Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Workers of the world unite you have nothing to lose...

...but your hot water bottles, your electric blankets and your snuggle wraps.

Jeremy Corbyn may well be a blast from the past brought here by some socialist Tardis but he needs the kind of miracle Timelord is used to delivering if he is to have a chance of becoming PM.

So let me start by encouraging him to sing the praises of centralised heating in Moscow built by the genius of the comrades from the soviet era. Flats there continue to be piped with hot water from power plants which dominate the skyline to this day.

Warmth is sacred in the Russian home. In days gone by cottages were dominated by a masonry stove the size of a car. Snow might reach the windows outside but who cared when you can sleep on top and soak up the heat all night.

Nowadays central planning continues to ensure temperatures stay high in winter so that everyone lounges around in T-shirts and shorts even if outside temperatures fall to minus 31F. So much so that Russians visiting London complain of the damp and cold and even sleeping under the duvet in their overcoats.

What better vote winner then than a new generation of coal fired power plants circulating our cities and delivering cheap and plentiful heat to our homes. Forget HS2 and Hinckley Point. Re-open the coal mines. Nationalise hot water!

I reckon there are plenty of my friends ready to throw off the snuggle blanket and recycle the hot water bottle.

Remember Jeremy the miracle started here!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Alas poor sewing box

I knew him, but fleetingly, after all these years. A treasure of infinite surprise, of most excellent fancy, I rarely saw you open.

A button here, a name tag there, the effort of threading a needle a thousand times; and now, how wistful in my imagination it is! My eyes blink in surprise at it.

Here it hangs that lid that seemed never to want to stay shut. Full to overflowing with who knows what. Where be your scissors now? your odds and ends? your flashes of colour that were wont to set me thinking of socks lost long ago?

Not one now, to mock us any longer, by falling out the cupboard as soon as it opened. As if to say, I am still here? Of course, now play with me?

Now let me to my lady's chamber, and tell her, it has come to this, let her paint a smile an inch, nay a foot thick, for I foresee of this she will be greatly relieved, nay released!

Monday, 22 August 2016

"Eye hath not seen.....

...nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

We will mark today the passing of Margaret Halliwell through death to a life which is outside our imaginings. A life which the inspired writers of the Bible conveyed with words and pictures carrying a significance beyond time.

It is doubly touching that Margaret who could not see as we see on this earth can now see in every sense and even more than we who are left behind.

I remember going to see her at her home not many weeks ago. She was a great fan of Test Match Special - more a Jonathan Agnew than an Ed Smith fan. But Geoffrey Boycott is a Yorkshireman and that will always grate with  true Lancashire lass. So I took her the ump's ball counter to feel and somehow carry into her imagination something of the reality of the ump's craft(?). I have a lasting memory of her trying on my white coat and being drowned by it. Margaret you see was small of stature but that was the only small thing about her.

Big in heart and big in faith she knew in a far deeper way than I ever will what it means for faith to be "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

I shall miss her. 

Wednesday, 20 April 2016


Here I am back in this part of the galaxy to pay tribute to FreeLanceNerd on what would have been his upcoming 40th birthday and what do I find?

Not only is the good ol' US of A in the grip of a election fever about a blond mop head on 2 legs but his twin brother is shouting the odds in the UK about something called Brexit and a referendum. What's more he's allied to a know-it-all who once declared the teaching establishment as the blob! He should have been with me in the star system at the top right of this picture and he'd know all about blobs. An Alice in Wonderland pair if ever I knew one.

So what is this Brexit about? Liberation from the bureaucrats of Brussels  cry Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Apparently it is something to do with leaving Europe and all those foreigners behind although how the UK "leaves" Europe is not immediately obvious to me. Is it to be floated off into the Atlantic towards sunnier climes?

But fellow time travelers whisper to me their ambition is much bigger than mere Brexit. Why stop there? We need to end the tyranny of the galaxy itself they mutter. If we break free from the tyrannical rule of gravity we can bounce all the way to Mars and beyond in a moment. Think of all that will save besides finding land to solve the housing shortage at a stroke! And the sooner we can halt all those aliens appearing on our TV screens the better. No more hiding behind the sofa to avoid daleks, cybermen, oods, judoons and dare I mention, weeping angels. The real agenda is Milkywexit - nothing less than reclaiming the heavens for planet earth!

 Sadly I cannot tap into the wisdom of FLN to discuss these matters with the seriousness they deserve. We miss his raging rants and rolling round the floor laughter to add spice and season to these weighty matters. But I shall do my best to ensure that his singular style is heard in these coming weeks as referendum day approaches. And remember what this is really all about.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Someone's smiling at the Holte End....

... but there are not many doing that these days. Unless of course at the thought of tucking into a savory meat pie of the kind Curly Al used to sell!

It is nearly 3 years since I last posted in the blogosphere but the dire events at Villa Park this season have compelled me to take to cyberspace once more.

After all how could I stand by when I can feel the disbelief, anger, outrage and despair of FreeLanceNerd. I can still point to the impressions in the wall of our back bedroom where he hammered his head in frustration after one especially bad result. And there was the European game under floodlights when he was so excited at the Villa scoring a goal his glasses fell off and he managed to stand on them in his delighted dance.

Bring back Deadly Doug. Please sell Mr Lerner - even to Donald Trump! Now that would bring FLN to the boil! What a delicious thought...

Friday, 11 January 2013

Mass Clean

This week the carpets have been cleaned in the Tardis. But at the same time putting at risk the accuracy of the weights used by Timelord for the vital business of weighing the ingredients for staple delights like apple cake.

As all good metrologists know weights can change with deposits from muck and other debris in the air and guess where all that carpet dirt has gone?  Teapot is careful not to risk the accuracy of these weights by disturbing dust through dusting but carpet cleaning is like a debris tsunami.

Teapot must now use her skills in the lingua franca to speak to the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures in Sevres near Paris. They are the custodian of a small cylinder of platinum iridium alloy weighing just one kilo. In  fact The Kilogram. The ultimate reference standard for all kilos. Yet over time pollutants add to its mass requiring a delicate cleaning operation.  Not just a bit of spit and polish but the touch of a chamois leather soaked in ethanol and ether along with a subtle application of steam. Dozens of replicas of The Kilogram are found around the world but all are shipped back to Paris from time to time to have the special authentic French cleaning treatment. Too gentle a clean leaves contaminants behind whilst too much of the elbow grease makes matters worse or erodes the metal itself.

So task one for the week ahead is for Teapot to search out the secret formula of this operation and gently restore the pristine quality of the pounds and ounces. No more cleaning. No more dusting until all is well with them again. Even if that means a trip to Paris......

What an incentive?!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Gun Law

On December 14 Adam Peter Lanza shot and killed twenty children and six adult staff members and wounded two others at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Connecticut.

The horror of it all is only matched by a despair at the paralysis within the American body politic over gun control. We ought to be outraged at the pronouncements of the leader of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre who   proposed that the "only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." All schools should have the "benefit" of armed guards just like banks and airports.

But its predictability numbs us to its stupidity. Yet who would bet against a shoot out in an American elementary school a year or so from now like a scene from a wild west film with the good guys shooting it out from behind overturned desks with the bad guys as their mental state deludes them into thinking the youngsters are hostile invaders from another planet.

An event like this screams out for a rant from FreeLanceNerd. Timelord remembers his return from visiting his great friend Ethnoquest in California in 1998. As soon as he entered the house he took out from his suitcase copies of magazines offering guns and rifles for sale. We were harangued  at length and more and more at length about the madness of our cousins across the pond.

FreeLanceNerd I can hear you now......