Sunday, 23 November 2008

Fuel be Sorry!

If the price of unleaded petrol is linked to the cost of a barrel of crude oil - as we know it is - why does the following ring my alarm bells...

Today - October 2008

Crude oil = $50.67 per barrel - equating to a pump price of £0.91.9p per litre? (average)

When, in August of last year (2007)

Crude oil = $78.77 per barrel - which equated to an average pump price of £0.91.9p per litre?

Someone, somewhere is getting very rich very quickly.

And it's not us drivers.

The First Blast of Winter

Its been a long time coming - I think Emily was three when we last had the opportunity to build a snowman (sadly, at that age, the snow frightened her a little so she watched from inside whilst I built the snowman!) - alas this is not the stuff of snowmen and even as I took these pictures this morning I could feel the patter of rain rushing to wash it all away.
Reminder to self - unhook the hosereel and turn off the water!

Monday, 10 November 2008

New Beginnings and an Old Nemesis

My lovely wife starts a new job today. I can't tell you where she's working, except to say that the wage will come in handy as Every Little Helps!

Suffering as she does from anxiety, this morning was naturally frought with panic and stress. Add into the equation the fact that her taxi didn't turn up and you can imagine the air was as blue as it can get in front of a five year old child!! (Where's the bloomin' taxi? These bleedin' taxi drivers must turn up late on purpose the nasty devils!! - that sort of thing.)

So for a 9am start at a location seven miles away, through rush hour traffic, the taxi tuns up at 8:49!! Obviously my wife's reaction scared the living hell out of the driver and he managed to get her there for 8:58 - I'm very impressed! (With my Wife!)

As for me - well I've had a bad chest and sinus infection for the past three weeks - two courses of antibiotics seem to have finally done the trick BUT having murdered all of the infectious bacteria they have also, in the process, killed off all of the good bacteria lining my gut - this at a time when my specialist has decided to get me off steroids reducing the dose to just 5mg a day - so my old friend Mr Crohn's has decided to step up a gear and lay me low again.

More time off work - just what I (and they) need. Oh the joys of Crohn's!!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Remembrance Sunday - Verse.

Another reflective poem always bound to bring me to tears (despite its asking me not to!!)
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
(Author Unknown, but attributed to many)
It really does say it all - we never die,  we live on in  memories.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

How Much Change?

Oh the joy of election night - I stayed up as late as I could but missed the point at which Obama was finally declared the winner - congratulations to him and the American people on a courageous step.

I remember feeling this way in May 1997 when 18 years of Conservative 'rule' were ended by Tony Blair and a revitalised Labour party - apparently whoops of joy were also heard from Princess Diana's rooms within Kensington Palace that night.

A wave of optimism had swept a crestfallen and stagnant country, and Blair's landslide was as inevitable as Obama's victory last night. The hopes of a nation hungry for change rested on his shoulders. For me, Blair offered the hope that he might tackle political corruption at its highest levels, injustice in society and provide more open and honest government.

I am sorry to say that, after eleven years, I am still hopeful that political corruption will be halted and injustice and a more honest government will, one day, be delivered.

I hope President Elect Obama is allowed to live up to the expectations of all those who voted for him yesterday - if he is then change definitely has come to America - and the world will benefit as a result.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

For the Fallen

Putting my own woes into perspective. They are nothing. I am blessed.
They shall grow not old
As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them
Nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

To find out more about the work of the Royal British Legion
It's a long time since I last read Binyon's full tribute - so here it is:
For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.