31 October 2011

Posted by DMC on 1 November 2011 in Diary |

The day of my cataract operation has arrived. I left home this morning at around 11, complete with my two respirator masks, not knowing whether they would be able to carry out the procedure or not. It was all about lying flat for 30 min or so and their being able to work around the respirators. In the event there was a lot of waiting around, although the operation itself only took about 30 min. We actually lose the nose respirator as the other one was rather bulky and more difficult for them to work around. I was very apprehensive before the operation as the thought of them burning at a cataract with a laser, while I stared into a bright light was pretty scary. I needn’t have worried as there was no pain and I was not in any discomfort at any stage. I came home with a plastic garden over the high which I have to sleep in night for the next week and antibiotic and other drops which have to be administered for four weeks. Other than that the whole thing was a straightforward and I imagine my left I will clear over the next week or so

Our Prime Minister, Cameron, announced yesterday that legislation is going to be introduced to limit, or prevent, altogether, the disgusting pornographic websites which many people think are responsible for some of the horrific, sex, associated murders. We used to have a body called the British Board of Censors whose function it was through classify all of our films under A, for adult, or U for universal. Unfortunately, this Board was abolished due to the voices of the left-wingers who insisted that it was everyone’s human right to watch whatever they want to. Had the Board still been in existence,, no doubt, it may have had some role in what programmes are allowed to be picked up in this country on computers. It would certainly seem to be possible for the government to ban such programmes altogether as we have seen China imposing restrictions on what their population are allowed to see. At the same time as the British Board of Censors there was one wonderful housewife, Mary Whitehouse, who battled tirelessly against violence, sex and pornography on our screens and was the nub of many a joke but would that there were more like her today.

The main problem are the left-wingers who insist that it is everyone’s right to do what wish , including watch anything they desire, however disgusting,, provided it does not harm anyone else, but unfortunately there is no direct evidence that such harm is the result of these dreadful programmes. or at least not sufficient evidence to influence the powers that be to do anything about it. Having said that, there are certainly instances where horrific murders appear to have been inspired by something shown on television.

Talking of the left-wingers. They have been arguing to allow all of those tents on or around the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral to remain there until the occupants decide that they will leave peacefully. In other words, there was to be no forced eviction as such would be infringing the human rights of these non-violent protesters. Of course, I agree that everyone should should have the right to protest peacefully but it should not extend to denying access to our greatest church and disappointing thousands of tourists. What about their human rights? The worm has turned and I believe if the protesters don’t leave peacefully in the next day or two. they will be forcibly removed. In doing so they will undoubtedly resist and possibly attack police and then blame them for any violence which has taken place. It is a lose lose situation as far as the police are concerned, who do a splendid job under such circumstances..

The talk of the UK leaving the European Union seems to have been squashed, for the time being by the vote in the Commons strongly against carrying out a referendum on the subject. I have no doubt that if such a referendum was conducted it would be heavily in favour of us leaving the Union but it is a lot more complicated than just severing our ties with the rest of Europe. I’m greatly in favour of Cameron’s approach. He says that when your neighbour’s house is on fire, the first thing you do is to help them put out the fire and then resolve any differences you might have with them after that.. He likens the present financial difficulties of the Eurozone like the neighbours fire. Let’s get something in place that will secure the future of the Euro and then, by all means, let us attempt to drag back some of the powers which had been taken away from us by the European Parliament. I would certainly like to see our own Supreme Court being the last port of call for all appeals and not leaving the option open to any litigant to go to the European Courts on Justice, – in particular the Court of Human Rights – which is expensive and drags out: what is probably already lengthy litigation. paid for by the British taxpayer. We have had the best judicial system in the world in this country for the past 200 or 300 years and I really don’t see that we should weaken our own position by allowing a large group of disparate judges from all sorts of practically underdeveloped countries, making binding decisions for us.

What more appropriate thing to finish with them to give all my readers an eye test. Click here for a bit of fun Faithfully answer the questions before you look up the answer- no cheating!. You might be interested to know that according to this I am a genius-join the club!


1 November 2011

Posted by DMC on 2 November 2011 in Diary |

Last night was Halloween butt we were not plagued with ghosts or ghoulies orthe local children knocking on the door offering’ tririck or treat’.

Alice had a goodly provision of chocolate biscuits and other goodies to hand out in case we had our usual visit and we opted for ‘treat’. but, this year,they left us alone. Heaven knows what we would be ask to do if we said ‘trick? Maybe this is just another old tradition which is beginning to die out. Although I think the Americans, from whence I believe the tradition emanated , make still make much more of a fuss over this event than we do.

Last night I switched to sleeping in the new ‘nose only’ respirator which is far more comfortable than the one covers that both nose and mouth. The problem with this larger one is that it was likely to put pressure on the eye, which has just been operated on, which, of course, we were both anxious to avoid. In the event I had a perfectly comfortable night and got quite used to the new respirator and have decide to use it on a regular basis, from now on. The point is that, as it does not cover my mouth, as and when I get to a point where I need daytime intervention it might be possible for me to use this and still dictate at the same time.

The five-day weather forecast had promised that Tuesday was going to be ‘the best day of the week’, at least weather -wise, however at 9.15, half an hour before I was due to leave with Ollie, he telephoned and informed us of it was raining and did I really want to go. We asked iPeter the gardener and he was of the opinion that it was going to clear up, which is what the meteorological office forecast. So, on the strength of these two authorities, rather than what we could see out of the window, I decided to go, particularly as it was a relatively mild day. In the event it remained dry and is quite a pleasant day. In fact the sun burst through just about the time we got back to the clubhouse were able to sit outside smoking and drinking in comfort, this week the Major (Guy Hipkin) and John Gray did the honours, dressing me up feeding etc.

I got home about 3.15 and found that I had a four o’clock appointment with a dear old friend whose builder had gone broke on him. He wasn’t quite sure whether he should go from here. Although I was a little tired. I think I was able to help him.

. Today’s diversion might seem a little naughty to  some readers , if you are the slightest bit prudish then . please,  do not open it, otherwise , if you are a fairly free spirit, look at it and thank your lucky stars .that you did not marry an Italian. if you did , my commiserations. Click here to have a laugh



2 November 2011

Posted by DMC on 3 November 2011 in Diary |

Capitalism in Crisis . The motto adopted by the protesters camping on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral. Hallo there! Do you think the rest of us are asleep and not aware that capitalism is in crisis? The finance ministers from the countries in the developed world have been scratching their heads now for two or three weeks to see what more they can do to avert this crisis. (In the meantime, all the protesters seem to have achieved is to have caused a schism in the clergy at St Paul’s Cathedral with both the Canon and now the Dean having resigned.) A number of eminent personages, who are meant to know about such things, still suggest that Greece will renege on paying the next instalment on its debt. This despite a proposal for rescuing them which includes writing off half of the present debt. . How many people in this country would welcome such an opportunity?

Be that as it may, the Greek government did not grasp this generous offer with both hands and fall on their knees thanking the Almighty, instead, the Greek Prime Minister has decided that he will put it to the people via a referenda. (Then presumably when things go pear shaped. He will be able to turn around and say that the people themselves are responsible as it was their choice, that is, assuming they vote not to accept the offer) Okay, I agree that the offer comes with strings attached, which may not be palatable to the Greek populace. However, they got themselves in this mess by fiddling their income tax and spending money as if it had gone out of fashion, but despite that have been offered a way out. I suspect the referenda will show a large majority in favour of rejecting the terms of this offer. Then, where will we be? If Greece goes under, i which it has been prophesied, by the same proophrt that Portugal may follow, then Italy and finally, France, all of whom, this sage goes on to suggests will leave the Eurozuro.. Heaven knows what chaos will be caused to the global financial marke,. If this comes to pass. I have always understood that it was Spain who would likelyto be in trouble next. but they had not been in the news lately, so perhaps they are out of the woods for the time being.

(I don’t know where this line appeared from or why it should be there but I cannot remove it, so please ignore it)

Coming back to the people camped on the steps of St Paul’s, what on earth do they expect us to do about capitalism being in crisis, other than what is being done? Wave a magic wand and wish all our troubles away? Establish a communist state overnight, perhaps.? No, we are stuck with capitalism, for better or for worse and we must all tighten our belts and hang on. In the end of the day it’s all about confidence

One wonders why the police did not remove the 80% of empty tents overnight, except I suppose they would have been infringing these so-called protesters human rights. I remember there was one chap who set up camp opposite the Houses of Parliament, on a traffic. island,. He ‘lived’ there for over 11 years protesting against the Iraq war (I wonder if anybody ever told him that the war had been over for some time? ) I think a number of legal attempts were made to remove him but in the end the powers that be decided to leave him there, presumably, thinking that he would soon get fet up with the uncomfortable accommodation and move voluntary.. However, give him his due, he stayed there, winter and summer until he recently passed away. I imagine some left winger will now want to have a statue erected to him on the spot! I cannot think of any other country in the world. who would put up. with this sort of thing. But then, I suppose that is something we should be proud of, the freedom allowing people to protest peaceably.

. Anyway, the world is undoubtedly in crisis financially at the moment ,and UK Ltd is as bad, if not worse than many other countries. The screw has turned and people are beginning to feel the pinch. Cuts are being made in almost every sector of society. I heard yesterday that the government is considering cutting continuing care and even those who qualify may be means tested. Alice told me this and thinks she heard something to the effect that those people who could afford it would have to pay the first £35,000 a year for continuing care, but don’t quote me on that! I just hope that having been awarded it. we might be immune from retrospective legislation. Certainly, if we were means tested. we would have to pay it and that might influence whether I go, sooner rather than later.!!

The good Dr arrived back this late evening, just before I went to bed so, no champagne tonight just a good measure of whisky for the doctor. It was a little wary after his journey. (My own regular doctor recommended years ago that the single whisky every evening was definitely good for me .Something to do with making the heart beat a little faster -but sadly, although clearly medicinal, not on the NHS!) He will be staying until Sunday so it looks as though we might get through a bottle or two of champagne unless highlight I can persuade him to switch occasionally to whisky, for which he also has a fondness. You might say if I can afford champagne then I should be means tested for continuing care. You could say that but I could not possibly comment!

Click here to see the sort of lesson that the agitators St Pauls Cathedral could well take note of. If they think Capitalism Is in Crisis, this may convince them that socialism is not the answer. I know that this, coming from America, was aimed at President Obama’s current policy but nevertheless is equally as apposite here as it is in the States.




3 November 2011

Posted by DMC on 4 November 2011 in Diary |

My lovely’ left for London early this morning. She got me up onto the edge of the bed drinking my early morning tea and then handed me over to the good Dr. Mick is well used to looking after me as he did so, single-handedly, in Sweden. In fact ,he’s just about the only civilian Alice would trust to do so. Even then, the dear old thing left clutches of notes here and there reminding the good Dr. to do this and that and when. I am delighted that she can have a t stress-free day off in London and not worry herself about who is looking after me Fortunately she trusts Michael beyond all others. I know that she’s giving son Smiler lunch at the Italian restaurant opposite his gallery which she has been unable to do now for the best part of a year.

Mick and I soon settled down to a quiet day together. I love to see him sitting in a deep armchair ploughing his way through one of the many books he never seems to have time to read when he is at home. Perhaps I should say his other his other home for, as the saying goes, home is where your heart is, and his heart is certainly here, not exclusively but when he visits us, and, as a result we have made it clear that he is to treat this place as if he was in his own home.Mia cassa, sua cassa (I think that’s how you spell it)

After I had finished my blog and dealing with e-mails I got onto the trading standards people who I called last Friday. I was told that they had a return call policy within four working days and today is the fourth day. They were very apologetic and promised to ring me back which I’m sorry to say they did not. so I called again and they have renewed the following working day pledge, but running from today. In the meantime, still nothing from Nuance.

Which is the very reason for contacting them. To make a formal complaint against Nuance, the suppliers of my Dragon voice activation system to whom I sent a complaint almost 6 months ago which they have still not managed to resolve

This after 55 telephone calls from me and at least 14 hours talking to their technicians. My complaint is basically for fraudulent misrepresentation, they claim that they offer technical support free to suit individuals needs. What they fail to mention is that the caller is paying for the telephone call at a premium rate. (Admittedly, only six p a minute, but that still merrily up to over £40. The money is not important, but the principle is) Secondly, I believe any programme that requires six months (or even more as it is yet not resolved) to sort out its problems is ‘unfit for purpose’ (Sale of Goods Act etc). I informed the MND loan equipment section, what I was doing, as clearly the contract for this programme is between the MND Association and Nuance, but if it came to the legalities of the situation I believe I could invoke Contracts ( Rights OF Third Parties) Act 1999. I do not believe these people should get away with such a shabby service, particularly as they know that I am severely disabled and rely very heavily on voice activation and six months, during MND patient, could be a significant part of what time they have left..

The tented army of protesters at St Pauls Cathedral continues to attract media attention this, after the cathedral authorities agreed last night to allow them to stay until the New Year without specifying a precise date by which they should leave. I believe this to be a big mistake. but then I am not as tolerant as the church officers. These sort of people, from whatever walk of life. they come, be it rich or poor, only understand a firm hand. There was yet another editorial in yesterday’s Times, headed Strange Occupation. Whichever bunch of weirdos , to whom you attribute this occupation., the blame cannot be placed on the church or its officers. It is suggested that the front of St Paul’s was merely a convenient open space near the London Stock Exchange. and that is why these agitators set up camp there, nothing to do with the church. Whilst admiring the leaders of St Paul’s for taking their teachings so seriously, that the question of how to please a small demonstration has caused a crisis of conscience, resulting in the resignation of the Canon and the Dean. The editorial suggests that any other churchman considering resigning over this issue should realise that this protest is not against the church and they therefore it should not responsible for ending it and they should not allow this small group of protesters to distract them from their mission or deprive them of their livelihood. On the other hand, it is suggested that the protesters should reflect upon the damage their presence is now doing to innocent people and their families, and to an institution that promotes moral behaviour as an alternative to greed and selfishness. St Paul’s was not their target, but is now their victim ‘


4 November 2011

Posted by DMC on 5 November 2011 in Diary |

I heard, during the night, on the BBC World Service, that the Greek Prime Minister has changed his mind about the referenda, I’ve no doubt under political pressure. I think it is felt that there will be a vote of confidence mounted shortly and he will probably go and a general election called. In any event, popular opinion has it that the end result would probably mean that Greece leaves the Eurozone. and restores, what one commentator, irreverently called that ‘Mickey Mouse’ currency, the drachma. Whichever way you look at it the Greek citizens are in for a rough for the next three or four years, if not longer. Remember, how long it took Japan, the second biggest industrial nation in the Western world, to drag itself out of its recession’

I believe the problem may well have emanated from to exercise of due diligence (or more correctly the lack of it) in determining what exchange rate to give Greece when it entered into the Eurozone. (I.e. 10 Euro equals X number of drachma) Obviously there’s a great deal to be taken on trust and unless there is complete honesty and open bookis it must be very difficult to get an exact exchange rate, which is fair to both sides.

If Greece does leave the Eurozone, this, of course, will be unprecedented and no one quite knows what the ramifications will be. Germany and France have maintained steadfastly that they will not allow this to happen but it may be beyond their control. Once one has gone then, as I suggested the other day, countries like Portugal, Italy and even France, could follow. Although this situation has been discussed at the recent G 20 meeting of finance ministers there is as yet no clear plan established. It seems that the IMF could cope with Greece and its problems but if one of the larger economies such as Italy went down, as things stand, present emergency measures would have to be taken. Even then, if more than one country goes under it seems to me that the whole Eurozone is likely to crumble (there has to be a limit to how much bailing out the Germans are prepared to do) and, as a result, countries will go back using to their own currencies, allowing them to float to their real value in the world market, as we have done in England. Whether that would be the end of it or the beginning of world recession. Heaven knows, I am no economist and maybe talking complete rot!.

Turning to matters of more immediate importance to us. ‘My lovely’ shot off-again early this morning . once I was settled in my study chair, this time to Cambridge. She is a glutton for punishment’. Shopping in Cambridge can be a nightmare at the best of times, apart from the parking, which even in the multi-storey car park can take some time to achieve,. Then wandering around, from shop to shop, in the breezy, drizzly cold weather, is not my idea of fun. In any event, she has given me a substantial wad of pocket money to take the good Dr to lunch at the Cricketers. I was quite reconciled to the fact that this would probably be the first time we will be driven indoors by the weather and hoped that at least we could sit outside with our coffee and cigar,. However, quite incredibly the weather changed almost exactly at 12.30. as we approached the pub,. Suddenly, the clouds rolled away and a azure blue sky appeared and we basked in the warmth of the winter sunshine. . It was unreal, particularly as it only lasted until we decided to come home around 2.30, then the clouds rolled in and rain was threatened.. This was even more astonishing realising that it was 4 November.

The alternative would have been to do what we did last night and have our drink and cheapo cigar, in the breakfast room, having discovered, last evening, that the mobile wheelchair actually fits between the arch, which divides the kitchen and from the breakfast room. This would be particularly good at Christmas, when all the family will be here, because it means that we can have our Christmas dinner in the breakfast room altogether and I will be able to join in, without having to go outside in the cold. where I had visions of driving outside in the wind and rain to get there. This discovery is important for my poor bottom as instead of having to sit in the same chair for 14 hours . I now have an alternative which will give me a change from my study.

As a whole, world seems topsy-turvy at present I thought these weird pictures would be appropriate to add to today’s entry. Click here to see them.


5 November 2011

Posted by DMC on 6 November 2011 in Diary |

Guy Fawkes’ Day. Gunpowder, treason and plot and all that. The day we dread most in the yearly calendar due to living in a house with a thatched roof. Any carelessly pointed rocket could end up on the roof with its contents still smouldering, and hey presto, a lovely house would go up in flames. This happened last , in this house, in the early Fifties, when it had just been re-thatched and there was a pile of unused straw close to the house, which the children played in and for some unknown reason, decided to set fire to it. Flames from this bonfire quickly caught the new straw thatch above and the roof was soon resembled a flamethrower. Fortunately, with wind going through the house the roof burned off very quickly and did minimal damage inside to the ancient oak structure. Having said that I would not wish to repeat this incident. On most Guy Fawkes’ night’s in Day. in the past,’ my lovely’ and I would be alert to local bonfires and be prepared, with the water hose in case we should see a passing rocket land on the roof. Fortunately, individual bonfires on the whole seem to have died out (if you’ll excuse the pun) and a community bonfire with much more exciting fireworks is usually laid on, in our village on the Jubilee field and an even more magnificent display is put on in our adjacent village, in Newport.

The proposed Greek referenda on whether or not Greece should leave the Eurozone is now definitely off and we await a possible vote of confidence in the Prime Minister. The G 20 finance ministers were supposed to have a cut and dried deal on the table by the date of ther meeting, which finished yesterday. In doublespeak, the French Prime Minister, said that they had achieved their objective in agreeing the deal but there was a lot of detail to be sorted out. As the devil is in the detail. clearly no deal has been done, yet! Why can’t politicians, he straightforward and honest and say it as it is, instead of obfuscating issues by doublespeak?

The good Dr. rose early this morning and went off to shop in Saffron Walden. He just loves shop ping but  heaven knows what he wanted to buy that he could not equally buy ,in Copperberg, his local town in Sweden but there you are, if you are a shopaholic then I suppose that is less offensive than beating up old ladies or getting up to some other mischeif!

Click here to see a little video clip which you might find amusing. I call it The Golf Girl


6 November 2011

Posted by DMC on 7 November 2011 in Diary |

Well, we survived Guy Fawkes’ night without mishap avoiding any spent rockets landing on our thatched roof, this despite various local bonfire and firework parties going on in adjacent, or near adjacent, properties. We were fairly relaxed this year as we had 19 cm of rain, (which would have thoroughly soaked the thatch) last night, which was about the same quantity that we had received in this part of the world over the past six months.

I had another virtually pain-free night, last night which is marvellous.

The good Dr thinks it could possibly be something to do with the cortisone injection in my shoulder plus the miniscule amount of cortisone in the eye drops and I’m taking every day since the cataract operation. Certainly I will mention this to Dr Mark, the pain consultant at Papworth Hospital when I see him in a couple of weeks time..

Our good Dr. Michael was up and away early morning, back to Sweden this time, after we had a final chat over a cup of coffee. His little car in Sweden was parked out in the open for the past week and he could find some difficulty in getting it to start. At least once he gets it going. he knows he will be safer on the road, then he would be in this country when it snows. The reason for this is that, under Swedish law, all motorists must fit snow tyres to their vehicles from the beginning of September. Contrast this country when it snows, all hell lets loose. We always seemed to run out of salt and grit for the roads, railways freeze up, causing chaos to the commuters and you take your life in your hands on the roads for the lunatics who drive even faster ignoring black ice.

Paul ‘the computer’ spent a couple of hours with me the early afternoon whilst ‘my lovely’ went off to the local farm shop. By the results. I’ve been having over the last couple of days. I think the idea of cleaning the hard disk and reinstalling the programmes in combination with upgrading Microsoft Office 2010 from Home/Student to Office Professional, might well have done the trick, although it can still take me half a dozen attempts, or more, to log onto a functioning Dragon and then, after that I sometimes can leave it on all day without it freezing up (not responding) as it did previously. Still no word from Nuance despite my rather pathetic appeals mentioning my severe disability limited life expectancy. Maybe they will sit up and take notice, when they hear from the Trading Standards officer.

We experienced one of the worst road accidents. we have suffered in this country for many years, on Guy Fawkes night. Sadly, there was a 20 car pileup on the M5 motorway resulting in the death of seven people with a further 50 injured, some of them very severely. The first car apparent that drove into the back of a stationary lorry on the hard shoulder. It is thought that it might have been the result of smoke drifting across the motorway from an adjacent Guy Fawkes’ bonfire, part of a firework party organised by the local rugby club. It is easy to see what might have happened. The first car plunging into dense black smoke would have braked suddenly breaking and the others, probably travelling to close behind piled into it, one after the other, with the tragic circumstances. I have described. I wonder if the government introduced legislation making it unlawful to light a bonfire within 100 m of a motorway or class A road, it would have averted such accident. Having said that, would such legislation be practicable. bearing in mind that there would be very few domestic dwellings where you could observe this restriction.


7 November 2011

Posted by DMC on 7 November 2011 in Diary |

A footnote to the tragic story of the multiple car crash near Taunton yesterday. It has now been is now been confirmed that dense smoke from the bonfire allegedly, lit by the local rugby club, adjacent to the motorway, was certainly the principal cause of the accident.

Presumably the unsuspecting motorist went from totally clear vision to immediate blackout and as a result, drove into the truck on the hard shoulder. I noticed in my own household insurance policy, which has just come up for renewal, that we are not allowed to have bonfires within 100 m of the house. Fortunately we live i on a fairly large plot of land, but even then we would have two or three flavours who are less than 100 m away, not counting those across the road. What on earth are we supposed to do if they decide to have a bonfire on the entry to their better nature. Presumably the insurance company mean that we, the insured, must not a bonfire within 100 metres of the house. How many people do you know have enough land to be able to live a bonfire that close to the property?!

It makes one wonder if we have gone into the’ silly season’. For example, yesterday I have heard someone talking about the government or someone involved in the housing programme, suggest that elderly people with bedrooms to spare should consider moving out into smaller accommodation and thus releasing the bigger house for the local people with large or growing families. Whoever made this suggestion cannot have thought it through. For example, in the first instance. The young people would be unlikely to be able to afford the larger house and worse than that if the elderly people downsized into a small two-bedroom or three-bedroom bungalow for example, this would deprive the young growing family of a house that the young growing family could possibly just afford. So the complete opposite objective would be achieved by this ludicrous suggestion.

Let us look at another silly season suggestion mentioned on the radio this morning. ‘Children’of elderly parents (which probably makes them in their 50’s) are recommended to observe their parents closely, particularly if they do not see them from one month to the next, and note any early signs of dementia. Presumably they would then report this to the local Gestapo who would come in and eliminate them. In all seriousness, they would pass on this information to the local health authority who would presumably pay a visit, and tried to treat the dementia or, at least, to slow it down. A commendable object but it does rather smack of Hitler youth prior to the last war reporting any casual criticism of the Hitler regime with the predictable outcome. Heaven help us if these suggestions are being made by people in authority able to follow them through. There is one thing in alerting the social services to a family we believe a child is being abused and another in reporting your mum and dad when you get a little forgetful.

While I remember (!), for those of you are interested I have slept pain free. Since I had the injection in my shoulder at the beginning of last week. I am very surprised if this somehow has affected the pain in my knees and hip is but I suppose it’s just possible that if it, say, coutisone it got into the bloodstream. Interestingly, the good Dr Michael, who has been staying with us, speculates that the eye drops, which are administered four times a day, and which contains cortisone.

As my computer has been driving me (and Paul) mad over the last few
days I thought I would give my readers the sort of frustration I have.
suffered from. Have a go at this by clicking on the cat.


8 November 2011

Posted by DMC on 8 November 2011 in Diary |

I was a bit of a wimp. today, as the weather didn’t look at all enticing. It was grey, overcast and drizzly with a chilly wind blowing. Much as I love going to the Tuesday, geriatric golf day. I did not fancy driving around in my electric wheelchair in the light rain and getting soaked., So I cancelled I fear this is the beginning of a long winter for me as I suspect there will be many days when the weather will not be good enough for me to go.

The latest bit of scandal concerns immigration. Apparently due to staff shortages and the volume of traffic going through our various entry points, in the summer, the Foreign Secretary instructed the Immigration Officers to relax their normal photograph and thumbprint check on entry. In effect, waving through thousands of people during the peak season, including heaven knows how many terrorists. Since 7/11, like so many other thousands of air passengers, I accepted that going through security would take a little longer. This latest news is an absolute scandal and certainly warrants the resignation of the Foreign Secretary. If they are that short of staff why do they not engage t some more from the tens of thousands of unemployed, including many university graduates, as tourism represents a large percentage of our GDP. I’m quite sure they could increase some tax or other to pay for the additional cost of staff. Ironically, the security on outgoing passengers is just the strict as it ever was. Even down to removing one’s shoes so they can be X rayed (remember the terrorist who hid the ingredients for a bomb in his shoex).

I scarcely need mention that my laptop is still playing up or rather the voice activation, Dragon programme. It took me 17 attempt is this morning to logon to Dragon.Now I have formally reported this to this Trading Standards Office, I wonder what sort of response that will elicit.

We had a bit of a fright last evening when the NHS lounger chair, in which I spend 14 hours on most days, did not function from its remote-control. Fortunately it was stuck in a forward position on which I perched for the whole evening, much to my discomfort, as the lack of flesh on my bottom means that I spent the evening sitting on my bone.s The engineer is supposed to be on call 24/7, but there was not even an answerphone on which we can leave a message. Thank heavens, I was not stuck up in the air as we would have had to either call 999 or the paramedics to get me down. We are waiting for the engineer to arrive as I write at 8.10 a.m.. We waited, and waited but no sign of him, in fact he did not turn up at all, so I shall chase him tomorrow.

Talking of dates reminds me of the couple, who were asked what was the worst date ever. Click here to read theit answer. Incidentally, have some of you think my jokes are getting a little near the knuckle, as they say, I invite my readers to send me the very best joke,. they have heard. No, as long as they are not political, racist, homophobic, sexual, or just downright rude, I will consider sharing them with my other readers.


9 November 2011

Posted by DMC on 10 November 2011 in Diary |

I’m glad to say that I am suffering from minimal night pain in my joints since the injection in my shoulder.. Why on earth that should affect my knees and hips . I am still at a loss to fathom.. The thing that is given in most pain is getting this laptop to log-on to Dragon at the beginning of each day. For example I have spent half an hour this morning trying to get it to work and as a result had to close it down and re- booted it several times before it worked.

I sent a full report to the MND Association yesterday (prepared by Paul ‘the computer’) who I believe did a great job in analysing the problem but is not in a position to resolve it. The covering e-mail to MND Association t mentioned the 9 attempts to get onto the voice activation and they were ready shocked. Fortunately, they appear to be fully behind me in reporting Nuance to the trading standards people, so now we must just wait and see what happens.

The financial world is certainly in crisis at the moment. We don’t need agitators camping around the forecourt of St Pauls Cathedral to tell us that. The latest scare is the rate at which iItaly is now having to borrow money to service its debts. 7% is equivalent to 20% of its GDP, which is clearly unsustainable. I think Berlusconi has come to the end of a long run and Italy could well be the first casualty of the Eurozone. If it goes under, and is followed by one or two others like Greece and Portugal, then I suspect the whole Eurozone will crumble. Heaven knows what financial tsunami will follow. It is u-trodden ground. I do know some people who have liquidated their shareholding into cash which I cannot believe is a good idea long-term.

One only has to cast one’s my back to the last depression when the Deutschmark went through horrendous devaluation and people were literally taking barrow loads of money to the baker to buy a loaf of bread. I suspect that our knowledge of the global financial market is far more sophisticated than it was in those days, and that the powers that be may well be able to avoid such a harsh outcome. But, in the meantime it is very difficult to know what personal measures one can take, to safeguard one’s own interests, other than to hang on and hope. Interestingly enough, so far, the stock market has held up relatively well. The FTSE in excess of 5000 whereas in the last recession, it went down to around 3500. Well, it’s pointless worrying about something that I cannot do anything about. I shall just ride the waves with everyone else.

When I do know is that strikes against the measures that governments are being forced to takeare futile and can only exacerbate the situation. Alarmingly, the Head teachers are now going on strike and a series of other strikes are planned for the forthcoming months. What a poor example that is to children under their care.. Surely the members of those trade unions must realise what a mess we are in and that exceptions cannot be made. For example, the long-term plan of extending the pension age and increasingly the amount of contributions by a relatively small amount is imperative. It is a relatively small sacrifice to make now that if not implemented now, there would come a time when there was simply not enough money in the kitty to pay the pensioners s,o the situation would be far worse than the small amount of pain that has to be suffered at this stage.

As if there were not enough bad news about to frighten people. We were told that three day ago that there was a asteroid ,Yu55, the size of an aircraft carrier .hurtling past the Earth, at 30,000 mph and only avoided us by 200,000 miles, the nearest an asteroid has been to us for 200 years. Fortunately, these astronomers seem to know what they’re talking about as an asteroid that size, striking the Earth could well knock it off. it’s orbit and spell the end for all of us.

In the same vein, we were told that the debris from a defunct satellite would be falling to in the next day or two but they knew not where. Click here to see a little speculative video showing what might happen if it comes anywhere near you!.

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