Tag Archives: hypocrisy

Christmas Stamps

Empty Head – Empty Afternoon

I’ve dropped Julia at work, shopped, visited and made a vegetable stew. I then sat down with the intention of writing a gripping narrative of my morning and found that I feel like I’m sitting here with a big ball of cotton wool where my brains usually are. Nothing is taking shape and the time is slowly dribbling away.

Tomorrow I intend breaking the law, which I don’t really want to do. It is a small infraction but if everyone does it, it soon becomes a major problem. It is also hypocritical as I have previously been very critical of people who have broken the laws relating to disease control. The trouble is that the offence is small enough for me to tell myself it’s unimportant. It is also a drop in the ocean compared to the recent  mass migration of Londoners. However, all those Londoners were doing was the same that I am going to do – travel a few days early. It doesn’t seem too bad if you say it like that, but in big enough numbers everything builds up to a tsunami of variant Covid virus.

The first of my warning alarms has just gone off – time to wrap this up and collect Julia. That’s assuming it’s possible to wrap something up when you haven’t really started.

I need 312 words to hit the 250 limit, and a quick mention that the header picture is a type of Christmas stamp I haven’t seen before may well get me over the line. It has. The 63p stamp is from an older series but the £2.55 stamps are for this year’s large letters up to 100g to World Zone 2 (Australia and New Zealand and a few other places). It was a bulk lot of coins and needed quite a lot of postage.

I bought chocolate brownies this morning, so I predict a nice cup of tea in the near future. Suddenly it’s all looking up.

Not My Best Day

Sorry, I’m struggling with a throbbing ankle tonight after too much walking today. I say walking, I mean a few laps of the shop. It isn’t impressive. When you think that in my teens I used to walk to a market town 13 miles away, eat my sandwiches and then come back the long way, this shows how much I have declined. It also shows I used to live in a flat part of the country.

I often thought about buying a bike and doing the run from land’s End to John O’Groats but it remained a daydream. If only…

Unfortunately I think this is now likely to remain a dream.

Christmas is now officially cancelled, and the nation is having to take holier than thou advice from a man with a father who has been photographed more than once flouting Covid guidelines and supported an adviser who did the same. It doesn’t sit well.

Even Julia, who is generally not one to bear a grudge, said the same. When you manage to upset her, you really are pushing your luck. I know this from experience.

I’ve been looking at government stats on vaccinations – at the rate we are going I’m more likely to die of old age than I am to be vaccinated. I think the government has worked out that if they allow those of us in the 45-65 age groups to suffer high Covid mortality it’s better for the pension scheme than keeping us going for another 20-30 years.

If I ever get round to planning a prize-winning blockbuster (because nobody ever plans to write a mediocre potboiler) I may use this as the main premise – a group of accountants releases a deadly virus to make up for deficiencies in the welfare state. I just need to find a reason why there is a hole in the finances – as they are accountants wine, women and song aren’t going to play a big part in their lives and it’s unlikely they put a billion on red in Monte Carlo.

Ah well, I’ll just have to see what my imagination comes up with over night…

At least Strictly Come Dancing ended well.




Study Number 1 - The Idiot

Masks! Rules! Hypocrisy!

I spent half an hour chatting to WP technical support last night. I forced something, I clicked links, I cleared my cache. As a result I seem to have lost my saved passwords and had trouble getting back into WordPress. I’m not sure why I bother, as the issue with missing pictures is, I’m told, down to me and my outdated browser (which I can’t update because the operating system is too old). Strange thing is that it’s been old and outdated for years, but I only started having problems when I was forced onto the new editor.

With household bills of several thousand pounds looming, I’m not going to be updating in the near future. I’m hoping the missing photos may come back. They weren’t there last night but came back about 20 minutes ago as I was typing, so I’m hopeful that something has been altered.

While I was in TESCO earlier in the week I noticed that three of the five people on checkout weren’t wearing masks. One had a mask, one had a visor (though some shops insist customers wear a mask with a visor) and three had no face covering at all. This is the shop that sent me an email recently, in which they said –

“We’ve provided all of our store colleagues with face coverings, and added protective screens at our checkouts, to help protect them and you.”

Presumably, having provided face coverings, the company thinks it’s OK for staff not to use them.

I nipped into ALDI today to buy flowers for Julia and a couple of bits and pieces. Yes, I know I shouldn’t be shopping so much. Three staff on the tills, no face coverings. More importantly, three customers out of the eight queuing had no face coverings. Difficult to enforce a rule you don’t keep yourself.

I’m not really sure how good the masks are – there is so much conflicting evidence. Common sense tells you they should be doing some good. However, common sense also tells me that if people aren’t wearing them they are prepared to break other lockdown rules too. Of course, if the politicians don’t follow the rules

And that is only a short list of high-profiler politicians and public figures who have been caught breaking the rules. Footballers and cricketers, including those on international duty, local politicians and other MPs not listed in that article have all flouted the rules.

However, ordinary people, like a metal detectorist I know, are having to stick to the rules. Metal detecting clubs can only have six people at an event. They aren’t even allowed to have six on one field and six on another – to do that risks a fine.

The saddest thing about Covid, for me, hasn’t been the death or the disruption, we can work round this and death, after all, will happen to us all at some point. The saddest thing has been the way the rich and powerful have ignored rules, then acted as if it didn’t matter. And possibly the most shameful thing to come out of it is the way that ordinary people have been fined while high-profile figures have been allowed to get away with it.

The War on Statues

I’ve used the Statue of Liberty as the header picture as I don’t have many statue pictures and if you’re going to borrow one you may as well borrow one of the best known and most symbolic statues in the world. This, however, is a post about statues in the UK and their history.

Having struggled to make sense of recent events, and tried in vain to to write about it in a suitable way, I am just going to write whatever comes to mind. These are my thoughts – warts and all. That’s a quote from Oliver Cromwell, by the way. He’s on the list of statues suggested for removal.

If people think that removing statues will improve their lives I will let them get on with it. Attempts to modify history are seldom successful, and I suspect the war on statues, particularly the vandalism element, will merely result in more conflict and less progress.

I see that a statue of Baden-Powell is to be taken down out of fear that it may be attacked. As the Bristol Police are refusing to take action over the Colston statue, we could be seeing an open season on statues.

Back in Bristol, a statue of Alfred Fagon, a notable local playwright, has been attacked with bleach in what is seen as a racist attack.

Captain Cook statue – on the list for removal

As Isaac Newton told us, in his Third Law of Motion, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Life isn’t quite as tidy as science, and the reaction might be unequal. Look at the growing number of counter-demonstrations as an example.

Having mentioned Isaac Newton, I now have to point out that he was an investor in the South Sea Company and thus profited from slavery in the same way that Thomas Guy did. They want to remove Guy’s statue and rename the hospital, but they seem content to keep using the hospitals he helped to build. I suppose that means we have to pull down Newton’s statue and rename his Laws of Motion. However, I hope we will keep gravity.

If you think that I’m treating a serious subject with undue levity, I will stress that I’m not making light of death or racism, just the nonsense that surrounds and obscures the subject. I’ll leave you with a quote from a proper, serious politician.

“Why was that statue removed in the way that it was removed? Because for 20 years, protesters and campaigners had used every democratic lever at their disposal, petitions, meetings, protests, trying to get elected politicians to act, and they couldn’t reach a consensus and they couldn’t get anything done.”



And there was me thinking that the point of democracy was that you didn’t just smash things you disagree with. Democracy is rule by majority, and if the majority couldn’t care less then you need to educate us, not resort to violence.

Democracy, as Churchill said, is the worst form of government, apart from all the others, though the protestors don’t seem keen on Churchill either.

Statue of Thomas Paine at Thetford – was it really four years ago that we visited?


In Praise of Potatoes

One of the better events of my week was the purchase of potatoes last Sunday. We had run out and although we don’t eat a lot (I’m trying to cut down on carbs) I was uncomfortable relying on rice and pasta. Although I like rice and pasta they will never replace potatoes.

We had mashed potatoes tonight, with butter, mustard and spring onions. Whilst I was looking up ways to jazz up the mash I read a recipe (if you can call it that) where the writer said “I’ve never used a hand masher before”.


(That’s an interrobang, by the way, it is, a proper punctuation mark with a fifty year history, and not just something I’ve made up. That doesn’t excuse it, but on the other hand , how do you express the proper degree of incredulity at someone who writes recipes but has never used a hand masher. How have they been mashing their vegetables until now?)

We are getting into ring-pull territory here? Do you remember that? It was 2017 when someone posted on Mumsnet with the opinion that only poor people used can openers. Well-off people bought cans with ring-pulls.

I, needless to say, have a can opener and buy the cheapest cans. That makes me poor, though if I were really poor I’d buy my chick peas in bags and soak them myself.

Interesting events tonight as the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland has resigned after admitting visiting her second home, against her own advice. Hypocritical? Yes. But if she’s one of the best medical brains we have, is her resignation the best thing for Scotland or, as we are attached, the UK?

I had to laugh though, when I read a Twitter comment asking if Prince Charles will be warned for going to his Scottish holiday home to self-isolate, instead of staying at home in England.

As you can see, the free photo resource is not the be all and all. I searched for “Prince Charles”. This what I got. Thank goodness I didn’t search for Prince Albert.

shallow focus photography of a cavalier king charles spaniel

Photo by Steshka Willems on Pexels.com


Still no Charger

Just another short post and a recycled picture because I can’t upload pictures without a card reader or USB port. I used to do it for eBay using something called File Transfer Protocol. I can remember the name and the fact it took ages, but I can’t for the life of me remember how it worked.

The charger should be here tomorrow. I can’t tell you why, because Julia says I’m being ungrateful.

It has taken three adults to produce this state of affairs.

If I’d done it you would currently be reading a longer, better illustrated post. Least said, soonest mended, as they say.

I eavesdropped on an interesting conversation this morning. Someone who packs a lot of coins for banks was complaining that they are still having to use plastic bags despite everyone trying to cut down on plastic use. They were very indignant about it.

What made me laugh was that only five minutes earlier they had been comparing holidays, and the necessary long haul flights, they had taken recently. This included South America and a tour of the islands of the Indian Ocean.

To be fair, crying would also be a valid response.

Today’s recycled photos are cacti.

I’m hoping to be back on my laptop tomorrow.




Struggling with Time and Stupidity

I’m currently 80% of the way through Eat that Frog!, which is a time management book by a man called Brian Tracy. The book includes advice on time management, an autobiography that seems to indicate that he left school at the age of eleven to join the Merchant Navy, and an overworked metaphor about eating a frog. You probably worked that out that last bit from the title.

The idea is that if you had to eat a live frog every morning none of your other daily tasks would seem so bad.

My version Eat that Pickled Beetroot!, is even more gastronomically revolting, but less catchy as a title. I should imagine that it will be very popular with people who share my views on pickled beetroot but less so with people who like extended amphibian metaphors.

Of course,  if you are looking for a simple way to cut down on wasted time you might want to consider cutting out time spent reading books about time management. It’s similar to buying a book about decluttering, as I pointed out in a previous post when my sister did exactly that.

Things have been a bit quiet recently, and I’ve missed posting on the last two days. The truth is that I just ran out of words and enthusiasm. It was a combination of big subjects (gun control and OXFAM), more low-level illness and some jobs that needed doing more urgently than the world needed another blog post.

Instead of facing up to the challenge I decided to leave it alone.

I don’t suppose that 5,000,000 members of the NRA are remotely interested in what I think about gun control. Fair enough, as I’m not interested in what they have to say about grouse moors.

However, I can’t leave without suggesting that, although there are moral questions over the activities of some OXFAM workers, there is nothing in the actions of our MPs that suggest they are suitable to pass judgement on the morals of others.