Bicycle Repair Man

Back in the 1960s, the great prophet Monty of Python (peas be upon ham) wrote a little sketch. In this sketch, everyone was Superman. Or Superwoman. There was no representation of SuperNeuter or SuperCreatureOfIndeterminateGenderOrEvenSpecies so the prophecy wasn’t perfect but it was close.

There were no cars. Supermen don’t need cars. They travelled everywhere by bicycle. There are moves to force that part of the prophecy into truth.

Everyone was equal. Everyone was super intelligent and super strong and everyone had a bicycle to call their own.

There was only one problem in this Utopian dream. No tradesmen. If your bike broke, nobody knew how to fix it. Everyone had degrees in super-something but nobody had bothered to learn anything practical.

Except one man. Seeing a flat tyre or slipped chain, one man would change out of his Superman costume into overalls and flat cap and appear with his box of spanners. I can’t find the original, only this one with a song voiceover.

Biicycle Repair Man was the superhero in this story and oh, how we all laughed.

A world where everyone is classed as Super and nobody can fix a bicycle. Can it happen?

It’s already started. Local garages are closing down because they can’t get apprentice mechanics. Nobody wants to be a plumber or a plasterer or an electrician, they all want degrees in yogurt weaving and smartphone typing and Wiccan veganosity. I am astonished at how many young people not only cannot start a fire using a flint and tinder, but are actually terrified of fire! One generation is all it took. We had at least one fireplace blazing away in every house not so long ago, and now houses are built without chimneys and nobody seems to have noticed.

We used to wake up cold – and I’m not exactly ancient yet – with frost on the inside of the windows and breath condensing in the air until someone lit the fire (after cleaning out the previous day’s ashes) and started warming the house. One generation later, they set the timer on the heating to come on before they get up so their double-glazed house is warm. They cannot cope with cold.

If nobody is taking practical courses, who is going to fix that heating when it breaks? Who is going to service your heating boiler when it breaks down between Christmas and New Year as happened to us here last year?

Fortunately our landlord had a spare heating pump and a box of spanners, and it soon got going again but while it was down we were very glad of our chimney and fireplace.

This house is at least 250 years old and made of granite. Thick walls of it. Once you get those walls warmed up with a fire they are like huge storage radiators. If I owned this place I’d be looking to get those sealed over fireplaces reopened. There are three open ones (one is capped) and six sealed ones. Two of the open ones, including the one we routinely use, are the old style huge openings with a swinging iron bar to hang pots over. How could you not want to use that?

Sure, move with the times and all that crap but forgetting the ‘old ways’ – and I’m talking 1960s and 70s ways here, not neanderthal times – is not a good idea. What if the new-fangled way doesn’t work out?

We have the disposable society now. I used to routinely repair my old Ford Cortina MkII with a few tools and a bit of time. I changed the head gasket on an Austin Princess and drove it from Wales to Scotland. I had to strip down the pedal linkages to a Commer van once, and replaced a wheel bearing and steering rack boots on a Vauxhall Astra.

Now? I look under the bonnet of this Toyota RAV4 and I see nothing recognisable. No coil, no distributor, just a lump of plastic on top of a lump of metal. Lucky for me it’s reliable, because I would have no idea where to start to fix it.

Just down the road, someone had an Austin Seven for sale a few months back. I was sorely tempted. It has mechanics I can understand. Now you have to link the car to a computer to get any idea of what’s wrong with it.

There used to be TV repairmen. Now you just buy a new one and dump the old one. There were cobblers to fix your worn shoes. Throw them away, supermarkets will sell you a new pair for next to nothing. They’ll last about a month so don’t bother with shoe polish.

As for darning socks… I bet nobody under 30 has even heard the term. Socks are incredibly cheap now.

Incidentally, if you are ever tempted to give clothes to one of those charities that collect for the homeless (the real ones, not the fake bastards who stock their second hand shops with donations) then a pack of unused socks would be really appreciated. Especially at this time of year. They’re cheap, but there’s no such thing as ‘cheap’ when you have no money at all.

Nobody fixes anything any more. It breaks, you throw it away and buy another. In this age of the microchip, itf it’s not the battery or a connector or switch then it can’t be economically repaired. Ah, the old days, when you turned on a broken valve radio you’d picked up for a few pennies, noted which valves didn’t light up, replaced them for about a quid and then sold it fully working…

I should have kept one really. The sound quality was so much better than modern crap. But then, they wouldn’t pick up digital radio.

This winter, I have to peen the ditch blade on my scythe. It’s taken a few dings. The grass blade just needs sharpening since it doesn’t hit the stumps and rocks in the wooded part of the garden. Does anyone know what I’m talking about? I’m not Amish, these things are still in use. And yet who out there knows how to use and maintain one? Who even bothers sharpening the blades on their mower? Nah, scrap it, get a new one.

Need to replace a light switch or fitting? Need an extra outlet on a spur from the ring main? Can you do it? Do you even know what I’m talking about? EU regulations mean you are required to get a qualified electrician to do jobs we all used to do ourselves. That’s because they’ve dumbed down education to the point where modern kids don’t even realise there are wires in the wall behind those electrical outlets. They are magic holes in the wall.

The problem is, qualified electricians are getting thin on the ground. Just like good chimney sweeps. It’s time to call the one I use and I know he’s going to be busy. There are so few of them now.

Ring main and spurs. Wiring a plug. Airlocks in plumbing. Changing a tap washer, tap, installing a sink. Sharpening any kind of blade. Safely lighting an indoor fire. These were not specialist subjects in my youth and to me, they aren’t now. And yet, in a very few years, they have become the domain of a dwindling number of specialists. The principle behind the ring main was once taught in physics classes. I bet it isn’t now.

I was taught to use a forge, brazing, welding, casting, a shaper and lathe in metalwork class. I bet those are mostly banned by the modern fearful-of-lawsuit brigade. Especially the shaper. If you nodded off while using it, it would have caved in your skull.

I do have an O level in metalwork. It’s a little out of place among the rest of my qualifications but I did enjoy the subject. I could have been a blacksmith and very likely would have enjoyed it – but it’s a competitive field because there is limited call for blacksmith skills now. Lots of fire and hammering. I think I would have fitted right in there.

Now we have youth wailing about disposables while carrying bottled water. I used to go camping. We had bottled water – in refillable metal water bottles. Disposable plastic ones are a recent thing. They howl about the capitalist system throught their iPhones and then demand new ones because last year’s model is no longer good enough.

It’s going to collapse. It’s designed to do just that. These ecowarriors are the useful idiots of the new communism but don’t tell them, they won’t believe you. They are all going to die before they get much older and who will be left?

Those who know how to light a fire to stay warm. Those who can skin and gut a rabbit – those who can catch one without retching in horror. Those who understand seasons and planting and that avocados are not essential to life, and don’t grow here anyway.

The patient ones. The ones who watch it all burn and are ready to carry on after the canned-goods riots.

The idiots who think themselves superior want massive population reduction, to a level they can easily control. They have not considered the obvious.

The ones who will survive are the ones who take no notice of their propaganda, and who cannot be controlled. Their drones are going to follow their directions into the abyss. Make all the rules you want. Demand veganism and insect-eating and nonsmoking and nondrinking until you have killed off every single compliant drone. Make them all utterly dependent and useless at looking after themselves.

I’ll still be here.

Fixing things.

Extremes

Digression first – I think I have a title for the Christmas anthology. ‘The Silence of the Night’.

Although maybe ‘The Silence of the Reindeer’…or is that too brutal, even for me? I have some fava beans and a nice Chianti here if anyone wants to come round and argue about it.

Anyway. It has 16 stories from ten authors, three of whom are new entrants to the Underdog Anthologies. Stories range from traditional, whimsical, romantic, dark, to… mine. Editing is complete (unless another one comes in, it’s not closed yet) and this weekend will be occupied with sending out author contracts and payments (it’s also quarterly payments time for the novel authors) and putting it all together.

So, a quick one before going quiet again.

I hear Ohio are now demanding that doctors transplant ectopic pregnancies into the woman’s womb, or they’ll be prosecuted for ‘abortion murder’. This takes the ‘no abortion’ extreme beyond the pale. Even the Grauniad think this is a stupid idea. It’s that bad.

Ectopic pregnancy is where the placenta tries to implant in a Fallopian tube instead of in the uterus. Untreated, it is fatal. Both mother and baby will die.

The only treatment is to operate to remove the wrongly implanted foetus and that has to be done very early on, well before any sane country’s abortion limit. Yes, the baby will die but that was inevitable anyway. The mother can survive.

So, the Ohio idiots-in-charge have decreed that doctors cannot simply remove that wrongly implanted pregnancy, they must transplant it into the mother’s uterus. This is a medical procedure that, in layman’s terms, does not exist. It has never been done. It has never been attempted. Nobody has the slightest idea how to do it and it’s unlikely to work anyway.

You would have to extricate the placenta from the Fallopian tube and then reconnect it to the wall of the uterus in the exact same pattern of blood vessels. I really don’t think modern science can do this and I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of the first doctor to try it. The experiment, for that is what it would be, is likely to fail and kill both the mother and the baby.

So, you are a doctor in Ohio and you have a patient with an ectopic pregnancy. Your choices are –

  1. Do nothing, let the patient die, be sued for malpractice.
  2. Attempt a never-before-tried experimental transplant and most likely kill the patient and be sued for malpractice.
  3. Perform the correct surgery, remove the wrongly-implanted foetus, save the mother’s life and… go to jail as an ‘abortion murderer’.

If I was a medical doctor in Ohio you know what I’d do? I’d relocate, fast! Before any patient shows up that is going to wipe me out one way or another. It’s probably best to avoid Ohio because if you get sick there, they soon won’t have any doctors at all. It’s not a safe place to be saving lives.

All of this is, of course, in retaliation for those states who have decreed abortion is legal right up to the moment of birth. Incidentally, Jerry Cordite’s Labour party want that here too. Pull out a fully formed infant and kill it. Premature births survive, a full term baby has no problem surviving, but if a mother in labour decides ‘nah, I don’t like it’, then baby dies.

In America now, you can cross a state line and move between a world where doctors are prosecuted for removing a wongly-implanted and inevitably fatal cell mass to a world where full term healthy babies are legally slaughtered. How the hell did it come to this?

What happened to a sensible medium course? That’s gone now, in so many areas. Humanity has polarised into extremes in every aspect of life. The centre ground is barren, the armies face each other on the peaks of extremity.

‘If you are not with us you are against us’ has always been a silly saying. Take the matter of gay marriage. I do not ‘support’ gay marriage, I do not ‘oppose’ it. Since I have no religion and I’m not gay, I don’t care about it at all. It’s none of my business. That, however, is not allowed. I must choose whether I celebrate it or condemn it. I refuse to choose. I don’t give a damn.

The Church of Climatology declare that if you do not accept the coming Fiery Armageddon of One Degree Temperature Rise then you are a ‘climate denier’. Personally I’d rather they were more honest about it and use the term ‘climate heretic’. At least they can’t burn us at the stake, not once we explain how much CO2 that would release.

A climate denier. Someone who denies the existence of climate? Well, they mean someone who denies that the climate changes. You know, someone utterly blinkered in their view of the world. They will never see the irony.

Of course the climate changes. The land masses move around. The atmosphere changes. There was a time when the atmosphere had a lot more oxygen than it has now. Sounds great? Well, you should see the size insects and spiders grew to when their oxygen intake was far less limited. Trust me, you don’t want those days back 😉 There was also a time when there was a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere. You won’t remember that time. Humans hadn’t yet appeared. Damn those dinosaur SUV’s eh?

The climate is changing as we speak. The sun has now entered a grand solar minimum and the coming years are going to be different. The thing is, they aren’t going to be warmer. Those solar panels are going to be covered in snow and the windmills will freeze up. It’s too late to build more traditional power stations, this isn’t ‘ten years away’, it’s now. If your house doesn’t have a chimney well you’d better get a generator to run some heating. Ideally something wood-fired because fossil fuels will still be taxed to the hilt to prevent the warming that isn’t happening. You could use some of Jerry’s billion imaginary trees.

Saying that puts me at an extreme. It’s no longer a reasonable ‘look at the actual science instead of obsessing over 0.04% of the atmosphere, most of which comes from mud flats and tundra anyway’. I’m a ‘climate denier’ for trying to warn of impending climate change. Well sod it. Let the buggers freeze. At least I can say I tried.

In America, you are either 100% for Trump or 100% against him. In the UK you are either 100% for Bozza or 100% for Jerry. There is no middle ground. The Lib Dims used to be a sort-of middle ground but Jo Swindles has taken them to the extreme too. Which extreme? Well they are on a little peak of their own that nobody is really looking at.

There have been many things I used to sneer at as conspiracy theories. Common Purpose. Well that’s real. You can see their little drones doing their teacher’s semaphore-signal exaggerated ‘body language’ in their speeches. It probably works if you don’t know about it. Now their graduates are fucking things up all over the planet. And it has become clear that that is exactly what they were meant to do. Take some dopes, teach them some tricks, set them loose and they will wreck everything while they honestly believe they are doing the right thing. Useful idiots, an age-old game.

The Georgia Guidestones, a modern day mini-Stonehenge with the New Commandments etched into them. Most likely the work of a rich lunatic but taken as Gospel by the idiots-in-charge. Massive population reduction is the delight of the cuddly Attenborough who you all love even though he wants you and your family dead. Reduce the global population to an easily controlled worker colony – it’s not a conspiracy theory when it’s in the open.

Old man Soros, with the face as benign as a smiling sloth. How could one old man be behind all this crap, I used to wonder. Now, I wonder how he’s still alive, he’s had a face like a retired army marching boot for many years. Then there is the conspiracy theory on adrenochrome, and now I have to wonder… all those very old white men, all those late term abortions… is it connected? Well anyway, it’s good story fodder.

This is the thing with writing. You research things. You make links that are credible, doesn’t matter if they are true, they just have to be believable within the context of the story. Those photos of ‘chemtrails’ might just be photos of busy airspace covered with vapour trails, but if I write something about chemtrails it’ll be credible because of those photos. We don’t see many of those trails here but then we are north of Aberdeen airport. Not much comes this way apart from helicopters heading for the oil rigs. They don’t leave trails.

I’ve written things that have later been true. ‘Telephone Pest’ happened six months after I wrote it. ‘The Sweet Man’ took about a year. I have stalled so many times on ‘Panoptica’ because the things I imagined turned up in the Daily Mail days later. I have wondered if maybe I should stop.

I’ve researched things for my writing, used ‘conspiracy theories’ to make them credible, and then watched it happen. A recent one. ‘All the Strangers’, had a kid with embedded electronics he never had to remove because it was wirelessly charged while he slept. I took the idea from the primitive wireless phone chargers that had started to appear at the time and combined it with the Borg and the alcoves they recharge in.

Now there are wireless chargers built into cars, and credit cards you just have to wave next to a reader. People have embedded chips to open doors at work. They will not balk at embedded credit card chips so they just have to wave their hand at a machine to pay for their shopping. They will fight to be first.

In this one, I will not be in the desolate middle ground. I will be right at the top of the ‘NO’ peak. As I am with things like Alexa, and TV with a camera in it. I do not want listening and watching devices in my home and I am sure as hell not paying to have them there.

So many other things. The human race is polarising. Us and them. With us or against us. The middle ground is a wasteland now. Make a choice. Choose one life or the other. You cannot choose your own.

If this continues it can only lead to one outcome.

They used to say, if you’re in the middle of the road you’ll get run over. Nowadays it might be the only safe place to be.

Because nobody else is there.

The Wood and the Trees

Well, the silliness has ramped up. Bozza has ducked out of being interviewed by Andrew Neil, which I think was a bad idea. Okay, Mr. Neil has a reputation as a hard interviewer and he did wipe the floor with Nicky the Fish and Jerry Cordite. No doubt he’d do the same to Bozza. It would be embarrassing.

However, running away is never a good look for someone who wants to be the leader of a country.

On the other hand, his and Smoky Nige’s decision to snub the Church of Climatology’s debate was the right one. It was just a circle jerk of ‘I’m greener than you’ daft sods, hosted by the propaganda channel for Extinction Rebellion. The ice blocks were the winners in that debate.

Jo Swindles said she doesn’t think her five-year-old has ever seen a hedgehog. Hedgehogs are nocturnal and hibernate in winter. Not too many five year olds get to stay up late enough in summer to even see the sunset. So he probably hasn’t seen any bats or owls either, since he’d be asleep when they were active.

Jerry Cordite plans to plant something like 150 trees a minute for 20 years. Estimates vary.

Well, he clearly hasn’t considered the total land area of this country since he plans to use as much land as Wales, with no regard to towns or cities. Nor indeed, farms. Incidentally, he also promises to build 100,000 new council houses every year. Presumably they will be tree houses.

There are large areas of the UK where almost nobody lives. Drive through the very north of England at night and you’ll experience total blackness. Not so much as a porch light. For miles. Large chunks of central Wales are the same. Drive through them in daylight and you’ll see why those areas are unoccupied. It’s because they are horrible places to live.

Mountains, steep sides, nothing but grass and gorse. Not even trees. Picturesque to look at but mostly inaccessible and really not much fun in winter.

Why no trees? Can’t Jerry plant all his trees there?

Nope. For the same reason nobody cultivates crops on those lands. They are basically rock with a thin layer of topsoil. Tree roots can’t get deep enough to hold up the tree. The soil supports grass and not much else. They are grazing lands for sure-footed sheep and really not much use for anything else.

This is one of the reasons turning the country vegan is a bad idea. You can’t just kill all the sheep and cattle and grow crops instead. An awful lot of UK land only grows grass – and even if the soil could support crops, good luck ploughing and harvesting a 45-degree slope!

I’d open a scrapyard at the bottom of it and wait for the battered tractors to come rolling in…

Those billion trees aren’t going to be planted on the wide open spaces. They’ll take farmland because that’s the only place they’ll grow. No more crops.

This trees idea is as daft as Boris reinstating the entire rail network for the price of a medium sized garden railway. I’m exaggerating? There is a G scale Coronation class engine on eBay, live steam, for £6,700. That will need coaching stock and track and that’s just one train. Yes, some people spend millions on their model railways. I would too, if I ever had millions.

I haven’t heard a single realistic promise yet. Come December 12th, it’s not going to be a case of which party to vote for.

We’re going to have to decide which fantasy we want to see fail.

Abort!

I have an intermittent computer problem. I think it’s the video card driver but just to be sure I have spent tonight mostly backing up everything to do with Leg Iron Books. Just in case. I can sort this out in December after Underdog Anthology 10 is out and also Gastradamus’s short story collection.

Oh I’m also about due to pay for another year of hosting for Leg Iron Books, I have to check the dates on that!

I’m tied up with editing and writing at the moment which is why I’ve been quiet and haven’t said anything about the antivaping hysteria currently sweeping America. Well, they are an excitable bunch, those rebel colonists. That’s why we sent their ancestors there, so we could remain stoically British while all the shrieking loonies could go and live somewhere else. It might be time to try that again. Another clearout of loonies. We’re running out of places to send them.

Speaking of loonies, every political party in the UK, major and minor, is now promising shit they cannot possibly deliver in order to get us plebs to vote for them.

One thing stood out for me. Labour now want to follow the American Democrat dream of allowing abortion up to the moment of birth.

This is buried under their other impossible promises but it stood out for me because I’ve been writing a horror story based on this. Those near-term babies are a rich source of stem cells. The regeneration cells. The real elixir of youth if you can extract and use them correctly. Forget about the ‘adrenochrome’ crap, that’s just a drug, it has no use in biology.

Now this idea has come to the UK, touted by old men, isn’t that strange?

Can I get a story out of this? Oh hell yes, and you won’t believe it just like you chuckled over ‘All the Strangers’ and ‘For Whom the Bells Jingle’ and all the rest that are coming to fruition before your eyes.

Implanted chips and wireless charging, sounds harmless, doesn’t it? Even sounds like a great idea. Ever wondered why the Borg have to rest in those alcoves? Well, that’s you, that is. Recharging your implants.

You people buy listening devices for your homes. You buy televisions with cameras in them, they watch you more than you watch them. You delight in contactless credit cards and will fight to be first to have the chip implanted so you can’t lose it. You are becoming Borg and you are loving it. Assimilation will be easy. Resistance isn’t futile. There isn’t any.

I have a new Christmas story, well, two, one is just for fun. They will be in Underdog Anthology Ten for Christmas and one of them will be free on here.

Expect tales of gloom and despair.

It’s what I do 🙂

Running to Teacher

I didn’t watch the so-called ‘leader’s debate’ because it was pointless. It always is. They just spout nonsense at each other and then both sides claim it as a win. That’s because both sides’ leaders are saying what each side wants to hear. Well I’m sick of listening to any of them.

I’d watch it if it was decided in a fist fight. ‘In the red corner, Jezza the Jam-maker. In the blue corner, Bozza the Clown. Seconds out, round one.’ I think that would really pull in the ratings.

The Left Out Kids went whining to teacher. Jo Swindles and Nicky the Fish weren’t invited so off they went to the High Court with ‘Please sir, they won’t let us play’. Fortunately, this time the court saw sense and told them to stop being silly and get on with their homework. ITV stands for ‘independent television’. It’s not State owned like the BBC, it’s a private company and they are allowed to decide who they invite into the Shouty Room Show.

Strange though. These same courts have castigated private businesses, bakers and bed-and-breakfast alike, for attempting to decide who they want as customers. Seems not all private businesses are equal in the eyes of the law.

It’s not the first time politics has been decided by the courts. The Left Out Kids took Bozza to court because he closed Parliament a few days early. They made him open it again, they all marched back in and… did bugger all. It was a complete waste of money and of the court’s time. But hey, at least they got to claim more expenses.

London courts are busy places, what with all the stabbings and shootings since guns and knives were banned. The mini-Mayor in charge has a plan though, he plans to pretend it’s not happening unless white people say bad words. Then, oh then he turns into the MicroHulk and sets his dogs on them.

Our politicians have a plan too,. They plan to ban guns and knives harder. Because that worked so well the first time. Bozza wants to let the police search people for banned things, including (I kid you not) those people the police know have a history of carrying weaponry around with them. You know, the ones they haven’t bothered arresting so far.

I hear the ex-Squeaker, Tyrion Bercow, is to appear on a TV show. Since many people watch TV on their phones now, I suppose they have to pick people who will fit on the screen. I won’t watch it. I haven’t watched TV for a long time. I used to like Dr. Who, and to be honest I wasn’t too bothered with the (admittedly rather forced) change to a woman Doctor. They picked a good actress. I thought she might do a good job. However, the political correctness and the silly lecture at the end of each show stopped me before the end of the series.

It was the giant spider one that finished it for me. This ‘kind’ doctor locked all the spiders in a room and left them there. With no food. They would eat each other until the last one grew so big it would be unable to breathe. Then she wanted to let the ‘mother’ spider asphyxiate rather than let the arse of a hotel owner shoot it. That was not the actions of someone who has thousands of years of life experience.

Still, I do not run to the courts and cry that they won’t let me play. I just stopped watching the show. As I did way back when Sylveste McCoy wore the Riddler outfit and shut down the show for decades.

There are businesses out there that don’t want my custom because I like to smoke. I’m not going to do sad-face in the Daily Mail and go to court over it. There are plenty of other businesses who do want my custom. Besides, why would I patronise an antismoker business? Let them have their smug superiority. Someone else will have my money.

I don’t get it. I really don’t. I cannot recall any past election where the minor parties demanded equal time. Are we going to see the one Green MP, Cascading Mucus, demand equal time too? How about Platitudes Cymru or the DUP and the Ever Changing Name Party We Just Made Up going for it too?

To go to court over it though. To try to use the law to force a private business to do as they are told. That would be shocking if it hadn’t already been used so many times before.

The gay men who deliberately tried to book into a devoutly Christian B&B so they could get in the Daily Mail and then sue. The gay men who travelled past so very many bakeries to demand a gay wedding cake from a devoutly Christian baker. Funny, they never try this with any other religion. They were successful in their targeting.

The girlie-man who identified as a woman and wanted a waxing parlour to de-hair his girl-balls. At least he/she/it didn’t win that one.

All I see in the world now is utter, utter desperation. Anti-Tories are trying to set up Jerry Cordite as serious competition. I mean, really? I don’t trust Bozza the Clown but at least he doesn’t have the economic grasp and general appearance of Worzel Gummidge without his thinking head on. He walks like a Morlock and talks like a Spitting Image puppet but of the two main options I still think he’s the least bad.

As for Jo Swindles, or Nicky the Fish, or all the rest of them, I’d still rather have Bozza. All I can say about him is he’s the least bad option. We don’t have a good option.

Desperation. The EU is falling apart. Guy Thermostat has been bad mouthing Viktor Orban, and also the ruling Polish party, openly on Twitter. This is not a cohesive organisation. We’re better to jump this ship before it sinks.

France is fucked. The yellow vests have been protesting every weekend for over a year and it’s getting bigger, not smaller. Nobody in power seems to care. The MSM have only just noticed it.

Germany is collapsing under the weight of migrants. Even Chancer Merkin has admitted it. What will she do about it? Nothing at all.

Spain is imprisoning political opponents. Italy is about to explode in rage. The EU is all but over.

And they all blame Russia. Russia doesn’t have to lift a finger to destroy Europe. The EU is doing a fine job of it all on its own. Putin just needs a good popcorn supply.

And then there’s the Church of Climatology. Prince Harry, the ultimate product of centuries of inbreeding. has stated that every family needs a Greta Thunberg. A school-dodging, expensive entitled teenager with delusions of having her childhood destroyed. Sure, we should all have one. All while pushing that Green agenda that has children half her age digging for the required minerals in the Congo and in China, and producing lakes of toxic waste in the process. But hey, she has been forced to sail on fancy expensive boats made of petroleum products so she’s the one suffering here.

In America, the Democrats claim the people can’t be trusted not to vote for Donnie Trumpton so they have to remove him. Sounds very like Jerry Cordite’s attempt to take over the UK government without an election. Desperation.

I have a feeling things are going to get very nasty soon. All over Europe and the USA and in a lot of other places too. It’s going to be… interesting.

Once the real winter hits, the Grand Solar Minimum which isn’t in the future but is already here, then the fan will have an awful lot of shit to shift. Winter isn’t coming. It’s here and it’s not factored into anyone’s plans.

This time there is no teacher to run to.

Hunger strikes and internet

The final round of visitors for the year have left. Nobody else is likely to want to visit now – it’s cold and wet and it’s dark by 4 pm. We’ve had our first icy patches, a taste of the coming winter, and the days have not yet finished shortening. Peace at last. Just to be sure, I will be circulating rumours about demons prowling the grounds in winter.

My mother has suggested we turn this place into a bed and breakfast. We’ve had a taste of what that would be like this year and it’s an absolute ‘no’ from both of us. See, neither of us actually like people very much and we don’t like getting up early. We don’t like the extra laundry generated by rapid changes of bedding and possibly most important of all, we only have one bathroom.

Add to that the absence of heating in the upstairs rooms and it would take some serious building work to make this place habitable for more than just a few people.

Anyway, the visits are over until at least late March, when the weather usually starts to become a bit less horrible, and that means lots of writing and publishing. I have a short story collection by the somewhat eccentric Gastradamus and editing is under way on the submissions so far received for the Christmas anthology. It’s going to be a big one and submissions are still open.

I have been trying to catch up with the news. Apparently Donnie Trumpton is now to be impeached because of something to do with Ukraine, but I can’t pay too much attention to other countries’ politics. Ours is in such a shambles it’s all anyone can do to keep up with it all.

Boris the Spider has promised to restore 5000 miles of railway and all the stations associated with it for 500 million shiny British pounds. We’ve all had a laugh at Diane Abbot’s flimsy grasp of real life costs, but Boris seems to be no better. 500 million would lay about a mile of track after they’ve paid for and demolished all the buildings that now exist on the old track beds. Most of the old bridges are gone, the ones left won’t be safe after half a century of neglect, and many of the tunnels have been filled in. 500 million? Hahaha.

The Keith and Dufftown Railway is a privately owned preserved line. It runs from the old Keith Town station, through a couple of wayside halts, to the old Dufftown station. It’s a favourite trip for me because it runs the old diesel multiple units I loved travelling on in the Welsh Valleys – the ones where you can sit right behind the driver and get a view through the front window.

Also because Keith is the home of Chivas Regal’s distillery and Dufftown has the Glenfiddich and Balvenie distilleries. It’s where the exceptionally smooth Singleton of Dufftown comes from. If you like ancient buildings, the ruin of Balvenie castle is also worth a visit. It’s very close to Glenfiddich’s distillery.

Now, just for once, there is a point to this digression. The old Keith Town station, now privately owned, is not too far from the main Keith station that is still operated as part of the national network. There is no longer any track between them, but the track bed is intact. The private railway would dearly love to reconnect to the main line but it costs far too much. If they could do it they would be able to provide the distilleries in Dufftown with a rail link to the main line. Yeah, there would be considerable profit, allowing the private line to actually pay the volunteers who run it now, and it would also reduce the numbers of huge trucks leaving those really big distilleries to transport whisky along the terrible roads in the area.

Boris, that might be a good place to start.

Jerry Cordite has promised free broadband for all. Yeah, right. We are still on copper-wire phone lines on posts out here. I don’t think he’s costed the more remote areas, you know. I actually get faster internet using the phone on 4G as a hotspot – but that only works in the right parts of this place because mobile reception is shit too.

Besides, as several commenters on Twitter have pointed out, if you’re going to make something free, why not water? Or electricity or gas? You know, stuff everyone needs. Not everyone uses the internet, even now, yet everyone will have to pay outrageous taxes so Jerry can give out his freebies. The taxes wouldn’t seem quite so bad if they were covering something as basic as a reliable water supply.

Ah, but it’s not really about free broadband. You’ll never see that. The first stage in making the internet ‘free’ is, of course, for government to take total control of it. Then they won’t make it ‘free’ in any sense. The government once owned British Telecom, the railways and the postal service. Was any of that ever free? Once they own something, they profit from it. You pay the costs, they take the profit. That’s socialism.

The internet under government control will be censored, monitored, and, as has just happened in Iran, switched off when the population cause the government problems.

Don’t imagine the Tories are any different. Tessie Maybe salivated at the prospect of internet control for many years, and tried to get it more than once. Government control of the internet is a terrible idea, no matter who is in charge.

I see Extinction Rebellion have rebranded as Election Rebellion, which is no surprise. They were always obviously communists using any pretext to force their ridiculous and deadly world view on us all.

They are now going on hunger strike for a week for some reason or other, I don’t know what they hope to achieve and don’t care. A week? They’ll be in Pret as soon as the sun goes down on day one. They cannot go 24 hours without their avocado toast and gingerbread lattes.

A week. I am singularly unimpressed. Muslims do this every year and they do it for a month. So the feeble watermelon warriors are going to try it for a week, once, and I bet not a single one of them makes it to Wednesday.

I once co-supervised an Indonesian student through his M.Sc. Brilliant guy, we ended up with a very good paper on ruminant microbiology from his eight weeks with us. Needless to say, he passed easily.

He was Muslim. This was back in the 1990s when we weren’t assailed with Islam this and Islam that from all sides. We thought nothing of it. He was a devout Muslim but he never mentioned it. Never tried to convert anyone. Never threatened anyone. Never demanded a prayer room or any kind of special treatment. His religion was personal to him, as it should be. And he was a very nice guy in general.

It was Ramadan, in June, in Scotland. The sun was up before 5 am and still there at 10 pm. He wasn’t eating or drinking anything during daylight hours. The poor bugger nearly passed out before we figured this out. And yet he produced work of a quality good enough to publish. While slowly starving to death.

The Watermelon Warriors, the ones who haven’t given up by Tuesday, will, on Wednesday, be on Twatter and Farcebok telling the world how they are suffering for their cause. I’ll tweet them pictures of plates piled high with food to help them cope.

Still, I suppose they’ll be well practiced for their dreamed-of Socialist future under Corbyn.

Then they’ll finally find out what ‘hunger’ really means.

Money

One of my favourite Pink Floyd songs ever.

I’m told there is an issue with commenting here, apparently Google and WordPress are each calling the other invalid. Best guess: one of them updated and ballsed something up. That’s usually the reason. Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon.

Anyway. Money. My favourite quote on the subject came fom an Andy Capp cartoon many, many years ago. Flo returns home from shopping and says ‘It’s frightening how the pound’s going down in value’. Andy responds: ‘Well it’s a good thing we don’t have many of them then, isn’t it?”

It’s pretty much how I’ve always felt about it. This feeling has only been increased by finding out about fractional reserve banking and how most money is simply created by typing numbers on a screen. I don’t need very much money. In fact, I need other people to have cash to spare because I’m always trying to sell something. If other people have no money, they can’t buy from me.

In the past I sold my knowledge as a microbiologist. I’ve retired from that now, not least because science has, by and large, become really quite silly. Food, drink, smoking, climate, and now vaping – it’s clear they are just making shit up. Not even very convincingly, I was more convincing when I explained the lack of roundabouts in America in terms of Roman invasion. This reflects on science as a whole so nobody trusts science any more. Maybe that was the plan.

These days I sell books. Mine and other peoples’ too. If there was nobody out there with disposable income, nobody would buy them. It’s tough enough now – I really don’t want other people to be poor!

Jerry Cordite has declared that there are 150 billionaires in the UK. There won’t be if he gets elected, they’ll be packed up and ready to go just in case. Can he stop them moving money? Hardly. It only takes a few keypresses these days and it’s moved to the other side of the planet. Billionaires don’t even need to book flights. They own planes. And yachts the size of cruise liners.

He also says there are 14 million in poverty. Poverty is when you have no shoes and you ride out the winter under a bridge dressed in rags. The New Poverty is where your iPhone is last year’s model and you can’t afford the latest Reeboks. There are real poverty-stricken people living on the streets but not 14 million of them. Thanks to the Green Agenda, this winter will reduce the real number significantly, as well as clearing out many of those over-70s who are too smart to vote Labour.

So Jerry thinks a fair country would have no billionaires and everyone is equal in the bread queue. Who the hell does he think owns the factories and other businesses that employ so many people and produce all that stuff? When he flushes out the billionaires, they take their business with them. There won’t be any bread at the end of that queue. Nobody is employing anyone to bake it.

I don’t care that other people are billionaires. I’ll never be one, I don’t want to work that hard and I certainly don’t want to employ other people. Not now that the Entitled Generation is looking for work where they expect to get paid for looking cool on Facebook and playing online games. I don’t want a yacht, I don’t need a Lear jet, I have no interest in owning a football team, I just need enough to pay the bills and have some left over for baccy and booze. Oh and toy trains.

In my almost-60 years I have paid higher rate income tax twice, both times on redundancy payouts. I will not work to reach the level of working for half pay. What’s the point? A huge house? The one we rent now is too big really, there are five rooms used only for storage of accumulated junk (must get around to clearing that out) and there is a vast attic we haven’t used at all. Cleaning it is a nightmare, you knock down cobwebs at one end of the house and by the time you get to the other end, the spiders have rebuilt the first ones.

How about a fancy car? Well I have a 2005 Toyota, it starts every time, it’s cheap for servicing and parts, and I don’t care if you drop a sandwich in it. I really do not want a car that I have to worry about, that I would have to maintain like a living room and which is worth more than most houses. Besides, those low slung things would lose their exhaust on the way up this driveway.

I never understood why millionaires have cars at all. Why bother? With that much money I’d just call someone and have the stuff delivered. I don’t need to go there myself. And I could take taxis to and from the pub. I’d never sober up again.

The whole world is obsessed with money. Most of which doesn’t actually exist. Everything is about money. It’s the biggest social construct of all and everyone acts as though it’s the only aim of life.

In one of the Batman films, the one with Heath Ledger as Joker, Alfred tells Batman that ‘Some men don’t care about money. Some men just want to watch the world burn’. The two things are not connected. I don’t care about money beyond having enough to live on but I don’t want to destroy things. I just want to be left alone.

The obsession with money is the downfall of all the political parties. It ‘costs the Treasury’. No it doesn’t. The Treasury takes in other people’s money. It isn’t a ‘cost’ if it takes a bit less. It ‘costs the NHS’. Well we’re all paying for it so it costs the NHS nothing. It costs us – and we’ve already paid.

All these policies, all these manifestos, are all about money. It’s not even real! It’s an agreed means of transfer, so a carpenter doesn’t have to build a chair a day to pay his rent. He can swap the chair for money and pay his rent with that. Since rent of a ‘chair a day’ is probably somewhat excessive, the carpenter can use the extra cash to get food and more wood for the next chair. It’s convenient. It is not meant to be your God.

When people like me say we don’t care about money, it’s like we are Money Atheists. ‘Oh so you can live without money eh?’

Well no. I have to pay council tax no matter what. I have to fuel, insure and maintain my car if I want to go anywhere. Especially here – two buses a day and the nearest railway station is 15 miles away. I have to buy food. I can grow and catch only so much here – and if I want fish I need to buy a permit to fish in the river.

It’s not the same as religious atheism. I can live without worshipping or even acknowledging any God. I can ignore religion entirely. But money, you can’t ignore. There’s always someone who wants to be paid for something – or in the case of politicians, they want to be paid to tell you how much to pay them. If you can’t pay they send the boys round to throw you in jail. It’s a feedback loop you can’t evict.

Corbyn and his drooling idiot gang seem to think that you just have to give everyone the same amount of money and it’s all fixed. Capitalism will be gone. But money is capitalism.

If you pressed a button and everyone had the same amount of money, what happens? Some will piss it away on fancy cars and booze. Others will invest in things they can then sell for more money. In a matter of weeks you are back to having a few billionaires and millions who are broke. Russia found this out, as did China, and they modified their systems to accept it. Neither are truly communist because communism cannot work.

It works for bees and ants because within those colonies, the workers are all the same. Humans are not all the same. Communes can work on a small scale if like minded humans get together to make it work, but on a countrywide scale, no chance. It has to be forced, as in North Korea.

If you have to force people to follow your Utopian dream, then it’s not Utopia. And it’s not a dream, it’s a nightmare.

The obsession with money is already killing the planet. Look at what the Greens are doing with their cobalt and neodymium mines and their hundreds of tons of concrete under every windmill. You know dead windmills go to landfill, right? The Greens make money on that too. Where does the money come from? Why, it comes from you, sucker.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were politicians who cared about people more than money?

Pipe dreams. Sometimes it’s all we have left.