Monday, 27 February 2023

After Illness comes the reality again.. I think?

That was the week that was, picking up a stomach bug, giving some pretty bad cramps. The funny thing was, it seemed to coincide with something that I had eaten. Food poisoning perhaps? Or just a bout of some flu virus. I did measure for COVID but that was OK. All of the week I was bad enough not to be able to sleep properly, but hey all now back to normal. So, I can read the papers again properly and watch the news on TV. Possibly wasting my time really but hey, why not.

The old game that is played in Britain has had another result. The game is called ’Who is to blame’? This game is a particular favourite of politicians and those heading organisations such as big companies. The game starts with the words – ‘It is not MY fault’, and ‘It wasn’t ME’, followed by ‘Don’t look at ME’. Ending by ‘Who can we blame’? Lovely game that, kids also love that game, a real British pastime. So, what is this about? Well, reports are coming out that says the diving expert who was taken on by the Lancashire police has been struck off the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) list of experts. Now, what does that smell like? The body of Nicola was found only less than a mile from where she allegedly went into the river. That was after the expert said he didn’t think she was in the river at all. I suppose he did not help himself saying that. But as it is he was not a policeman but someone from the general population who was experienced in underwater research. And that is the point, underwater research. Apparently the body was just not laying on the bottom of the river but perhaps was even half within reeds or whatever grows on the banks there. These rivers tend also to have small indentations like small coves scourged out by the fast streaming water when in flood. I know that from the river that flows at the back of my garden, it constantly changes! The stuff you see coming down, deposited on the banks and taken away again, rocks, stones and sandy mud clogging up bits making the water run a bit differently until the next flood. So, either the diver missed the body completely or it wasn’t there at the time he searched that bit of water. Interesting questions for sleuths to talk about I suppose. But to point out his failure is a bit much looking at the way the police itself behaved and carried out their task. For a start there was far too much talk. Yes, obviously there was a lot of media interest but if I had been a police official you would only have heard ‘Sorry the investigation is continuing, we will call a media meeting as soon as we know more’, and leave it at that. It was rather unhelpful to give any private details about the lady in question. The question is, why? In the meantime, I do agree the diver did not help himself in the way he talked about not finding a body but that in itself with such media intrusion is not unusual. The media is not averse to somewhat ‘change’ the words or meaning of what is said. It sure makes for interesting reading! Talk about fake information but I am not saying this is what happened here. Hoping then this will be sorted out and the diver and company will be re-instated and not be made the scapegoats for some botched work by police. Overall we have to remember the whole situation is extremely hurtful for the family of the deceased person. At least leave them grieving in private and peace. 

Ed 1/3/23 - The blame game will shortly play out in full. The latest is the game of 'Don't let thugs, criminals, sex-offenders be facing deportation'. 'Remember their human rights'. OK, what have human rights to do with criminality and eventual punishment? Most are not even British nationals. Those that have a different nationality must be deported to their country of origin. Simple as that. One of these thugs is Ernesto Elliott, a Jamaican who was supposed to be deported in 2020 but the usual woke brigade, MPs, long-haired lawyers, and a host of celebrities instantly started their usual 'What about their human rights'? So, no deportation and some time later he killed another man in some argument. So, as is asked, who is to blame? And very soon a host of aforementioned hairy lawyers, MPs, and celebrated celebrities will publicly shout - 'Not me, Guv! Not my fault, it wasn't me, don't look at me'! The Blame Game will be in full flow!

Sunday, 19 February 2023

Roald will now be woker than woke? Really?

Reports have come in from Great Missenden, in fact from the graveyard of St Peter’s and St Paul’s. The earth has moved by 10 yards. It seemed to have originated over Roald Dahl’s grave. I am not surprised that poor Roald has turned over a few hundred times and tried to get out. The author of James and the Giant Peach (1961) and a host of other books has now been subjected to the 2023 rage of woke authoritianism.

Apparently the publishers (Puffin) have decided to re-write some texts in order to remove so-called ‘affronts’. That is to say, words like ‘fat’, ‘ugly’ (Caspar Slok) and witches can no longer wear wigs because they are ‘bald’. Presumably witches must now look like beauty queens. Ooooh sorry, cannot say queens anymore either, OK then look and act like ‘Kate, in The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare’. Perhaps they will now take Shakespeare to task next! When will this idiocy stop? Even the Church of England, and I suppose the Church in Wales will follow suit, is planning to rewrite most if not all, of its services, to change the language to what is now known as gender neutrality. Meaning no difference to female or male in the writing. I presume God will now be ‘IT’ . So in print the Lord’s Prayer could be as follows; Our Non-Binary, who art in heaven, hallowed be its name. Its land will come. Its will be done. On our planet as it is above. Etc, etc. Again, I will ask – WHEN WILL THIS LUNACY STOP? On top of all this rubbish we surely have to remember the precarious financial position of the Church as income from gifts and weekly giving surely has dived! The Church is still a big landowner, and property owner so perhaps it’s time to start monetizing?

Roald wrote his books and yes, he was not always ‘kind’. History should show us that for most if not all of the time, people have been particularly ‘unkind’! To the point of massacring whole populations. We cannot walk away from such history but have to acknowledge that is how we are. Humankind is the most destructive animal that walks the planet. I am afraid that will never stop because it is simply in our genetic make-up. Obviously, there are good sides to that as well. We can turn this to the betterment of our environment. To be progressive and building up instead of destruction. If you want to look at what I mean, just look a few hundred miles to the East. There is a country basically being flattened. For what? Well, allow me to scratch my head, I haven’t an idea! The whole thing just defies the normal senses. Now I hope that the damage done to Roald Dahl’s grave will be repaired and Puffin will stop altering books to allay the ‘hurt’ feelings of a few totally deranged minorities. I am certain the witches will still be bald and prefer to wear a wig. And Caspar will still be having a high BMI!

As an codicil I must add I do believe in gender equal opportunity, such as equal pay for equal work. I see no point in holding women back from education or work because they are women. But I do celebrate the differences between male and female. The weaknesses and the strengths of both.

Saturday, 11 February 2023

History repeating itself? You bet!

Does anyone really know much about history nowadays? I mean comparing certain periods from the timeline to other periods and noting similarities? Just take the time after the First World War, so the years 1920 to 1939. Compare this to today. The years 1945 to 55 were more or less to get out of the destruction and we were busy with rebuilding and resetting the economies of Europe. Then in the twenties, the political situation started to change. Things became more aggressive again. Just look at today's politics, virtually the same as the late twenties (after the Great Depression), a greater division between left and right streams. In the UK we have a so-called socialist party (Labour) that actually is nothing of the sort. It does nothing much for the lower classes. In fact it has become extremely belligerent to the tune of wanting to kill all Tories (Tories=Conservatives). When confronted they invariably say it is a figure of speech. Just as people like Hitler or today’s Putin would say. Politics today is on a growth curve, a curve of provocation, a curve of aggression.

If that curve will keep on climbing it will most certainly end up with armed conflict. If you would note the stance Russia has taken over the last few years you will see the similarities between Nazi Germany of the Thirties. It is the same scenario. This is not just the Russians, the Chinese and North Koreans follow the same rule book. Not only that but the response to these situations by the so-called ‘free world’, is mostly the same as the Thirties as well. Appeasement in the hope it will all blow away. For instance, the European nations and the US are holding back on supplying the Ukrainian government and people the very weapons they need to combat the Russian invasion. The thought process seems to be something like this – If we don’t give the tanks, the jets, Russia will not use nukes. To me that is a flawed idea. Noting the Russian or Chinese systematic approach you will note a predetermined path which they do not seem to divert from. It is the human condition, you go as far as you can, in the hope there will be no reply. In the meantime take the Goebbels theory of denying everything and simply carry on. All so predictable? I’d say so, looking at history!

Friday, 10 February 2023

Yes, what about your weapons then?

President Zelensky was in the UK and also on a trip to other European states. It was heartwarming to see the welcome, and one might have thought ‘Great, now the war will be over soon what with all the new equipment being given’. The reality, unfortunately, is much different, nothing has been promised! The Germans are still reluctant to send the tanks, the French dither as usual and here in the UK we stand in our old rotting buildings applauding then go home happy we have done a good job. The reality is the war will continue and frankly the way it is going Ukraine will be forced to accept the loss of the provinces claimed or rather already annexed, by Russia. What our Western leaders do not seem to get into their champagne sodden brains is that Russia will never give up its belief in their empire. They simply want to go back to what was the USSR and more. Because their influence in those days came over Poland, Eastern Germany, all the Baltics, Romania, Bulgaria, and even half of Austria. Well, as long as we understand that, OK so be it. Can someone tell Mr Biden what the world is really like? President Zelensky is absolutely spot on when he said that his nation is standing against the oppressors in defense of democracy. The problem is most western leaders don’t quite see it. Sure, they play along, the words are fluent and suave but there is NO substance. The way western leaders and nations are today just strengthens and continues the oppressing regimes in China, Russia and others. Part of the problem is that the US needs an enemy. An enemy, real or imaginary, to justify its dream of being the only superpower on the planet. To justify the trillions spent on defense. And the UK is happily trundling along in its wake. Except we cannot afford a sausage even. We might manage to build a few aircraft carriers but whether those will be effective in the hard reality of this world remains to be seen. But they make nice TV programmes.

I am not at all sure why we let Russia make the play. Surely, the way they perform is reprehensible and an affront to human dignity? War is not nice, it is bloody and destructive but what Russia is doing is even beyond that. We all should be looking at history and seeing that empires have a habit of disintegrating. That dictators usually come to an early end and not always a nice one either. That nations showing off military might (incl the US) soon find the costs outstrip the ability to finance it. But I fear historical lessons are not taken, nor read. Just ask Hitler, or Mussolini or for that matter, Genghis Khan or Attila. Don’t bother Mr Biden, don’t wake him, please. I like him.

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Unrhywbeth gael ychydig o hwyl, yng Nghymraeg!

Heddiw dw i’n ddarllen llyfr newydd – Cysgod y Cryman (Shadow of the Sickle) gan Ffowc Elis. Mae’n stori am teulu’n byw ar fferm. Hefyd, mae gan y llyfr lawer o eiriau Gymraeg newydd i ddysgwyr. Ac idiomau fel hyn – ar fy llw (by golly), dim o’r fath beth (nothing of the sort), ac geiriau fel eiddigeddus (jealous), diawc (you know, as an expression), tyrd (come!). Gwych yn wir! Dw i’n dal i ddysgu Cymraeg ond dal angen cyfieithu â Ap Geiriadur o’r Prifysgol Bangor. Y broblem fwyaf yw mai ychydig o siaradwyr Cymraeg sydd o gwmpas yr ardal. Dw i’n eisiau‘r cyfle siarad â siaradwyr rhugl. Efallai, gallai defnyddio’r Rhyngrwyd fod o gymorth. Yn y cyfamser fe fydda i’n barhau darllen llyfr Cysgod y Cryman. Yn ffodus, mae’r llyfr yn cynnwys cyfieithiadau o’r geiriau anodd. Arfbais (Coat of Arms), a beth am anghynaladwy? Ie, gair am ein triniaeth o’r blaned a’r defnydd o’i hadnoddau! Unsustainable! Un cwestiwn, pam ydy bobl yn drio newid yr iaith? Defnyddio fformatau fel dw i yn lle rydw i neu joio yn lle mwynhau? Hyd yn oed yn waeth a ddim - yr wyf i? Gwneud lleferydd yn haws? Wir? Wel, dw i’n gobeithio dysgu llawer o’r geirau newydd ac hefyd y rhai fyddaf byth yn defnyddio!

Dw i’n credu bobl yn byw yng Nghymru fe dylen nhw siarad yr iaith o’r genedl, Cymraeg. Pam lai, neu dysgwch yn gyflym. Ik spreek ook Nederlands (Dw i’n siarad Isaldireg hefyd achos roedd fy ngeni yno). Yn anffodus, dw i ddim yn defnyddio Cymraeg yn aml ond gobeithio newid yn ystod eleni ‘ma. Cwestiwn arall, ble mae’r llyfrgelloed nawr? Atebion i AS lleol!

Rhywbeth arall, rhaid roeddwn i mynd i’r ysbyty. Pam? Oherwydd rhaid y llawfeddyg diddymu rhai tyfiannau mawr o fy nghefn. Neis iawn achos nawr alla i mynd nofio yn y môr eto! Yn ystod yr haf, wrth gwrs, mae hi braidd yn oer ar hyn o bryd. Mae He-man wedi dod yn ôl! Dw i ‘n wybod am broblemau gyda’r GIG ond yr ysbyty Cwm Rhondda yn dda iawn. Yn ôl at y llyfr nawr! Unrhywbeth gael ychydig o hwyl!

Sunday, 5 February 2023

Language? What is it...

Dw i’n gwerthfawrogi byw yng Nghymru ond nawr dysgu’r iaith dydw i ddim yn deall defnyddio geiriau fel jôcs (jokes), joio (enjoy), dreifio (drive), ac hyd yn oed weithiau wso (use). Mae’r rhain gyfieithiadau gwael amlwg o eiriau Saesneg! Stoppo! Gair arall eto!

Y gair Gymraeg i stoppo neu stopio ydy atal (prevent), neu aros (wait) a hefyd gair arall feindio ! Feindio? Beth yw hynny? Wel, dim does gair Cymraig cywir am ‘find’. Gallwch defnyddio ‘dod o hyd’, neu ‘canfod neu darganfod’. Darganfod ydy ‘discover’ a canfod ydy ‘detect’. Felly, stoppo wso neu joio ydy geiriau Saesneg! Os dymunwn achub Cymru fel gwlad â’i hiaith ei hun, atal defnyddio geiriau Saesneg.

I ddysgwyr ‘r iaith – joio ydy mwynhau, dreifio ydy gyrru, wso ydy defnyddio, wrth gwrs.

The above is a observation I have made a few times. The use, especially here in the southern part of Wales, the use of English words. To make these more like Welsh they then put io at the end. So, to stop has become stoppio or stoppo, to enjoy became joio, and even drive a car has now become dreifio car. Even a simple word like to use now is wso or wsio. These words do NOT exist in the Welsh language! It is basically laziness to use Welsh proper words although they may a bit difficult to pronounce at first. Words like Mwynhau (moonhai as it is pronounced) for to enjoy. Gyrru (kurrie) for to drive and so on. 

In Wales there is a definite increase for the idea of independence, to preserve its identity, and I am certain that to bastardise the language like this does not help one bit. The English are lazy as far as languages are concerned. They have the idea that everybody speaks English. I used to enjoy films about the English gentlemen and ladies travelling in Africa or the Far East and literally shout at the locals. Then turning to their companions saying, ‘They don’t speak proper, you know’. It is still like that today! And what’s worse, it is aided by many Welsh people! Even teachers! Aran of ‘Say Something in Welsh’, a very good intro in learning the Welsh language and available at minimal cost on the Internet; he as well uses joio and terms like that. 

I think personally it is not correct to do so, even though loads of Welsh people in the south do. It is no excuse to say, ‘Well, languages evolve’ and indeed they do but not quite in the way Welsh is today. Already Welsh has two distinct variations, North and South and even in Dyfed (South Western Wales – Dyfed and Ceredigion) have differences. It would help to establish a strong drive to standardise teaching of the Welsh language and prohibit the use of slang words or even words made up because its simpler.

Friday, 3 February 2023

A bit on mobile phone use, and security...

Mobile phones – a curse or a blessing? Well, frankly speaking it just depends how each and everyone of us who have one, use it. For a start I believe most people do not use the available security methods. For instance if you have a VPN this can work on multiple (usually about 5) electronic devices. My phone automatically switches to the VPN. You ought to switch off Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communication) if not needed. Apparently Apple Pay does not allow NFC to be switched off. Google Pay does. Most important don’t forget to set a proper password. Use the three word or more system and perhaps intersperse the words with a symbol as well! If you are afraid you will forget your passwords, look at a password manager. The best free one is Bitwarden, there is a paid for one as well but the free one is more than sufficient for most users. Bitwarden will need a master password so use one you will remember as it is the ONLY one you will have to.

Insofar as Google use is concerned I learned from a TV documentary that there are criminals now using this to hoodwink users. In some fashion when in your searches on the web you have clicked on a ‘promising’ website it may have been hijacked. It pays to be vigilant. My mantra is – Do not act on advertisements in any way. If you are interested in a product, by all means look at the adverts but then leave the website and then visit the company's website separately. At least you will know you are where you want to be and not on a site from criminals. The other good safety you can have is a Yubikey. I use one and this way your Google account cannot be used by anyone else. Your key can also be used with mobile phones (via NFC). A simple tap will identify you. It costs some £60 but it is worth every penny. You can set up the key with a host of companies as well. I have to say that the UK is a bit behind with companies that can work with the Yubikey. Tesco for instance, although they are working on it.

Tesco has finally allowed GPay (Google Pay) and as long as you possess a phone with NFC capability (not all cheaper mobiles have the technology) you can pay with your phone and also link your ‘Clubcard’. In fact you can link all your bank cards. It is therefore doubly important to have a strong screenlock pincode. Today you may see what is known as a QR Code, a sort of block image you point your phone to and it will load a webpage. I would advise users NOT to use this unless you’re 100% sure it is genuine. Fraudsters have used QR Codes already and even if you think you are logging in to your bank you are directed to what looks like your bank but isn’t. I do not use QR Codes by choice. If I want to go to a website I will always first and foremost use their URL( Uniform Resource Locator), the correct website address. Remember, fraudsters if impersonating a company, use an address that looks almost the same but invariably there are differences. It pays to be vigilant, your mobile is a gateway to the world but like any gate it can be entered from the other side! So don’t leave it open!

Thursday, 2 February 2023

What happened to our society?

It really surprises me to note how thoughtless the human race actually is. We seem to simply accept we are the only thing that matters on this planet. We, without any thoughts at all, use it for our own ease and disregard every other living entity. We use the land to plonk our mostly substandard houses all over the place. We disgorge our wastes and other effluents into any available watercourse or just use the sea. Not so long ago a small seaside village on the Welsh coast had a lovely beach. Unfortunately close by was a large sewage outlet. Swimming there you would notice the usual rubbish. We called them brown trouts! No prizes for guessing what they were! Fortunately that has been remedied but even today large amounts of sewage still gets into our waters. The river at the back of my house also carries sewage because our Victorian sewers are by no means of the standard you would expect in 2023! All of it is without any regard for other living animals, fish, or birds. We just pay lip-service to preservation of nature. Money is the only thing that matters. 

Our planning services from Councils and other government offices are only geared to see how much money can be made from taxes. And if we think that is all in this country, we should think again. Our waste, glass, tins, paper, vegetable left-overs and other food waste has accumulated so much we are close to saturation point. Running out of landfill sites!. We are not the only country, in Indonesia there are rivers so clogged up with plastic waste you cannot see the water! Whole communities in Africa live on the enormous spoil heaps! I remember a TV report that a Tesco bag and other waste clearly identifiable was seen in a spoil heap in Malaysia! Apparently what happened is that our British waste is now just exported to countries that have few laws governing waste disposal, if any at all. All that is done without any regard for wildlife. It is just – out of sight is out of mind.

This morning I listened to a BBC News item concerning cranes coming back to a site in Gloucestershire, that is a great story because cranes had disappeared and have not been seen in southern Britain for nigh on 50 or more years, if not longer. But does anyone ever think why they disappeared? Or even why animals disappear at all? But look at the housing springing up everywhere, it is all about us, humans. Animals, the whole environment is for our use, nothing else. Hard words, but true! Do developers care? Well, no, I don’t think they do. Only make sounds to say they care for the environment and they will show they have put some grass outside the front doors. Brilliant, the moles will be happy! The truth is unless we take this far more serious we will in the end just have to take what is coming our way. That might be much more costly than we think. If only we can pay the bills, if not then I will just wave the Welsh flag before my head goes under the water. No greater end than a martyr’s end!