled across this article in Facebook, today.
It's about a teacher in The USA who (quote) was forced into retirement for showing archival queer-scare movie; and it made me think about how difficult it has been for some (not all) of my generation to come to terms with the way attitudes towards the LGBT community have changed since we were young in the forties and fifties.
Take myself, for example.
As it happens, for a good many years; and for a variety of reasons, I have become good friends with several lesbians and gays and, as a consequence, I understand how warm-hearted, loving, and generous most of them are. However, it hasn't been easy; because - and I realise that some might suggest that this might be a figment of a fertile imagination - but, as was depicted in the video of the aforementioned movie, as a youth and a young man, there were three separate occasions when I felt threatened by the unwelcome attention of men who, in those days, were known as queers.
Now, I know that I'm not alone in having experienced such situations. Two of them occurred whilst I was in the army and, fortunately, fellow squadies would usually alert newcomers to where the danger might lie and the seriousness of the situation was often eased by a sense of togetherness coupled with a sense of humour.
The fact remains, however, that the sensation of fear and revulsion is difficult to erase from the memory; so, I would ask those of a younger generation to try to understand that some of us are not homophobic just for the sake of it; there is often a very good reason. Furthermore, dragging ourselves into the twenty-first century can sometimes be difficult; so, be gentle with us.
It happened in 2010; and it's happening again. The unfortunate manner in which some of the poor losers from the left of the political spectrum are venting their spleen on all and sundry as a consequence of the somewhat unexpected victory (and the measure of it) achieved by their Tory adversaries.
Although I'm not really surptised by the depth of their vitriol, what I find rather alarming (and, once again, the same thing happened after the previous general election) is the quite disgraceful language being used against individuals (and, in paticular, David Cameron) for whom the C word (and I don't mean cancer) seems to have become an accepted epithet.
Well, IMHO, it is not acceptable.
Furthermore, I doubt if the law permits such behaviour in a public place. And, in case anyone suggests that it might not be being used in a public place, I would point out that the internet, in general, and social-media, in particular has become very much a public place in recent times.
Perhaps, it's time something was done to deal with the issue.
As I mentioned in the previous blog, by comparison with the last election, I have found very little to interest me about the current one. However, by an interesting coincidence, we spent yesterday entertaining very dear friends who happen to have been life-long supporters of The Labour party.
So, almost inevitably, some of the converstion dwelt upon how the result may - or, may not - turn out; and I was intrigued by how (like me, as it happens) they were struggling to say a single good word about Milliband Junior; and in particular, how their opinion had been influenced by the treachery (their word) he had displayed towards his brother.
So, a day later; and as the quite astonishing outcome of the voters' decisions begin to sink in, I find myself wondering how many other solid, long-standing, supporters of socialism may have shared my friend's view and decided to vent their spleen at - or by absenting themslves from - the ballot box.
I do understand why many of those who grew up during the Thatcher years dislike the Tories. However, some of us have lived through far worse and, for my own part, I have witnessed a number of Conservative administations (like Mrs. Thatcher's) who had to clear up the mess they inherited from their Labour predecessors; and, in each case, the reason has been the same.
Put simply, socialists seem to think that it's OK to spend more than they can afford.
However, in doing so, in my opinion, they are treating the electorate with contempt.
Like Wilson, Callaghan, Blair and Brown before him, Milliband Junior and his mates are like irresponsible parents who think that buying goodies for their kids, today, will keep them happy, tomorrow; and, to some extent, they may be right. However, when the kids grow up, they are the ones who have try to pay off the debts they inherited; and, as a consequence, their kids suffer.
Well, like the aforementioned children who had to face the consequences of their parent's actions, Cameron & Co. are the latest Tory government who had to take unpopular steps to try to balance the nation's books; and, as was the case on previous occasions, those who caused the problem have the audacity to think they should be given another chance.
Funny old world.
As Britain pledges £5,000,000 to aid the Nepal earthquake appeal, my immediate reaction was to think how paltry that amount seems by comparison with the obscene money paid for professional footballers; £88,000,000 for a British player, for example. Without in any way criticising the UK government's decision, there is something not quite right, here, IMHO.
Here is a list of the top-twenty young earners in British sport. It's dominated by footballers and it begs the question, "What sort of society values sportsmen (and footballers, in particular) more highly that any single member of the medical profession?"
As the weather has been improving, I've started walking again; and since we now live in a more urban area, it's a significantly different experience from that to which I became familiar whilst rambling on The Surrey Hills. The obvious differences - such as the comparative lack of trees and other assorted foliage; and the very welcome absence of mountain-bikers are to be expected. However, today, I encountered an interesting, and thought-provoking, situation which doesn't involve the environment - but the population; and more specifically, children.
At this point, I have to admit that my experiences as a school-bus driver during the nineties has seriously affected my opinion of children; because the behaviour of some of those I have driven is almost beyond reasonable understanding. One worrying example involved children on a double-decker bus who attached a shoe to a "rope" (manufactured from four or five school ties knotted together) and lowered it from a window on the upper deck in an attempt to knock other school-children off their bicycles as we drove past them. Fortunately, I caught sight of what was going on in my rear-view mirror; but the thought of a child tumbling of a bike and ending up under the rear wheels of the bus was fightening. I have also witnessed bullying of varying degrees; the worst of which involved boys (incredibly - from a junior school) making sexually-explicit threats against a clearly distressed young girl.
Now, all of the badly-behaved ones I had the misfortune to meet attended local authority schools; and the reason I make that point is that the sort of behaviour I've just described never happened when I was driving children from private schools.
So, you might be asking yourselves, what has this got to do with my rambling?
Well, the route I took today passed two sets of playing-fields. One belongs to the preparitory department of a public school and the other to the local authority; and, in both cases, I happened to be passing as the children were being escorted back to their respective school buildings. So, bearing in mind the experiences I've described, it was no surprise to me that the children from the public school were being supervised by just two teachers; but, it was deemed necessary for the other group to have at least half-a-dozen teachers and classroom assistants (or whatever they're called) to maintain some semblance of discipline.
Draw your own conclusions.
What an excellent idea....................
Apple Computer announced today
that it has developed
a computer chip that can store
and play high fidelity music
in women's breast implants.
The iTit will cost between
£499.00 and £699.00
depending on speaker size.
This is considered to be a major breakthrough
because women have always complained
about men staring at their breasts
and not listening to them.
Always willing to be of assistance, I would be happy to help tweak the controls.........