Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Corporate Nonsense

Several years ago when I was a manager working for a government fascilities management contractor, I wrote a post about it on this blog and thought no more about it. However, my bosses got hold of it and before I knew it I was called into the office and taken to task over it. As I was in danger of being sacked, I reluctantly agreed to take it down, along with another post about the outlandish behaviour and rudeness to me of one of my management colleagues. I never named him and I didn't name the company I was working for. Even so, best to be on the safe side! 

I have now been retired for eight years, so I'll write what the hell I like and it won't get taken down, not by me anyway. Apart from the post about my colleague, I was really taking a pop at the utter waste of time of management meetings, at least the type which we were having then. I was a manager of a media department and this particular meeting was with the contract manager and all the other departmental managers. I sat there for about 2 or so hours hearing other managers going on about their issues which had absolutely nothing to do with me. Why should it be a concern of mine if the admin manager was having an issue with getting mats for the swimming pool - for instance. These meetings happened regularly and acheived nothing. It was just another tick in the box for the benefit of the contract manager and it looked good on his monthly report to the contract monitoring team. Some time later at another meeting I fell to sleep  - I just couldn't stay awake. We were in a hot stuffy room, and at the time the supply manager was droning on about something he could no doubt have sorted out  by a quick email or phone call to his manager. My own very caring boss (not) insisted afterwards that I had to email everyone present at the meeting and apologise for my indiscretion. I doubt whether he would have done the same if it had been the other way around.

Eventually, when I was really getting to the end of my tether with the job, and there were a variety of reasons for this, I sat and took stock of what I actually did which was useful and constructive. I also took stock of the way certain staff were making my life a misery. I dreaded Monday mornings coming around. At least two of my staff were complete psychos and didn't give a momkey's stuff about what the effects of their actions were having on me, or anyone else for that matter. I had tried doing useful and constructive things to benefit and take the department forward, but my own boss, gave me zero support. I had been very enthusiastic and keen when I was originally promoted to the position, but in the end it was all just drained and sucked out of me. I decided that it was all  pointless, and not worth the hassle, so I decided on a time scale after which I would hand in my notice. From making the decision and leaving, I just did what I absolutely had to and no more. I took a book into work and just sat in the privacy of my office reading  most of the time. I always felt the job was vacuous, and this point was proved when the company never bothered to replace me after I had left, though they were a really tight-arsed company and would do anything to save a penny.

Since I have retired, I have never missed it for one second. I still have friends who are even today working there, but my life has been much richer, happier and varied for leaving. I am never stuck for anything to do, and I am working voluntarily in a number of activities with people who actually appreciate "what I bring to the table" so to corporate speak!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Think of Something.....Quick!

This evening I am sat here again with a blank virtual sheet in front of me wondering what to write about. I've been wondering this for most of the day, and still am. 

I have read somewhere that writing regularly is a discipline. Probably the best book I have read on the subject is by Stephen King, the horror author. The book is called "On Writing" - What else?? I guess it didn't take him all night to think that title up! The thing I like about King is that he writes just what he thinks, and it comes across pretty much like he's talking directly to you. He doesn't mince his words, but he's not crude. I have read a few of his books including "Carrie" which is the first novel he got accepted for publication together with a substantial cheque which was a great thing for him as he was struggling financially at the time. And then later he sold the film rights, published a zillion other novels and the rest is history. I suppose therefore I would strongly recommend you get a copy of "On Writing"if you are interested in writing yourself, which not only gives you fantastic advice on how to write, but also speaks of his earlier struggle as an English teacher to get his first book written and published. I leave it to you, dear reader, to judge whether I have learnt anything from it myself!

Keeping on the subject of writing, I write a daily diary detailing all the things I have done that day. This can be very helpful as it concentrates the mind, gets you away from Facebook or any other trashy social media, gives you a record of your life, provides a great reference if you are trying to remember what you were doing on a certain day and gives your loved ones a record of your life when you finally shake off this mortal coil. It can also provide a good defence if you get arrested for a crime you didn't commit! On top of all that, I find it cathartic in that if something has upset me or wound me up during that day, I can get it off my chest to my diary before I go to bed. This has become such a ritual for me that I don't feel the day is complete until I have written it. Also, I don't type it but physically write it with a fountain pen, and each entry is up to around 400 words long which roughly equates to about one page of A4. The act of writing with a pen is a great thing in itself in this day of keyboards both physical and virtual. I don't use long hand as my writing is very scruffy, so I am in the habit of writing in block capitals, which I suppose is a bit lazy, but I just find it seems to suit me.

I like to read other people's blogs and notice that there are a great many different styles of blog out there. One type is a bit like writing  a daily diary. I would prefer not to write in this way, its just not my style. However I would like to recommend one particular expositor of this blogging style, and that is "Katyboo1's Weblog".  You can find it on Word Press, or just Google it.  Its brilliant and this lady has a great gift for blogging, and it is never dull. I am one of her greatest fans!

Well the time is getting on. It will soon be time for bed - I have another busy day tomorrow, and I need to write my diary........

Monday, July 26, 2021

Well hello Again....

 Given 2017 was a fair while ago, I thought it was about time I let everyone know that I am still alive and kicking. I am still alive and now you know!

A lot has happened in my life since 2017, too much to go on about here. Anyway, that would be way too boring.

As I get older, and at the moment I feel pretty ancient, I appreciate that time is precious especially when I realise there is a lot less of it ahead of it ahead of me than than there is behind me. With this in mind, I felt it increasingly important to procrastinate less, and get my backside in gear and do stuff.  I also have fewer teeth than in 2017, by the way.....just thought I'd slip that in!!! 

Photography is still an important part of my life, which is not surprising when you consider it was my profession the whole of my working life. Just lately I have had a hankering to go back to film. To those who don't know what the hell film is (yes.......I've met one), its what we used before digital and it was made of celluloid or some such material. Now the great thing about film is that it lasts virtually forever, it's tactile and easy to my case in transparent sleeves. I have dragged my old Nikon 35mm SLR camera out, bought some black and white film and am now nearly at the end of firing off the last few frames of the 36 available exposures on the roll. I must say, I have very much enjoyed getting out with it. It has no auto focus, auto exposure or auto anything for that matter. Its quite heavy, and weighs a ton in comparison with my digital SLR. It has a fixed standard lens, and I don't have a wide angle or a telephoto lens for it.....yet. Anyway, rather than drone on about this any longer I'll leave it at that for the moment until I've got it processed, although I do feel a bit of a rebel sticking one finger up at digital!

I am very pleased the legalities of wearing a mask or social distancing have at last been dropped, but I know a lot don't agree with me on this one. I noted today from The Times that the infection rates are dropping rapidly which is excellent news. However, on the other side of the coin scientists have ascertained that farting in toilets spreads the virus! I guess I'd better just shove a cork in it! 

Friday, September 01, 2017

Just Beautiful

Many years ago when I was a teenager-and that really is a LONG time ago - my music teacher played a record to us by a young newbie on the scene called Bob Dylan. Some of you may have heard of him. The song he played was "With God on Our Side". The premise was that when countries go to war they often claim that they have God on their side to justify their going to war. But then comes the kick in that a country might be evil without God on it's side (from it's enemy's point of view), but then after the war they make friends with their former enemies, get forgiven and then they too have God on their side. "Though they murdered six million, in the ovens they fried, the Germans now too have God on their side." Well, from an objective point of view I do not accept this premise because I do not believe in the god of any religion, and if there is a force in nature you might loosely refer to as "God", then it certainly does not concern itself with human affairs, let alone taking sides in wars. Anyway, just to confuse things still further, none of the above is what I have sat down to write this blog post about. Its just that Bob Dylan plays the guitar and its really the guitar I want to write about.

Even so, this state of affairs raises an interesting question about consciousness. I got an invite from a Facebook friend (she's also a real friend) to attend a "Philosophy in the Pub" meeting in the pub. This was shortly after I had joined her Facebook group called "Philosophy in the Pub"; I guess that figures and hope that is clear. Anyway, the conversation over the beer glasses got around to the nature of consciousness, which if you spend too long trying to work out you go insane and then disappear up your own rectum, so contemplation in this regard is only recommended for short periods, with doses of "Game of Thrones" or "West World" or some such escapism in-between. The guy to my left made the comment that as we don't know what we are going to say next, do next or think next, then consciousness takes on a special quality we can never reproduce in a computer.....or some sort of argument like that. Lets just say it was deep man, deep. Anyway, going back to the former paragraph I really didn't know properly what I was going to write, things just pop into my head and stuff comes out, in this case getting printed onto my computer screen. This raises the question whether we are fully in control, whether we truly have free will, and is life purely random with us only steering things in a broad sort of way over time, but not having real control on a moment by moment basis (?) which is amply illustrated in the fact that a few seconds ago I never really knew I was going to write what I have just written in that sort of way. So let's get back to the guitar.

My friend Peter Shelley liked Bob Dylan, as I did. Being materially well endowed, he had an acoustic guitar, and we used to sit in his house playing on his guitar. Or rather- HE played on his guitar and I watched. My mum had a Marshall Ward catalogue (you have to be a certain age to remember those) and I noted that for a small monthly sum I could buy my own acoustic guitar, which my mum ordered for me. I then got myself some Bob Dylan sheet music and started to learn to strum certain chords, principally G, C, F and D. From this I learnt to 'sort of' play songs like Dylan's "Mr Tamborine Man" (not sure how you play a song on a tambourine) and Donovan's "Colours". Tambourine Man had a special resonance for me as I found the melody and the words particularly appealing. Lines like "Take more for a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship, My senses have been stripped, My hands can't feel to grip........." synced well with the elated feelings I experienced doing free fall parachuting (badly, but that's another story). Also, I loved, and still do, the Byrds jingly jangly version of the song which stayed at number one in the British charts for seven weeks. I also got a bit more adventurous with other songs like "The Times they Are A-Changin'" as a finger up to the establishment kind of song.

On and off, I continued to play sporadically over the decades since then, but not very well and making very little progress beyond my first rather very imperfect attempts. Eventually I bought a new guitar deciding to try and revive my by now dwindling interest. However,  having a shiny new guitar is one thing, but playing it any better than the previous one is a different matter, and the poor instrument spent most of its time in its bag.

My musical wife, on the other hand loves the piano and on and off (I guess we are a on and off kind of couple, musically that is), took lessons from a professional concert pianist while we were stationed with the RAF in West Germany (as was), and she made considerable progress. After owning a couple of "real" pianos she finally took the plunge  a couple of years ago splashing out on a new all singing all dancing and even making the coffee electronic digital (everything is digital these days!) piano which I have to say sounds wonderful. She has regular lessons, taken gradings, and it is always a pleasure to hear her practising on a daily basis. Anyway, to cut a long story shorter, while we were visiting the music shop for some sheet music she was after, I found myself lustfully eyeing up the guitars. There is something very sensual about the feel of a guitar. Even more sensual was the sound and tone of the model (a Yamaha) I chose to buy, booking myself guitar lessons at the same time. That was several months ago, and now that I have found some direction in my playing I am making progress. I have also got a new teacher who is an inspired player who I find great pleasure in just listening to, let alone playing myself. All this of course, gives you inspiration and makes you want to do more and improve, and there is massive satisfaction in learning to play something well. Also, our local Oxfam Books and Music shop where I currently work as a volunteer has started promoting Open Mic nights at the hotel across the road from the shop. Well, I love to perform, though I have never dared to perform on the guitar, so dire has been my  playing (I am also a singer and have taken part down the years in a number of amateur musical productions in front of paying audiences), so I have decided to "have a go" on the guitar in a few weeks time. Having been to the first of these evenings last month, I gauged that the performance standard to get some kind of applause or even whoops of approval might just about be coming into my orbit of capability - particularly if I play a lot later in the evening when the alcohol has taken greater affect! So there we are, I have something to aim for giving more reason than just personal satisfaction to my daily endeavours.

The guitar is a fascinating instrument. It was originally meant to be a cheap instrument bringing to the common masses a means of playing without the expense of a piano, the snobbery of a violin etc...etc... - it was an instrument for the common person. However, generations of incredibly talented instrumentalists have given the guitar a cult status not obtained by any other instrument. It comes in a number of forms like electric rock and base guitars, classical acoustic and folk and others.... Whilst I love folk singing, I am drawn very much to the likes of Jimmy Hendrix whose off the wall playing is legendary. Other players like Chet Atkins, Santana, Jimmy Page, Brian May and Eric Clapton to name but a few, have taken the guitar by storm and made it sound just beautiful. I know I can never be like them, but at least in my own very modest way through sore fingers and constant practise I might be able to achieve something which sounds  reasonably like good music.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Keeping Busy

Well, here we are late at night and I had the crazy idea to write a blog post. For those of you who thought me dead, this might come as a pleasant surprise......I would like to think???????

Anyway, I have decided to write a bit about what I do with my time in retirement, or at least since I gave up my job some 4 years ago now. It seems whenever you see any adverts on the telly to do with retirement (usually linked with DEATH....oh boy), they always seem to show the old man pottering around in the greenhouse or in the garden....or some suchlike thing. Often the wife is talking really enthusiastically about some "British Old Gits" death insurance policy which will ensure their loved ones will get all of £26.50 each to bury them when they pop their clogs, which, if the ads are to believed they are enthusiastically looking forward to! Well, OK, I wax lyrical and exagerate somewhat, but if you follow the popular fiction, your later non-working years are the twilight zone where you are in some kind of gardening, insurance paying limbo awaiting the arrival of the grim reaper. I decided this kind of retirement was not for me. It just isn't me, and it never will be. I am a retirement non-conformist.

So what DO I do with myself, I hear you ask (not). Well, I have developed an interest in the history of the RAF, and particularly RAF Wyton, the place where I began my career as a boy in blue, and finished my career 46 years later as a civvy, spookily habitating the same office as my first boss in 1967. How's that for full circle! RAF Wyton has by good fortune a heritage centre, and I have found a bit of a bolt hole there as a volunteer. I now spend time showing people around the exhibits as well as teaching them some history, though some know considerably more than me! We also do road-shows to educate the public as well as give talks both at the centre and away at libraries, WIs, Probus groups and such like. All the time I am having to keep reading and researching to increase my knowledge so I can speak more authoritatively . The subject matter is the entire history of RAF Wyton from 1916 to the present day, the RAF Path Finder Force (RAF Wyton was the Headquarters of the Path Finder Force in WWII), and photo reconnaisance, as the base has spent a lot of it's life in that sphere of activity.

In 2015 I had a surprise visit from our local District and Town councillor who thought it a good idea if I ran for the Town Council. This was all a bit of a surprise as I never saw myself in local government, though he had suggested it briefly before, and after a milisecond I said no. Obviousely he was not convinced! Following conversation over coffee and biscuits I decided, oh what the heck, and accepted to stand. The next thing I knew I was out knocking on doors around the ward and more or less got a friendly reception. On the night of the election I won 1306 votes which won me the here I am doing my bit for the town as best I can. Given my background in media, I am now chair of the Media sub-committee as well as chair of the Town Twinning sub-committee. I am also vice chair of the Leisure and Community Services committee, to name a few of my responsibilities. Last year, the District Council in their infinite wisdom decided to cut our 4 year term short by one year so as to bring town and parish elections in line with the district elections. However, there is a twist in this tale in that I have decided not to stand next year. I was so disgusted with the policies and actions of the Conservative government and after a re-assessment of who I really am and what I really care about, I left the Conservative Party and joined the Green Party.  I have decided that I will be a Green activist in the future, but I will not be standing again for office, although I reserve the right to change my mind!

I am a lover of books. I am a real bookworm. For me, an hour in Waterstones is like a kid in his favourife toy shop or an alcoholic in a brewery!  I just can't get enough of books, and regard the gift of reading one of the most precious things in my life. In 2013, shortly after I packed in work, I went for a browse around my local Oxfam bookshop, which I had only just noticed, despite the fact that I must have walked past it many times over the years. I fell in love with the place instantly and offered myself up as a volunteer. A month or so later, following a holiday in Cornwall, I worked my first shift.  Since. then I have never looked back. The manager is a  man who in his previous life was a college English teacher. The ethos of the shop is number one, have fun, number two, offer the customer the best experience you can. We get masses of donations, and some of what we get turn out to be real gems, including first editions which we might sell for hundreds of pounds. We do a big trade in vinyl records, which have made a big comeback in recent years. Many of our customers are serious collectors and it is not unusual for a customer to spend a three figure sum before walking out the door. Of course, we are very particular in what we put out for sale at the front of shop, as we have built up a reputation which we have no intention of tarnishing. We also, as well as selling things, give our support to local artists. These can be painters, contempory artists, or musicians. A couple of weeks ago we sponsored a concert by two local rock groups at a local hotel. I did the photography for the event, the prints from which will soon be used as a window display.

So there we are. There is a lot more I do than I have mentioned here, but it ought to be apparent that I am far from having nothing to do and have no excuse for being bored, though I have to say, I did spend an hour trimming our front hedge earlier this afternoon.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Advancing years.

OK, I know I have said this before and not carried it through, but this time I really do mean to write and publish posts more frequently as it has been clearly mega-yonks since I last wrote anything. How long is a 'yonk" by the way?

The next question of course, is what to write about? I have to confess I have gone very stale since my first flushes of enthusiasm when I started this blog nearly a decade ago. As I have aged somewhat in that time, I think ageing will be my  topic for this post.

It only seems a little over 26 years ago when I suddenly realised I had reached the incredible age of WAS a little over 26 years ago.....gulp! I had just finished 23 years service in Her Majesty's Royal Air Force and was now being unceremoniously booted out as I had outstayed my welcome and was past my 'use by' date. Of course, this caused a tremendous shock to the system as the RAF had been most of what I had ever known and I couldn't believe the years had flown by so quickly. But more than that, for the first time I began to feel old. It occurred to me that in another 20 years I was going to be 60 and given how quickly the last 20 years had passed, I was on a fast track to oblivion. This put me in a bit of a panic. After all, unless something unfortunate happens to finish you off in the meantime, you die when you get old, and I wanted neither of these eventualities. I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with the cold and panicky thought that I was going to die, and I would try to imagine what it must be like to be dead! Of course, this was all very stupid as it is clearly not like anything and beyond the realms of imagination. I suppose if you are religious then your outlook would be completely different, but I was in the process of giving up on professing to be a 'born-again' Christian, and despite being a lay preacher for a number of years and even getting a couple of GCE 'A' Levels to go to theology college to become a minister, after some good nights sleep and a few neat whiskeys I had my own 'road to Damascus' experience where I realised it was all a load of impossible and irrational tosh, so I made a complete about-turn. That is not to say I am not spiritual, but then that's getting way off track.

Anyway, as the years passed I realised that worrying about ageing and mortality was pointless and somewhat stupid. One of my work colleagues also advised me in a moment of solemnity that growing old is a privilege which many people are deprived of. Thinking about this, I realised he was quite right, and growing older or being old is not something to get depressed about, but savoured. I have always lived a very active life, and achieved many things, and I decided that this was the way I should continue. In 1997, I walked the 'Pathfinder March'. This is a annual 46+ miles walk around the original four Pathfinder Stations of the Path Finder Force which came into being on 15th August 1942, with its headquarters at RAF Wyton. I managed to complete the walk in good time and in lots of pain and mind bending fatigue, but was pleased with myself as many people much younger than me had dropped out. Since then, I have completed it 5 more times, the last time being the event on 18th June 2016. I keep myself fit and work out at the gym and try to eat reasonably healthily, though I do have a penchant for ice cream and fish n' chips! Since retirement three of years ago, I have found a new life in volunteering and community service, though not the type which the beak hands down to you in a court of law! I also follow my photography hobby avidly and keep finding lots of new ways to make use of it, both for my own satisfaction and the benefit of others, so I am kept extremely busy doing things I enjoy and find worthwhile. Thankfully, I am blessed with good health.....sort of...........but guess what??????........ I just don't care. As Spike Milligan once said (I think)..."If you say you have nothing wrong with you, then there is something wrong with you".

Basically then, I do quite like being an old git, or fart, or codger or whatever the current common terminology might be prevailing. I am going to continue doing what I do as long as I am able and to hell with the advancing years, I am going to wallow in them. I may well lose my marbles, but then as one of my friends recently said to me - "Its alright losing your marbles so long as you don't know you have lost them"!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Growing Pains

When I was a child I had a great love of the countryside. I would go for long walks down the lanes, and across the meadows with my mates around the environs of Potters Bar. I particularly liked playing and exploring the local streams like "Bridgefoot" where in its clear running waters you would see shoal upon shoal of Sticklebacks, little fish we would catch in our nets, and take them home in jam jars to be re homed in our garden ponds. I particularly liked playing around and exploring the many small lakes and ponds, each brimming over with its own natural wildlife. It was easy to find lots of frogspawn, some of which, like the sticklebacks would find its way back to our garden pond. It was fascinating watching the little tadpoles slowly take form in their protective jelly, then hatching into the water, and  slowly growing legs while their bodies grew slowly plumper and their tails slowly retracting until at last they reached their destination of turning into properly formed frogs. They would then, after a while, struggle their way out of the pool and make off on their own to pastures new.
If I walked outside my garden gate and turned right and walked about a hundred yards, I could climb through the wire into what was affectionately known as the "cow field", although the cows of my very early youth disappeared to be replaced by horses from a riding club whose premises lay in a far flung corner of the field next to the main road, Mutton Lane. Just the  other side of the fence  was a small pond which was home to all sorts of water borne life, but of particular interest to me and my mates were the newts. There were various hinds of newts living here, and they were not uncommon. Some of these also found themselves living in my garden pond!
When I look back, there were ponds, clear streams, fields, woodlands and wildlife everywhere. Tragically, now, many of these places I loved and played in have vanished along with the wildlife they supported. The vast field near my house with its newt pond got redeveloped into a big housing estate. From the railway path, you could look up across the field and see my house standing proudly in its row as you walked to and from the shops. Not any more, just the bland view of the obscuring over-priced houses. Another bit of the field was swallowed up after they knocked down my old junior school to make way for more "badly needed" flats and rebuilt the school on the field, a mere shadow of the proud buildings where I received my primary education. The fields separating the northern and southern parts of Potters Bar were slowly consumed by more development, laying waste to the "sprat pond", another haven of wild life where my brother used to go. Of course, it goes without saying that this theme has gone on at an ever accelerating pace since my childhood and the landscape in many places has changed beyond recognition for the worse. And the cause of all this
I feel a great despair for this planet because us humans have blighted it with our presence and determination to breed beyond the limits of what the environment can support. The net result is the rapidly accelerating destruction of our countryside as the towns turn into cities and the cities keep expanding ever onwards swallowing up local villages and the land between the villages being redeveloped with endless new housing estates. Of course, all this puts additional pressure on the infrastructure, so more and more roads get built, more and more shopping centres spring up, more and more traffic on the roads, ever more power stations and wind farms have to be built, more and more pollution.....and so it goes on.
One of my favourite sci-fi films is "Blade Runner". It begins with a vision of a future where you don't see any countryside, everywhere you look is a vast multi-layered city towering up into the sky, while in the streets below people scurry around in a constant smog of pollution. My fear is that if we continue as we are, this is the kind of future we could be heading for unless there is a radical change in which we, as a species command our affairs.
As I see it, population growth is the most obvious factor driving all this, along with an economy which is ever seeking more and more growth, which in the long term cannot be anything but unsustainable. Look around where you live. Unless you are very fortunate there will not be any truly natural (primeval) countryside to be seen, its all being either farmed or redeveloped. On an aircraft flying across Europe earlier this year on my way to Hungary, I couldn't help but notice the landscape below which was all a patchwork of farm fields, with very little in the way of forest or open moorland to be seen. We are getting to the point where the only bits of the planet which are untouched by humans are those very remote and inhospitable places which, for the moment, we see as unfit for human habitation, but I believe even that will change. Of course, another outcome in all this is man's continued inhumanity to man, with wars and jaw dropping barbarism going on in untold spots around the globe, while millions starve and children live on the streets or out of cardboard boxes, scavenging among the city rubbish tips in the hope of finding something to keep a foothold on staying alive.
Clearly, the world needs to stop, step back, and realise that we cannot go on like this. Unless something is done to turn back the tide, our future on this planet is at best very grim, and at worst doomed. A factor I haven't mentioned yet, is, of course climate change. All the time I hear of governments pledging to take steps to reduce the amount of CO2 they chuck out into the atmosphere, but when do you hear of them saying they will take steps to reduce, or at least stabilise their populations? You don't. Religion has a lot to answer for where population explosion is concerned, particularly in the insistence on the sanctity of all human life and the right of every foetus to be born, whether or not it may be deformed, or not wanted by the parents, or the result of a rape....or whatever - you get the picture. You have those who don't allow contraception or abortions. The result being large families of people in very overcrowded cities, poverty, deprivation, and disease - ridden early death for many of these unfortunate children who had to be born because they are sacred to the god existing only between the ears of those who believe in him/she/or it. They call themselves "pro life" when the ultimate outcome of their stance is misery and death.
China has been castigated for its one child policy. China is at least facing up to the problem and trying to do something about it. You would think that China having the land mass that it has, would have loads of room for everyone, with vast reaches of unspoiled countryside. Well, this is more and more not the case, and they are fighting to resolve it, even though some of their methods seem cruel to us in the west.
Well, I think I have made my point. I have mentioned these things in earlier postings, but now I am not working any more (for the moment at least), I find myself with more time to ponder these issues, and write about them. Its now time for me to take a walk from my house where there was a nice field at the back of us when we moved in 16 years ago, and is now an ugly housing development. I'm going to the corner shop which was once a much more modest affair but which charmingly catered for all our basic needs, but has since been taken over by Tesco attracting every man and his dog as well as being frequented by massive delivery lorries blocking up the road and creating chaos.....oh joy!