Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday musings


This week saw the marking of an event that occurred 50 years ago.
The President of the United States, Mr. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas.
He served a short time actually, from January 1961 to November 1963 – 2 years and 10 months in total. Not even a full term and yet, the affection, pain and sorrow felt for what was lost in his death has become part of the American soul and consciousness. A mythical legend of the “American Camelot” has been fostered and accepted by the nation.
Is this a yearning for simpler times, such as was portrayed in the imaginary town of Mayberry of the “Andy of Mayberry” TV show from that time?
For indeed, when the life/lifestyle of the late President is compared to the standards today, well to say that he adhered to his marriage vows would be disingenuous at the least. At the best, he was much more discrete than folks like Mr. Weiner or the Toronto Mayor, Mr. Ford are these days.
History says that his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis was flawed at best and more details emerge yearly as to how he involved the United States more and more into the quagmire of the war in Viet Nam.
And yet..... the longing endures.
Maybe we judge present day politicians more harshly these days.
Maybe not.
I also wonder how different the world might be today if he had lived.
It seems that some sort of deal between six world powers and Iran that calls on Tehran to limit its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief, has been reached. This according to the French and Iranian foreign ministers.
Some cynics might wonder if this will follow the same mode as all those “agreements” that North Korea has agreed to in order to get loads of foodstuffs from the Americans only to ignore them as soon as the material entered North Korea. You know, the type of agreement that the United Nations so happily embraces as if to point to themselves as relevant and then turn totally mute when broken.
Oh that wonderful Useless Nations....oops again, United Nations...
Off to Germany now, where a 61-year-old man had been sentenced to three years in prison for abetting tax evasion by the court in Kleve, North Rhine-Westphalia. During sentencing, he complained of diarrhoea and was allowed a “potty” break where he promptly broke a window and fled the scene. Compassionate buggers those Germans.
Sadly for the fugitive, he was later caught by police while trying to enter the washroom of a gas station after being recognized by the attendant there.
There has to be a joke about Karma in there somewhere doesn't there?
Speaking of politicians, sure glad to know that those in Spain know who the real enemy is these days. The federal government passed a bill with heavy monetary penalties for 2 groups of law breakers.
The first group, those selling drugs or offering sexual services in front of minors could face a penalty of up to €30,000.
Sounds good and concerned about minors right?
Because the other law is a lot harsher on a more “dangerous” group (at least in the minds of the politicos that is) where unauthorized protesters outside the Spanish Parliament could soon be hit with fines of up to €600,000.
How uncool and hypocritical is that????
And politicians wonder why people are cynical?
Huh....
Last week I mentioned about Italian momma's boys and this week, well, out of Rome comes a report that satisfies every stereotypical notion one has about Italian lovers and “older” Italian women with balconies. A young couple who succumbed to their passion in the gardens of Rome's Castel Sant'Angelo have been sentenced to three months in prison after being spotted by an elderly woman from the balcony of her home.
Wonder how long she watched them?
Bet you can “see” that in your minds eye!
Also in Italy there was some massive flooding in Sardinia this week. When local authorities appealed for financial disaster relief funds, they were told none were available. Here comes the rub for you. In Italy, like America and Canada, there are taxes on items such as petrol (gas), electricity and other activities deemed environmentally damaging with the money to go to environmental remediation and disaster relief. And just like every other jurisdiction, these funds disappear into general revenue accounts and end up subsidizing other government operations across the board.
Sounds familiar right?
To repeat - “And politicians wonder why people are cynical?
Huh....”
In a case of what or who do you believe, there are 3 reports that came out of Argentina this week.
The first is a claim by the the Argentine agency INDEC (the agency for statistics and census) that the national trade surplus for October rose 25 percent compared to the same month in 2012. While the second report from the same agency details how industrial activity dropped 1.1% in October this year compared to last year. The final report is one from the government, and that it is submitting a bill to the legislative arm to increase the tax on luxury imported cars by 50% from the present levels. All payable in much needed American dollars it seems in an effort to bolster the Argentinian Peso.
So...good times or bad?
Over in my third (after #1- my own, and #2 - Maui) favourite Island Oahu, a State representative, a Mr. Bower apparently has taken a baseball to shopping carts used by the homeless. That is unfortunate as I have always found the people of Hawaii to be very kind to those less fortunate and to destroy these peoples cart just does not seem right. While homeless folks camping in public parks can be visually distasteful and possibly dangerous to both the homeless and the general public, one has to believe that these homeless really, really, really would rather not be in the difficult straits that they are in. In fact one would think that there is probably no one that wants to be homeless – right?
So to attack and destroy their meagre items, well, it just seems so wrong,mean spirited and spiteful.
Hopefully Mr. Brower can re-direct his energies to legislate help for the homeless people towards a better life.
Olu'olu, ho'olu, ho'olu'olu?
Georges Lautner left us this week.
He was a world renowned French film director who made over 40 movies, often comedies, during a career that lasted over 60 years. He worked with stars like Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon and Lino Ventura and died this past Friday after a long illness aged 87.
Who replaces great ones like him these days?
I forget, it seems like YouTube and "selfies" from talentless drones seem to be the answer for modern folks...sigh...
In a case where a lack of a complete plan ends up costing the taxpayer more and more money, here on the Island we have the continuing saga of the sewage disposal plans of the Capital City mandarins. Forget the previous fiascos caused by laziness, lack of detailed (intelligent) planning - all the hallmarks of a bureaucracy (and this seems to be the case at the civic, provincial and federal levels throughout the world) that bows before the mythical money tree that is fed uncomplainingly by the taxpayer? Well now that the city compost is not being done as planned (dreamed) and instead of being done locally is to be trucked to a town down the highway and the sewage "sludge" is to be transported via a now to be built pipeline out of the city and that may force construction of an (unbudgeted multimillion dollar) incinerator word comes that these delays will soon kick in penalty clauses in contracts issued to suppliers for about 1 million a month for delays!
Really?
And not a head will roll....argghhhh.....
Oh the poor taxpayer - in more ways than one it seems.
Sometimes it seems like the spirit of Monty Python is alive and thriving here on my Island on the so called "Left" Coast.
Anyway, as my friends on the Sandwich Islands say,
"A Hui Hou"
flatlander52

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday musings

The death toll continues to mount in the Philippines and emergency aid arrives by the hour. News reports show clips of airplanes from nations around the world with supplies. At the forefront, yup, those Americans that a lot of the world reviles.
 Well, maybe the news media just “forgot” to show pictures of the planes arriving from, hmmm.....Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, North Korea – you know, those champions of the rights of all people? Somehow, one suspects that this is not the case.
Yet those darn Yanks, somehow they always seem to help people enduring disaster don't they?
Sorry, but the Americans, especially compared to a lot of other sanctimonious countries, are a pretty good lot by and large. Yes they have problems, but yet, there are many that would rather have them in their corner than any other.
Anyway, the death and destruction there is too much for the average person to comprehend and yet everywhere one sees reports of groups gathering together across North America to raise money and dry goods to send for relief to the affected peoples. Perhaps you have also made a financial donation, if so you have the gratitude of those folks.
Thank you.
Remember all those protests from the recent past about those “evil 1%” folks who shirk their duty to society by avoiding taxes and the like? Well.... a report out of England says that the top 1% of English taxpayers are now paying almost 30% of all income tax. And yet, it seems to be the desire of many to destroy the wealth and wealth creation (read employment of folks as a result). And yet these same people, well, they do not want to pay more in taxes to support others less fortunate in society or improve roads. Heck they say “oh no, not me – I deserve special treatment."
Balderdash.
Seems more like a bunch of these folks just want a free ride at the expense of others doesn't it?
Just like the folks they accuse.
Interesting eh?
Things are heating up again in Libya these days. 
After the overthrow and execution of the late Mr. Gaddafi, a form of democratic styled government was imposed by the coalition forces on the country. While a laudable effort, it was probably doomed to failure as democracy imposed on a country trained to live under a dictatorship usually “spins” its wheels as no order survives as no one group assumes authority. Too much freedom without training and education causes that. A 48-hour state of emergency has been declared in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, after a fresh wave of clashes broke out following a deadly protest against armed groups. Tripoli is on edge since the deadly clashes that also left more than 500 wounded, local news agencies report the Interior Ministry as saying. The fighting followed demonstrations on Friday, in which imams, during weekly Muslim prayers, called for protests against armed groups and former fighters who refuse to disarm, which then degenerated into deadly clashes continuing through the night. This “long night” will take a long time to resolve and many will die sadly, as a result. And really, these is nothing the rest of the international community can do to help, nothing.
Life, not always fair and just is it? 
In Argentina, President Cristina Fern├índez de Kirchner “is recovering in an excellent way” from surgery for a brain clot caused by a fall recently. Indeed reports speculate that she will be able to start campaigning in the National election coming up in that land of beauty and mystery.
What a marvelous place Argentina is, as we spent a month there last year in the city of Buenos Aires and what a treat that was. The people are so gracious and kind to those who stumble in poorly spoken Spanish, as I can attest to. The buildings have a beauty and charm that enchants one. It shows how striking a city like Havana could and should be as it also has similar architecture but under the rule of Communism, it seems as if everything is slowly crumbling into dust and faded glory. Indeed, as noted Cuban Blogger Yoani Sanchez ( http://generacionyen.wordpress.com/ ) points out, all the fabulous Havana fountains no longer spout water as the pumps have been stolen and the copper lines removed by thieves.
Oh, poor Cuba, what lies ahead for you?
In Canada we have a political party named “The Green Party” and it supposedly is one that is on the side of the common person (hmm was not the NDP – New Democratic Party – supposed to wear that crown? And yes , I digress) and Mother Nature.
It is opposed to Big, Bad Oil. WIFI in schools, fluoridation in water as well as that nasty old GMO stuff.
So.... the official Green Party blog refers to evidence of “abiotic oil” (yes, a concept from Stalinist Russia- that era of great free and rational thinking) which believes petroleum is not derived from biological matter, but is rather a geological substance.
Really?
WIFI – well, health agencies such as Health Canada have not felt the need to sound the alarm against the much-weaker radiation coming from WiFi routers, which also carry the added health benefit of not being routinely held next to the human brain such as cell phones which most “Greenies” proudly sport.
Hypocritical ya think?
And bad old fluoridation?
Again, Canadian dental organizations, Health Canada and the World Health Organization call artificial fluoridation the “most effective public health measure for the prevention of dental decay.”
Who is right and who is wrong?
GMO – you know, the food products which so called responsible media trumpet the buzz words created by opponents – Frankenfruit, Frankenburger etc. Supposedly the 5th Horseman of the upcoming Apocalypse to the worlds food chain? Once again, we have the case where Aaron Larsen, a Canadian-born Harvard post-doctoral fellow, declared “Just to be clear, there has never been a single reputable, peer-reviewed study that has found any link between the consumption of genetically modified foods and adverse health effects”.
Huh.
All this proves that like all the political parties that the Greens oppose, indeed they also have no shame in twisting truth to their own agenda.
As in life, there is no absolute truth in politics and no one party has the “only right way”, no matter what the say, do they?
A couple of tidbits from Italy for you.
First, showing that the recession of 2008 still is affecting that country, reports indicate that the Italian economy, the third-biggest in the eurozone, contracted by 0.1 percent in the third quarter in the ninth showing of such shrinkage in a row. Indeed, the data also showed that over 12 months the economy shrank by 1.9 percent. Not a hopeful sign for the future is it?
Secondly, Italian men are often portrayed as “mammoni” or “mamma's boys” and a report from the Italian National Institute for Statistics (Istat) show that in 2012, 52% of Italian men between 25 and 34 lived with their parents and that the number is increasing.
Hmmm....so much for the land of “la dolce vita”!
Passages this week include Mavis Batey.
Who was she?
Well, she was an English garden historian who worked as a code breaker in England (at a super secret site called Bletchley Park) during the Second World War. There she worked as an assistant to Dillwyn Knox, and was closely involved in the decryption effort before the Battle of Matapan. That battle has the distinction of being the last fleet action of the Royal Navy in the war. Incidentally, due to her work, the British decisively defeated the forces assembled by the Italian navy.
It has been a while since I talked about life here on my Island and with fall almost over with, figure a few notes might be in order. Sadly almost all the leaves are off the maple trees and have been gathered and removed to compost stations. But... our winter plants are starting to blossom and that still is kind of unsettling for a former flatlander I have to say. It seems strange to have things bloom at this time of year when on the Prairies everything is hunkered down under the cold and first snow falls. Indeed, I was on my daily walk the other day and happened to glance at the rhododendron plants in our area and saw that there were flower buds forming already! My better half, who is well underway to getting Master Gardener status from the local University informs me that these buds will grow until late February next year and then burst forth into flower – February not June for crying out loud!
Even now going into our second year here, the growing patterns amaze and bedazzle me. I hope this joy of discovery never dims for me as the years fly by.
I went for a shoreline walk the other day, all the while carrying my obligatory West Coast cup of hot chocolate (truth be told, it should have been coffee to be authentic, alas, I have never been a coffee aficionado) and took a snap of a marvelous sunrise, hope you like it!


take care out there,
flatlander52

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday musings

Here in Canada, over the last few months, 2 stories have slowly developed that in the one instance filled me with a mixture of cynicism and impotent rage.
The second, only with sorrow.
In the first, played out on a national level, the saga of 3 Federal Government Senators accused - but not tried, let alone convicted- of a number of abuses of their positions of Parliamentary privilege saw them suspended without pay for a maximum of 2 years from their “jobs” as a result. Cynicism as this type of abuse of power has been a hallmark of the Senate since the day that this retirement ground for lackeys of the ruling party was founded. But these days, it seems that because the Prime Minister has been linked - once again by innuendo not fact - to these bad folks, the hammer of justice has actually been wielded and punishment swift and severe.
Really Mr. Prime Minister?
You, when in Opposition were going to abolish the Senate and now when in power continue to reward old friends and hacks?
Yes, you, Mr. Prime Minister.
Impotent rage - what the hell can one citizen do anyway?
Other than vote and that is one privilege that I will never let lapse, probably nothing at all.
Oh Canada….
The other story?
Well, Canada has a mega city, one that because it is so darn successful has bred animosity from the ROC (Rest Of Canada) by those folks more inclined to sit and whine than go out and do...but I digress…
This city is Toronto and for months now the slow, twisting political demise of its Mayor has been the fodder of late show comics and gossip focused “responsible” media worldwide. In a nutshell, claims of a video purporting to show the Mayor smoking an illegal substance were made earlier this year and now months later, the local police confirm the existence of said video. Then another video of the Mayor in a drunken rage surfaces. One has to wonder about the integrity and cowardice of such a “friend” of the mayor to film, save, and then later “leak” this video. Indeed, memory says that Julius Ceasar had friends like that once.
Following months of denial, now the mayor says yes, he did smoke that substance and indeed, was drunk when the other video was made.
Why I feel sorrow is twofold.
First, sadness for the citizens of that great city based on his conduct. They deserve better from their elected officials, as all people with elected government at all levels do.
And then, more importantly, sorrow for the mayor.
Not because of what he is accused of doing.
No, he is a grown man and all choices good or bad, well, he made them of his own volition, no one else did that to him. The sorrow is based on the fact that I once was where he is now. If indeed all the accusations are true, then he has a drug and alcohol addiction/dependency - call it what you want. That being said, it is so painfully evident that he has not hit the “wall” in seeing what he is doing with his life. After all, he is still mayor, earning money, has press following him (addictive stuff in itself - ask the Kardashians!) and in essence, has not lost a damn thing.
So why admit or change anything?
Only when one “awakes” can any attempt be attempted to remedy the life of that person. Because no matter what is available, whether through medication, counselling, anything, nothing will been worth a darn unless the person involved takes responsibility for their recovery. Otherwise it is a sham. Look at all the people in Hollywood for proof of that. That place is full of professional rehabbers who cannot wait to flee from recovery services to the closest enabler and lord, there are so many of those folks just waiting for them.
This story will not end well I am afraid to say.
Wish that I were wrong…….
Trust is a precious commodity isn’t it?
A person can take it for granted and yet once it is lost/betrayed, it can never be really rebuilt or restored. There will always be a kernel of doubt and suspicion sadly.
I think we all have experienced this in our lives haven’t we?
So, in the Philippines, a large (no way will I stoop to using dumb words such as “super typhoon” “typhoon of the century”, “mega monster storm” - that I leave to trash seeking media “experts”) typhoon slammed ashore with initial accounts of 1,000 dead but later reports suggesting possibly 10,000 or more. And the remnants of the storm are now headed towards Viet Nam. How does one grasp the enormity of such death and destruction while sitting on a comfortable chair in a dwelling safe and secure? Is it possible? Will the region ever really recover? Look at places such as in Japan where the Fukshimal Daiichi nuclear plant ruptured after the massive (darn, used a descriptor word!) earthquake- there now exists a ghost town, never to be rebuilt. Look at Chernobyl - another ghost town. In America, the flooding of the east Coast last year - savaged shoreline and destroyed businesses and housing slowly recovering, but long term - who knows?
Other than the victims, will or does anyone care?
Another example of where people want anyone but themselves to pay for things emerges from the land of lederhosen and bratwurst - dear old Germany - where German shepherds are calling for sheepdog subsidies to help them protect their flocks from wolves which are steadily reclaiming ancient territories - and treating themselves to lamb suppers.
The Chairman of the Berlin and Brandenburg sheep breeders' association called for the state to subsidise dog costs, telling the Berliner Zeitung newspaper it could cost as much as €2,000 a year for food and veterinary care for each one.
Come on, it is your field of income - YOU invest in it not everyone else OK?
One expects better of Germans.
Off to France we go and see a wonderful example of ‘free trade” at work. It seems that most of the emblematic red hats worn by members of the “Bonnets Rouges” protest movement weren’t made in France, according to reports this week. Some 7,500 wooly caps sold to patriotic and anti-transport tax demonstrators were imported, of all places, from Scotland.
Of course the hats were taxed - oh the irony of it all!
I have occasionally mentioned the former Prime Minister of Italy, Mr. Berlusconi, and now reports emerge where he is quoted as saying he blames his tax fraud conviction on persecution by magistrates, and his children "feel like the Jews under Hitler."
Really?
Someone tell this - person - to ask Jewish Holocaust survivors if his excessives and criminal acts resemble the hell they went through just for being Jewish OK?
Is there no shame for these people?
In America, a gunman murdered a federal government employee at the Los Angeles airport this week. And sadly, the refrain of guns do not kill people but people kill people is brandished by gun advocates throughout that great country. In an ironic twist of reality, there in the land of free speech, an Editor of a national gun magazine who suggested that maybe, just maybe some discussion should take place of gun ownership policies was fired immediately for this viewpoint.
Sadly this smacks of “free speech when it agrees with my views” and I do not think that this is what made America what it is - do you?
I have always seen it as a country that thrives on vigorous debate, but maybe this is no longer the way it is anymore.
That would be the worlds’ loss - not just Americas’
Another quality person went away this week.
Chana Mlotek, a noted archivist of Yiddish folk music and an impassioned collector of Yiddish songs from the shtetls of Europe, has died at age 91.
The world will always need people like him or our history will drift away in the mists of time.
This year, as in years past, we will take a day (November 11th here in Canada) to celebrate the lives of those that fought to preserve our way of life and democracy through wars and police actions. The Great War. the Second World War, Korea, Suez, Cyprus, Bosnia, the list goes on and on.
Heros all, survivors and the fallen.
They all deserve our gratitude and respect.
My father fought in the Second World War and he is one of those heros.





take care out there,
flatlander52

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday musings

Well, we are into the 11th month of 2013 and where the heck did the previous 10 months go?
November brings to us in Canada, Remembrance Day where citizens pause to remember the sacrifices of those that fought for democracy over the years. Unfortunately, what was once a solemn day where almost no stores were open for business, now mainly is a full set open for business day with not so many people having the day off anymore to actually reflect on what the day means.
Indeed the last traces of Halloween promotions are competing with the newly posted Christmas decorations.
Sigh….
Remember my observations over the past couple years about the giant debris field from the earthquake that rattled Japan 2 years ago, (killing over 16,000) drifting across the Pacific to Hawaii and North America?
Well, it now seems that the American media have re-discovered this story and bylines in media such as Fox News scream about the “toxic monster” approaching the American shores. Embedded in this debris field are life forms native to Japan and area and totally foreign and unknown on this side of the Pacific and scientists are alarmed over the possible devastation on plant and animal life from these now invasive species. As stated before, the world continues to get smaller day by day doesn’t it?
Speaking of America, one has to think that if the Republican Party would have had any idea how horribly inept the unveiling and implementation of the so called ObamaCare law by the Federal Government was going to be, then perhaps instead of holding the country hostage with useless grandstanding (and damaging voter support) they would have let it proceed while arguing against it in the media. Reports indicate that a grand total of 6 people signed on the Interweb site on the first day! And the website itself has been horribly bad - unusable would be a charitable word to describe it. Of course since it was built by a Canadian company, run by a close friend of the President’s wife apparently, the old canard of “blame Canada” has resurfaced. Just like when the 9/11 bombers struck, rabid far right wing “experts” claimed that the terrorists went through Canada to the USA - didn’t happen - a lie. In fact all the terrorists entered the USA through American cities and the ones who flew the hijacked planes got their flight training in the USA - not Canada. Anyway, reports indicate that the website will be shut down for a number of days for “repairs”. Now what better way of turning people against a government program is there? Pity the Republicans for not seeing this coming.
News from Syria say that all stocks of chemical weapons have been destroyed under a program created by Russia, a program that was met with disapproval by the Obama Administration when first brokered. That being said, two things are important to note. One is that the stocks have been destroyed and that is a good thing. The second, is that the evil carnage continues in that country as the Americans have properly pointed out to all. And that the Assad regime seems to be getting stronger with each passing week and it is publicly supported the Russia, the same country that brokered the destruction of said chemical stockpile. Skeptics wonder is this was just an endgame to ensure the survival of the Assad regime.
Interesting thought that.
And to prove that life is wonderful we go to Italy where a pensioner in the central Emilia-Romagna region has been threatened with legal action over an outstanding one cent social security bill which dates back to the late 1990s. He was told he could repay the bill "in installments" if it proved too much for him. One wonders how much money was spent to determine this incredible amount owed and of course postage and staff hours that could have been spent doing something productive - ah, as if!
This next item is kind of interesting if you follow the story to its logical conclusion. In Venezuela this week the government owns a company that is, by law, the sole provider for oil rig equipment servicing - no one else but they can do this -OK? The government had decreed that oil production is vital to the national security and cannot be interrupted - period. Soooo….the servicing company (remember, did I mention it is State owned?) has not been paid by the Government for a while and since the oil rigs cannot run without mandated supervision schedules - stopped doing the contracted servicing as a result. And...you guessed it,  the government seized ownership of the oil rigs. And yes, the rigs were American owned and now the Government has 2 rigs THEY can and will operate. And all profits flows to the government, not the rightful owner.
Some observers decry this as a thinly veiled theft by legal means via subterfuge - what do you think?
Interesting, that is for sure.

The following is a quote from an article in the National Post online edition this week...
The war on the plastic bag has been waged across Canada and Europe, but a new study out of Scotland highlights how the issue is another prime example of the law of unintended consequences. This week, Britain’s pre-eminent food scientist, Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University, warned that using reusable bags could result in “an increase in the number of cases of food poisoning.” A bag that has carried meat, wrapped or unwrapped, “shouldn’t be used again” because it can harbour dangerous bugs, he said. It is not the first time that policy decisions have had unintended consequences.

I post this because it seems that in this modern world where people are taking offense at everything and trying to wrap all of us in a giant plastic bubble to avoid dealing with the good and bad in life, again and again we see action taken with no thinking of the consequences.
Another case in point is where a blogger commented on the fact that the word “bullying” is being used and overused to the extent that it is losing relevance. And that is both true and dangerous. In Saskatchewan, a Canadian province, a report comes out where a young student who dressed in extreme goth style, clothing and makeup, declared she was “bullied” because she was reprimanded for disregarding the school dress code.
Sorry, she was in the wrong, end of discussion.
If she did not agree with the code - change schools or work to have it changed within the rules.
In fact one could say that she is attempting to “bully” school officials to get what she wants.
Oh well, as the young folks say - whatever!
We lost another giant this week.
British sculptor Anthony Caro, whose industrial yet playful metal creations helped abstract sculpture gain global acclaim, died Oct. 23, 2013.
He was 89.
Caro’s works were often made of steel, and his large, abstract steel sculptures stand in galleries, parks and museums around the world.
I was fortunate to view some many years ago while “a yondering” in my younger university days across England and Europe, fascinating works indeed.
On a personal note, this week saw yet another candle lit on my annual birthday cupcake and the sheer number of the flaming things almost set off the fire detector in our abode. Heck, I am almost as old as I look!!!!
Well, the infamous Halloween celebration has come and gone this past week here on my Island. And it seems that after living here for just over a year, the village children no longer tip toe in fear past our place but actually stride up the walk to ring the bell and chant out the old “treat or treat” refrain to get candy goodies.
And that meant less for me….
Oh the horror!!!!!!!

take care out there,
flatlander52