Tag Archives: politics

Today’s Post – 300 Words, Fermented Shark and Pizza

I was doing OK until lunch, not pulling up any trees, but getting some work done. Then I stopped to eat (Julia made avocados for lunch) and went to sit in front of TV with a coffee. (Yes, of course I made her one! And a Kit Kat.) The quizzes started, the snoozing commenced and four hours later I find I’ve frittered the afternoon away, watched some dreadful cricket and have to cook tea. The pizzas are in the oven now. I’m taking ten minutes to do this then I’m going to make the salad. It’s not a great meal, but it’s not the worst meal either. (Actually, it was quite a bad meal, as I got hot cheese stuck to the roof of my mouth).

View from Bangor Pier

I’m not sure what the worst meal is, probably something featuring fish, beetroot and salad, or something Icelandic with a sheep’s head or festering fish in the middle. At times like this, you have to ask why British cuisine is so often criticised when people like the Icelanders exist. How bad does your life have to be before you adopt boiled sheep’s head as  a national dish? Having just read this link, I can see life was very hard. I now forgive them for their culinary delinquency, though whether I’d want to go on a culinary tour of Iceland is another matter. They don’t have salt because they have no firewood to boil the seawater (and let’s face it, the sun is going to be no help in Iceland) so that’s why they ferment food and wind dry it. It’s amazing how little you can know about someone who is almost a neighbour.

Bangor Pier

If Iceland had a massive TV industry I suppose I’d know more about Icelandic cuisine and less about American.

I’m tempted to go on from here and discuss the use of soft power in world politics, but this probably isn’t the place for serious political discussions about subtlety and influence. Fermented shark, yes. Russian Foreign Policy, no. Draw your own conclusions.

Jellyfish at Bangor

I was looking for photos when I found these. It was a good day and a big jellyfish – about the size of a dustbin.

Not Much Happened Today

Last night, despite my good intentions, I was tired, disorganised and lazy and failed to post. This is not unusual these days, and it’s something I need to address.  I’ll probably have a look at it tomorrow, but for now I will post something.

There’s quite  lot happening on the internet, but most of it is politics. I’m not keen on politics. For one thing, it doesn’t bring out the best in people. Second, no matter what you say, you can always find someone to disagree with you.  And third, the big one, you will never change anyone’s mind on politics or religion,  or global warming, immigration or The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.  Christie definitely cheated the reader, despite what her apologists may say. All you end up with is an unproductive argument and

At this point in my first draft I wandered off into politics whilst discussing why I wasn’t going to discuss it. I was happy with the writing, the conclusions were sound but the overall effect was exactly what I was trying to avoid. That’s the trouble with politics. It’s so pervasive. Rather than start a number of arguments I just deleted 200m words and started again.

I’m happy to say that the book on Vikings is starting to improve. It’s taken a while to get going but I am now enjoying it and learning, which is the point of it. I knew, for instance, that Torksey in Lincolnshire (which I mainly think of in terms of being a caravan site and car boot sale venue) had been a Viking base in 872. Well, a Viking base, I had to look the date up. I also knew that Repton, in Derbyshire, had been the site of a Viking encampment in 873. What I didn’t realise until now wa that they had travelled from Torksey to Repton by sailing along the River Trent. It’s so simple once somebody tells you.  As both places are less than an hour’s drive away I really ought to have a trip out. I’ve been to Repton, and driven through Torksey more than once, but never really stopped and had a proper look. Having said that, I will probably be disappointed, but that’s life.

The photos are of a Newark Siege Shilling, which I’ve covered before. The Viking Fleet must have sailed through Newark on its way to Repton. Maybe I should write a post on the history of the River Trent.


A Perplexing Proliferation of Popular Political Parties

The football rumbles on. I tend to ignore most of it, but note that wales didn’t do quite as well as their hype suggested, and England, as usual, have made things a little more difficult for themselves. If Wales beat us by 4 goals when we play on Tuesday. It’s unlikely that Wales will beat us by 4 goals, but in football you never know . . .

Meanwhile, the Arab world seems to be getting a little fed up (though I base this on reading reports of reports) with being lectured on how to conduct themselves. Looks like I was very timely in my discussion of such things.

I’m actually quite irritated this week, because I’ve been drawn into discussing sport and politics. There ahs been so much nonsense hanging round the subject I couldn’t stop myself saying something, despite the fact we already have too many people offering opinions. Just because I am irritated by something doesn’t men I have anything to offer. That’s why I tend to stay away from serious subjects. Bloggers should stick to subjects like baking, bicycling and bears and leave politics to the lesser writers.

Which brings us to American Politics. I hear that Kanye West is running for President. I know very little about him but won’t rule anything out after watching events of previous years. I have just been looking at the list of American political parties. I honestly thought you only had two, with the occasional egomaniac standing as a independent. I now find there are actually loads, but they never get on the news.

US Taxpayers Party, People Over Politics Party, Independent Conservative Democratic Party, Green Party, Independence Party, Veterans Party of America Party, American Independent Conservative Party, Conservative Party, Libertarian Party, Peace and Freedom Party, American Independent Party, American People’s Freedom Party, Concerned Citizens Party of Connecticut, Moderate Party, Independent American Party, Resource Party, New Alliance Party.

Forgive me if I say that I am put in mind of the People’s Front of Judea sketch.

However, if you look at a list of British parties we have 11 parties represented in the House of Commons with four in other UK legislatures and another 124 represented in local government, including Tunbridge Wells Alliance, Poole Local Group and Poole People Party. Could you make it up? Probably, but I didn’t need to, I just needed Wikipedia and an enquiring mind.

Anyway, if you’ll excuse me, I have noticed that there is room for People’s Poole Party, and I may be just the charismatic leader they are looking for . . .

The header picture is a metaphor, with pigs and snouts and troughs, though it does seem unfair to the pigs. The lower picture shows wasps. I like wasps and lured them to the table (in August 2015, which now seems a long time ago) by smearing jam on the table.


And in answer to the question I am sure is in your minds, yes, I could have worked People and Poole into the title, but it seemed a bit long.






Skit Notes

They are, according to the British Museum, ” objects resembling banknotes, with a political, satirical or fantasy theme (ie. they are not real money).” I couldn’t have put it better myself. So I used cut and paste, the plagiarist’s friend.

Unfortunately that’s about all the museum has to say on the subject, though they do have a few illustrations. The Cruikshank note is political (anti-hanging), others are Bank of Love and an advert. These are the broad categories you tend to get today.

Boris Johnson Political/Satirical skit note

Though skit notes have been about since at least the early 19th Century, I’m going to concentrate on a few of the more modern ones – one of Jacob Rees Mogg and one of Boris Johnson. They are both Old Etonians who went to Oxford and then set themselves up in politics to run the country. Rees Mogg is often known as the “honourable member for the 18th Century” due to his old-fashioned views, hence the top hat and denomination of “guineas” on the note and the slightly rude Latin mottoes on the note. Boris is best known as a liar, hence the sum mentioned on the note – infamous Brexit Bus lie.

I don’t totally dislike Rees Mogg as I do love an eccentric. I also believe that he is a man of conviction. It’s just a shame that I feel many of his convictions stink. According to Wikipedia (for those of you who didn’t read the link) “In February 2012, he used the word “floccinaucinihilipilification“—meaning “the habit of considering as worthless”—during a parliamentary debate; it was noted as the longest word then uttered on the floor of the House of Commons.” Of course, my view of him will be of no interest to him as I am of that sort he classifies as oafs.

Boris, on the other hand, being a repeat adulterer and serial liar, has no place in national politics and entertaining as he can be, should be removed from public life and, if there is any justice, be incarcerated in a small damp cell forever.

However, this isn’t a political blog so I will calm down. It’s strange to reflect, as I was saying to my sister earlier today, I am generally conservative by nature, but would be quite happy for these two to be consigned to the fires of Hell and prodded by demons on a regular basis.

The reverse of both the notes share a reverse, which is considerably less forthright than I am.

Reverse of Rees Mogg and Johnson Skit Notes

As a bit of light relief I will add another note, based on our old £5 from my youth.

Euro Skit Note


Euro Skit Note – Duke of Wellington