Earth From Space

What’s the centre of your world?

The world really has gone mad. You would think actors would be used to reading lines, but reading lines from the wrong card at an awards ceremony seems to have dominated the UK news output today both at the BBC and Sky News websites.

So what is really happening in the world? What news is going unreported whilst the news headlines are full of this nonsense?

You have probably guessed Hollywood and the film industry as a whole is not the at the centre of my universe.

I do like a good film. I love a great film, but I am not the type to know what is coming out when and who stars in it. When I see news outlets, who don’t specialise purely in what had come to be called, “Entertainment News”, going mad with over the top content on this type of stuff I tend to roll my eyes and move on to another place fairly quickly. In the scheme of things, it simply isn’t that important.

I’m not a member of their religion but this type of thing is important in the world.

Finding low-cost ways of allowing people to keep warm in cold weather, that’s important.

The inventiveness and thought that goes into things like this should be what is leading on the nightly news bulletins, not who is wearing what frock.

These things can and do make a real difference to peoples’ lives.

So let’s try and keep the “celebrity” derived fluff on the niche websites for that?

That way I will never encounter it. 🙂


Workbench and Drawers

Time to get hot and sweaty

For years, whatever computer I owned at the time was like my baby. If it was a laptop, it probably went just about everywhere with me. Now? Not so much.

I am finding as the years roll by, computers, and the work I did with them has become a commodity to be bought and sold to the lowest bidder.

Moving away from technology

The object of my affection then became a madly expensive fountain pen that I bought during the good days. Its natural feel and superb glide over a quality paper didn’t improve my handwriting, but it felt comfortable. You could tell the piece of technology in that nib was of the highest quality.

Moving further away from technology

Today, I have shifted even further down the technology scale and used a pencil. You see, as I get older I realise that the skills I need to see out the rest of my life are not ones that can be learned overnight. I still believe, even in these dark days of austerity, there is a market out there for finely crafted products. Whether those products are prose, poetry or something more tangible made of wood.

Mastering the craft

To become a master craftsman takes a lifetime of training, practical experience, practice and self-criticism.

In reality, I have left it too late to achieve what I would consider master craftsman levels of ability, but I do believe I can acquire the skills, knowledge and equipment to be able to produce a good quality product.

A new chapter

To that end, I am considering the biggest career change of my life and embarking on a new challenge.

I will have to start slowly. I will be under-funded and every penny I spend will have to count, but if I can hold on to the vision, I may, just may be able to make it. It will just be baby steps at first. Doing things that others may feel are trivial, silly even. However, if I keep that final goal in mind I may just make it.

It is scary. Scary as anything because there is no “Plan B” at the moment. There is no safety net, no fallback position.

I cannot afford to fail, then again, I cannot afford not to try in the first place.

Weather Vane

Any way the wind blows

The wind speed is picking up outside and all day I have had to listen to the rhythmic clatter of next door’s wind chime.

For the first hour or so, the bumping bamboo sticks was not bad, perhaps even soothing. However, it is not approaching 3pm and the what started out as a soothing jangle has now become a very annoying clatter.

It is driving me nuts and I can no longer concentrate on what I am trying to get done.

It is Wednesday so I cannot decamp to the library, which is usually handy for their free WiFi connection, so I am stuck unless I go to a café. If I go to a café I will quite rightly be expected to buy something, but until I am back in work I have to live very frugally, to say the least.

So I am just going to have to put up with the noise and try and block it out in my mind.

It is a far from an ideal situation when I am trying to get something important done, but needs must I suppose.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. Fingers crossed.

Would it be mean to hope it blows down when storm Doris hits? Maybe it would.

Coffee and News

And then they screamed “Witch!”

It seems these Has Matthew Hopkins returned? At least you could be forgiven for thinking so.

Witchfinder General

He acted as the English Witchfinder General between 1644 and 1647 and had more people executed during his time and in the total of the previous 160 years.

Matthew Hopkins, Witch-finder. Wellcome L0000812
See page for author [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
It didn’t take much for a woman to be accused of being a witch and once the accusation stuck, the fate of the woman was pretty much sealed.

Of course, if someone wanted to get rid of a rival in love, or hated another person, the easiest way to do it was to accuse them of being a witch, then let what passed for justice take its course.

The state was swift, decisive and vicious in the punishments they served on the people.

This was shown to great comedic effect by the Monty Python team in their film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Fake News

The modern day equivalent seems to use the phrase “Fake News”. It seems if a news outlet reports something that is factually correct, but that they don’t like, they get accused of pushing “Fake News”.

When was the news anything other than fake?

To think the news was ever reported without any filtering or biasing is naive, to say the least.

The Real Problem

The real problem I feel exists with news reporting is the casual injection of opinion. This is done in a much subtle fashion using phrases like, “Some say that….”. It is a way of skewing reality or the facts, that is legally defensible, though morally indefensible when the package claims to be straight reporting.

When you are later able to disprove the story being presented as straight reporting, the news outlet has that get out clause ready. “We didn’t say it was true. We said some people thought it was the case.”

For me, that is when news crosses over the line into propaganda and if you look for it, you will find it happens more often than you would think.

Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival 2017

I’m going. Are you?

Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival 2017

For the first time this year, I am going to the Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival. It is taking place on the weekend of 12,13 & 14th of May in the town of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

One thing I do find is it takes me a little while, perhaps a couple of hours to acclimatise myself to the West Yorkshire accent. So I have decided to start and get my ear back in. There’s no better way to do that than with a Marriott Edgar monologue performed by the late Stanley Holloway.

So you don’t need someone to translate for you, have a listen to the video below.

Containers at a port

Blocked arteries

It was only when I started thinking about places to go that would make good photographs that it occurred to me that all of the seaports withing driving distance are in private ownership.

They all tend to be surrounded by high walls or fences and completely destroy the prospect of getting any good photographs of ship or shipping.

What a daft idea?

Why would a nation who built an empire on which the sun never set, sell off their ports to private companies?

When I started looking into this it only got worse. It seems, not only have the ports all been sold to private interests, but the companies who own and operate the ports are all in foreign hands.

As if privatising critical infrastructure was bad enough, we could see a point in the future where charges are increased in our ports by the foreign owners to favour ports elsewhere.

As an island nation seaports are a natural choke point in our trading capacity. Any slowdowns in port could have an almost immediate impact on goods in our high street stores. This could not only affect our exports but also our imports of food.

Those who lived through World War 2 and rationing during its aftermath will no doubt remember the “Dig for Victory” campaign, where people from every home were encouraged to grow as much of their food as possible. We cannot allow our country to return to that.

We cannot allow our country to return to that at the hands of foreign company executives.

Squatting down

Down at the squat

The Daily Post word of the day is squat. However, they did not say what the meaning of squat was.

  • Did they mean squat as in the exercise squat thrust?
  • Or perhaps they meant squat as in an abandoned building that people are living rent-free in?
  • Or maybe they meant the word you never want to hear from security at an airport?

Squat houseCould it be that they didn’t mean to use it as a verb? Maybe it was an adjective? Perhaps I am supposed to talk about things that stocky, or short and fat?

With only a one word clue it could be any of them. So, which one do you think I should have gone for? Exercising, crouching down, living rent free or being short and fat? 🙂