Sunday, 23 January 2022

So What Do You Do In A Cold, Dull Sunday? Watch A Korean Movie With Your Korea Advisor?

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

Sunday afternoons are probably the worse day to feel dull in. Given how tomorrow is after all Monday.. But I'd promised daughter (who is I must point out 19) to watch a Korean movie that afternoon on the condition that I made the choice.

Daughter's lockdown hobby during this time of Covid seems to be all things South Korean for reasons I don't particularly get. It started with girl pop groups then moved on to boy band groups and has definitely moved on from there. Given that she had the advantage in knowledge I wasn't going  to let her choose a young adult rom-com or something with a Supernatural element which judged on Netflix appears to be a standard fare

I've called her my Korea advisor.

I chose the 2017 crime thriller The Chase starring Baek Yoon-silk. He plays an old, grumpy unpopular landlord living by himself who finds himself investigating with an ex detective the possibility that a serial killer has returned to where a series of deaths were committed thirty years previously to restart them again.

It's this that is the film's strongest card. Creating a character that though not evil is dislikeable and making him the guy the audience has to root for.  The fact that it works is a testament to the writing and the acting of Mr Yoon-Silk.

This movie is also good at not pretending that being old is a disadvantage in such situations. Not just in terms of the central character's life but also in some of the killer's initial victims.

Finally it is set in a poorer part of a Korean city. There is nothing in any way that you could describe as "glossy" that some other movies I've seen could be described as. It's a setting that's believable.

The Chase is a misleading title. Given that it's more a race against time as the realisation dawns that the killer has kidnapped a young woman. The big reveal was not a surprise either. Not my first guess but definitely my second. It was daughter's absolute guess which she did not hesitate to remind me of for the rest of the day.

Ultimately though it's the characters (including the ex detective helping the landlord) which pushes this movie above the norm. Acting wise it's faultless. Definitely one of those films that's quietly different but works.

And it passes the time on a cold, dull Sunday.

Until the next time.



Whether Boris Johnson Stays Or Goes England Will Still Be An Outlier So What Should Wales Do?

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

So the debate in this Disunited Kingdom at the moment is the future of the current Sub Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the wake of the "Partygate" scandal. As I've said before my view is that whether today, tomorrow or two weeks Thursday his time is up.

But whether I'm right or wrong the next question is whether his successor will change the ultra right wing policies that Johnson has brought forward in his Premiership. And in terms of Wales what should happen next.

The first thing to say then is that a Conservative leader will have the advantage of an eighty seat majority for the next two and half years. Whilst they have clearly damaged themselves in the past few months, and of course there is the cost of living crisis to come that is still a strong obstacle for Labour to win the next Westminster election. Let's say they might reduce the Conservative majority but the Tories still win. What then?

For remember Wales as we have said have never voted for a majority Conservative administration in Westminster. England has. So if we have a situation of Scotland basically gearing itself up for independence why should Wales stay married to a partner it does not trust?

If there has been anything that has polarised this it has been Covid. The cautious Celtic approach and the Laissez faire English one had made their respective administrations (Westminster until Partygate anyway) popular with the majority of their constituencies. But the approach has been so different that it will not be forgotten by either nation.

And given how barring the vaccine rollout Westminster England has been shown to be shambolic then no one barring the right wing deluded this side of the Severn Bridge could be deferential to them again. Times have clearly changed.

And as I've said before there are other issues which Covid has partly hidden will be rearing it's face. The Cost Of living crisis for one. After all we were all sold (and let me say at the time I was convinced) that Privatisation would lead to competition and a reduction in prices. Yet all that has happened to the energy industry was that it consolidated basically to a few major companies with no real sense of difference between them. And as for the reduction in prices....

And I would suspect that in Wales the notion of one nationalised gas or electric supplier where profits would be gone to the business and not to shareholders would be seen by the majority of people as an attractive proposition. England? How can you be sure anymore?

So slowly, very slowly, independence is coming up as the only solution for Wales. As I've said before whilst it's not the majority viewpoint it is growing all the time. And should the polarisation between it and England continue then there truly seems to be no other solution.

Until the next time.


Thursday, 20 January 2022

A Bittersweet Travel Not Travel Book On Wales

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

Sometimes a writer completely loses control of his/her work to the reader. Not because they have done anything wrong, but simply that events have subsequently taken control of the narrative.

Now if there was one type of book I had avoided since we all started living in this time of Corona it was the travel book (George Borrows' book about Spanish gypsies of a few centuries previously doesn't really count). My logic was simple. Why give myself literary self flagellation on a genre when I'm in an age when travelling to the nearest town was a dangerous trek in itself.

So when this book bubbled up to the surface I was unsure whether I should pass it over for a while.


Ursula Martin - One Woman Walks Wales

But I decided to go for it.

However as I read this two things slowly made themselves clear. Firstly this was a travel book that did not have a sense of place. For example one of towns visited that I know well was Porthcawl. It really could have been easily Portsmouth though.

Secondly this is her account of the journey she took between 2014-2015 across (mainly) Wales. But it's not one walk but a series of them. She took breaks in between.

Now in any normal travel book this would be enough of an excuse to give it a journey by throwing it across the room. However Ms Martin's undertakes these journeys after undergoing surgery for ovarian cancer. This is really about her own personal journey as she does these walks raising money for ovarian cancer research. And whilst I know that it sounds as if I've written these last few sentences from a therapist's chair once you realise and understand that then this book makes sense.

But whilst it does not have a sense of place it does have a sense of people. Those mainly Welsh people who helped Ms Martin through her walks in good times and bad. Who provided her with money, food lodgings and emotional support. 

Speaking generally I've mentioned before in this blog that the Welsh people are (mainly) nice and generous to others. Sometimes too nice for their own good. If Wales is Italy with rain then perhaps the Welsh are Italians in a cold climate.

And this book becomes bittersweet when you realise that for the past two years a lot of that kindness and generosity has had to be put on ice because of Covid. You can only hope that we are slowly emerging from this and the old normal returns and that "welcome in the hillsides " etc can return.

Until the next time.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

The Question The Devolved Welsh Labour Government Has To Answer : If The Centre Of The United Kingdom Is In Such A Shambles Why Should Wales Stay In It?

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

You know I cannot think in my entire life of a moment when both the institutions of Westminster and the monarchy have been in such disarray. The closest was during John Major's administration of the early nineties (more about him later) combined with the Diana/Charles/Camilla revelations.  

Both institutions of course survived. But at the time the devolved administrations did not exist. People could not consequently see Celtic governments handle issues by themselves without the hand of Mother Westminster to guide them.

Now though as Mother Westminster and the Monarchy are in crisis mode and COVID has seen the Welsh Labour government forced into having independence of thought plus a cost of living crisis looming on the horizon. Now is the moment that the devolved Welsh Labour government needs to ask itself whether tying itself to the union is such a good thing that it has propagandised it to be through the decades.

The ins and outs of the crisis of Boris Johnson's own making has of course been almost the complete focus of the past week. The culture of hypocrisy that whilst stringent regulations were at place corridors of power was also Party time  Central would be difficult to forget. Even if Boris Johnson survives (and I don't think he will - it's just a question of when) it reminds me of John Major's administration. When that government lost it's reputation for economic competence in the early nineties then that failure stuck with him no matter how hard he tried to shake it off throughout his government. 

For you see no matter how hard politicians will say otherwise if you hurt the voters hard  they will remember.

As for the Monarchy well we come to the guy formally known as Prince (actually I think he can still call himself Prince but the joke was too good to ignore). It has acted with a ruthlessness to protect the institution by all but kicking Andrew out of practically everything. To think if he was in any other family now he would have been applying for Universal Credit.

So with that forthcoming trial hanging over it the monarchy as an institution must be hoping that the Queen is not just alive but in a fit state to be there for Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June. For if she isn't then  whatever "celebrations" would have been planned would have to be muted.

Image as they say is everything. 

The state of the Royal Family then is delicate. Let's be clear as the next in line to the throne Charles will not have the same level of popularity as the Queen. Everything regarding Diana will see to that.

We come back to the question of the title. The devolved administrations have been cautiously doing their jobs, without the dramas in Westminster. They have just gotten on with it. Speaking specifically about Wales the Welsh Labour administration have not been without fault but have clearly acted better than their Mother Westminster counterparts

Welsh Labour through the most terrible of circumstances have had to show independence of thought. So if we return to some sort of old normal can Welsh Labour truly say that Mother Westminster and it's consequent institutions are fit for purpose? Perhaps it will have to seriously look into the mirror and say that really the best future for Wales is walking away from Mother Westminster and become free.

Of course it won't be an easy sell. But really going back to what was when you see what can be is impossible. 

Until the next time

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Welsh Conservatism On The Brink Without....Would You Believe It.....Independence

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

I've chatted before about the dangers for Welsh Conservatism in it's Stockholm Syndrome attitude towards Mother Westminster. But after the events of this week it's worthwhile to chat about this again.

Two factors need to be chatted from this week. Firstly Unionist Westminster Jacob Rees Mogg called the Scottish Conservative leader a lightweight for calling for Boris Johnson to resign in the wake of the Partygate scandal.

What it showed was a disdain, no snobbery, no contempt for a man who is  as devout a Unionist as he is. My suspicion is that historians in the future will mark this time as the moment when Scottish independence became inevitable. After all when a Westminster minister acts like that to a Conservative ally then what hope is there? And if Jacob Rees Mogg feels himself superior a public schoolboy look down on the Plebs pose to Scottish Conservatives you wonder what his position is to their willing Welsh counterparts. 

And Wales? The Conservative party and it's leader Andrew RT Davies were deafening in it's silence on the issue of Partygate..

But factor two was what Andrew R T Davies actually did. He actually brought out a video stating that the devolved Welsh Labour administration should loosen the restrictions currently in the country. Now whether correct or not is not the point here. The point is that the Welsh Conservative leader had no sense of irony that Mother Westminster had apparently broke the Covid restrictions they themselves made at a time when the knowledge of the virus was at it's lowest.

What makes Welsh Conservatism's position even more servile is that it is English Conservatism being rammed into a nation that has never voted for it. And the thing is that if Welsh Conservatives contemplated the possibility of independence then they might mot so ludicrous as they do now.

If I was a Welsh Conservative I would advocate independence and at the very least independence of thought from Mother Westminster. But as things are they face being an irrelevance in the swarm of turbulence facing this Disunited Kingdom 

As I'm not a Welsh Conservative .....good.

Until the next time



Wednesday, 12 January 2022

So Wales Is Used As The Second Line Of Defence For Boris Johnson Over The Downing Street Party

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

Well nothing else seemed to be on the news than the Downing Street Party in May 2020 which Boris Johnson attended and most of the nation if they could watched/listened to this sub Prime Minister's statement in Parliament about it.

Personally his statement was not good enough. As far as I can understand it his defence was that he cannot tell the difference between a "Bring your own Bottle" party and Works meeting. Also he kept on going about waiting for the enquiry to produce a report which for me anyway as I've said was not good enough. 

But other than the obvious what was noticeable was what used as the second line of defence by the Conservative Party....Wales.

Now what normally happens in these things is that a government MP would stand up and give throw a simple question to the sub Prime Minister to attack various opponents. In this case however three questions were made attacking the Devolved Welsh Labour government. One was about the waiting lists in Welsh hospitals, one was about a Freeport and another I must admit I've completely forgotten about.

I won't chat about these questions in detail and I haven't looked into them, though I would suspect that it wasn't the whole truth in detail. But what interested me was why these questions were asked in the first place.

I suspect that the first reason was that it was an Westminster Conservative comfort blanket to give an impression of English superiority over Wales in the midst of all of this mess

Secondly the Welsh First Minster Mark Drakeford's remark on Friday that it was England that was the outlier with regard to Covid policy not just within the UK but most of the world has hit home. 

But most of all I suspect it just emphasises the desperation of Westminster England that they have to use Welsh tropes as a sort of deflection against the mess they have created. Not just in these parties but in the management of Covid itself. With every day that passes the lure of "Mother Westminster" is tarnished. 

What does this all mean? Simply that this is not government. This is just splashing around when drowning.

Until the next time.

  

Saturday, 8 January 2022

Would Chester FC Have To Play In An Independent Wales?

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

Something interesting happened in the world of "Welsh" football yesterday. It transpired that Chester FC, what we assumed to be an English club actually has it's nearby stadium in Wales. Still in a Chester post code but nonetheless in Wales.

The reason why this has become an issue is that the local Welsh council have told the club not to have crowds in their games as the Welsh government's current Covid guidelines. The response of Chester's officials and fans has given the impression what they want is a sort of English exceptionalism to the rules. Diplomatic immunity as it were. Something that has not endeared themselves to those on this side of the border.

Indeed in Wales the realisation that Chester's grudge matches against nearby Wrexham have been North Walian derbies all along have been greeted with amusement here.

Why this has all happened ? I have honestly no idea. Though it would not surprise me if they initially thought that the stadium was in England. 

Whatever eventually happens to this particular situation time will tell. However as the title of this post suggested it did occur to me what would Chester FC do in an independent Wales. 

After all as things stand Chester FC are a Welsh club and if Wales did become independent those clubs who operate in the English tiered system would have to play in the Welsh system instead. Could UEFA agree to exceptions? Possibly. But I'd doubt it because then all the clubs this could apply to would complain as well.

However of all the clubs this would apply to you would assume that Chester's English fans would be the ones that would protest the most at the situation. I would understand their anger if this occurred, But at the same time the irony of an English organisation absorbed by Wales would not be lost on me. Look for example at the English cricket team, not as it should be the England and Wales cricket team (though given the Ashes result perhaps this is a good thing.

What they perhaps don't realise that Chester FC would be part of a revitalised Welsh football League as opposed to the part time English tier they currently reside in. But of course the Chester FC fans would not see this. They would see the trashing of their history. And I get that.

At time of writing the stadium address is also the one registered in Companies House so in the event of independence there would be no question that it would be perceived as a Welsh club.

So we're not talking about something that would happen today, tomorrow or two weeks Thursday. But what Chester FC need to understand is quite unexpectedly it might be the team most fundamentally affected by an independent Wales. So if they want to stay an English club then perhaps they had better start planning for a scenario of Welsh independence.

Or else they could be just known as Welsh Chester.

Until the next time.


Friday, 7 January 2022

Is The Welsh Rugby Union An Anti-Welsh Institution? Part 2 - The Tottenham Hotspur Sequel

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

In 2019 I wrote a post putting the notion that aside from everything on the pitch the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) was an anti-Welsh institution. Citing as evidence things like the Prince of Wales feathers on the badge.

Well it appears that a sequel might be on the cards. For the WRU are negotiating with Tottenham Hotspur to use their London stadium...in England... as the venue for their home games in the upcoming Six Nations Rugby tournament. Thus circumventing the Welsh government's current ban on crowds for sporting events.

Now we don't know at this stage if this is going to progress. So for the sake of argument we have to go on hypotheticals. Let's assume it will happen and the Covid figures are generally unchanged. Things of course could change but we can only really chat about what we know so far.

Whether intentional or not at the very least the perception will be is that at least in part this is a political decision. And that they have decided to follow the strategy of Westminster Boris Johnson government instead of the more restrained devolved Welsh Labour administration. Surely someone in the WRU would have realised that? Unionists, especially English unionists will gloat at this.

So far, if you've passed the intelligence test and have been fully vaccinated then the position appears to be that you will have a good chance of being spared it's worst effects. However you will still be laid low with the omnicron variant and that seems to have been been widespread. Affecting hospital, school and transport staff numbers for example.

And a hotspot is in London.

And that's where the WRU are asking people to go to.

The worst case scenario (and let's stress again the WRU might be proved right) is that fans contract the virus in London take it back to Wales ( and I would suspect we're talking mainly South and West Wales here) then what the WRU would have done is damage the Welsh economy/ structures of a nation because of the number of people having to take some time off work in isolation.

So if this does go through it's a gamble at best. And whatever happens the WRU appears to be nothing short of grubby.

It's not that the devolved Welsh Labour government is innocent in all of this though. As I've discussed previously with regard to night clubs and travelling Welsh football fans to ban such events in Wales but to allow the travel from Wales to England and not close the border for non essential travel seemed to me to be the first law with a built in loophole. A loophole though I suspect they would not have expected the WRU to use.

And apparently the WRU were looking at big stadia in London for these matches. Big stadia for what they would assume would be big crowds.

Does not inspire confidence does it?

Indeed you could argue that whilst obviously some fans will go from Wales to see the team if the Covid situation does not change dramatically from what it is at the moment then perhaps the number will be less than what the WRU hopes given that some people would consider the state of their health more important than a trek to London and give it a miss.

All in all then the WRU give the impression of just grubby incompetence.

Until the next time.


 

An Unexpected Death

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

During the past few days I've been reminded of the way death is mainly shown in films or TV. It's for the most part as a consequence of a violent act, like a murder or car accident. Or the decline is more lingering, as in portraying cancer.

What is rarely shown, and perhaps should be, is the unexpected and sudden death due to health reasons alone. 

A few days back a gentleman in his early sixties died of a sudden but massive heart attack. He had helped us with some odd job work round the house (as he did many others) and there were no complaints from us about that at all. It was always first rate.

But coupled with that he was a nice person with a sense of humour and a love for a cup of tea (always a plus in my book).

Unlikely me (in my late fifties) he regularly took dogs so he had daily exercise. Yet he has died of a heart attack. I won't speculate except to remark on the unfairness of it all.

It though brings me back to the whole thing of the unexpected death. Especially through health reasons. That you nor your loved ones did not know and so could not prepare for. How do you handle that? Is there a sense of guilt at not realising something could be wrong?

This is the third time in my life where such a death has occurred. All three were over sixty but none gave the impression/or indeed knew (even slightly) that their health was such this was possible. So I think being thrust into dealing with bereavement, especially without having the chance to say goodbye, is probably the worst of awful choices.

So to this gentleman I say goodbye. And if I am wrong about atheism i know you will be up in the clouds fixing the odd house problem here and there. 

With a smile in your heart and heavy metal music to the ear.

Until the next time.

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

The Mighty Kia Picanto Is Injured

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

In a normal frame of life one of the worse things that could happen to you is when the unexpected occurs. After all your whole day is ruined.

So as the title implies I was in the car ready to go to Bridgend for work in the afternoon/evening shift. Everything seemed normal. I started up the podcast (The New Yorker Radio Hour which in it's podcast form is annoyingly - even if we allow for commercials - well less than an hour), turned the ignition on, dropped the hand brake and...

"Ker lunck"

It sounded as if something had dropped underneath me. I went out to look but nothing. Seemed fine, So I drove out.

But not for long. I could hear a clanging sound. Then I saw smoke. Just about took the mighty Kia  back to the drive. It stank of goodness knows what.

A guy has followed my car just to kingly tell me that one of the wheels (the back passenger driver side)  did not move. Which explained what happened if not why.

I get back inside the house to the wife's surprise. Ring work first to tell them that I'm unlikely to be there today because of this.

"Have you rung the breakdown people?"

No because I was ringing them first (I mean it was as if I had to justify for the wheel not revolving). Anyway the breakdown people were next on my calling list. But they surprised me (after I explained the situation) saying whilst there would be a pick-up truck I would have to ring a garage who would agree for the pick-up to take the car to first before it could be done. Whilst I knew it was unlikely the fact that no one was actually going to bother to look at it first to see whether it could have been fixed stunned me.

Anyway a local garage agreed to look at the car once delivered. The breakdown people were going to send a truck to take it there. Just a matter of waiting.

That is to say of course waiting two hours wandering aimlessly along Youtube. After all what can you do when you're waiting for something to arrive and pick you up? Your whole day has been thrown against the wall.

Eventually the truck came and took me and the mighty Kia to the garage. Two things were noticeable. One is that the other wheel at the back (which the handbrake would operate) was working fine. Also both back wheels were moving in reverse. All of this suggested that whatever happened it wasn't the handbrake. The friendly guy at the garage explained his theory as to what had happened. But to be honest I didn't really understand it.

He gave me a guesstimate quote of £125 if his theory was correct. But he was going to look at it properly tomorrow and would ring then. No arguments from me, after all he took the mighty Kia at short notice and it was by then half past three.

So tomorrow will have to go to work in Bridgend by rail in this freezing weather. The wife will pick me up later.

Welcome then to 2022.

Until the next time.

Monday, 3 January 2022

Would A Labour Win At Westminster Damage The Chances Of Welsh Independence?

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

As Harold Wilson once said a week is long time in politics. Roughly nine months then is an eternity. After all in the devolved elections in Scotland/Wales and local council elections in England seemed to suggest that the nations were split politically almost irrevocably. With the SNP triumphant in Scotland, Labour being the lead party in Wales and the Cult that is the Conservative party performing extremely well in England. 

Those results made me suggest that Labour in Wales might be moving towards a policy of "We Don't Want Independence But..." Partly due to the weakness of English Labour. Something that they themselves seemed to be inching towards.

However the Conservative, and particularly Boris Johnson seems to have gone on a downward trajectory since that infamous Downing Street press video was leaked. From that moment every thing he has done, things that would have once been judged as "typically Boris" has now entered a more truly critical, or as we should be saying "realistic" viewing. It truly does seem that in terms of Johnson it's not a question of "if" he goes but "when". Specially now Labour is eight points ahead in the polls.

So now there are questions surrounding Welsh Labour if Westminster turns socialist. 

Let's have a look.

Firstly and it is important that this is stressed. Even if we assume Boris Johnson is toast, that does not mean that Labour will win the next Westminster election. There will be years still of Conservative Westminster rule with an eighty plus majority for them to try and turn things around under a new leader. Also if you're old enough to remember when Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister in 1990 it was assumed that the Labour Party under Neil Kinnock would win the next election. That didn't happen.

If Westminster did eventually become Labour then Welsh Labour would have the danger of turning into the branch office to it's London brethren that it was before this time of Corona. Welsh Labour whether it likes it or not has at the very least had to show independence of thought from it's Big Ben brother across the border. Indeed for the first time in goodness knows when Corona crisis has turned Welsh Labour into something distinctly.....Welsh. Any signs of it returning to it's old arrogantly incompetent self will be noticed by the electorate. An electorate which has also changed regarding independence to something which is no longer to be ignored but to be considered. Which is I would argue progress, albeit small.

Plaid Cymru cannot stand by and see what happens. They need to stand loud and proud on the issue of independence. They know that Welsh Labour for whatever their shortcomings are not stupid when it comes to elections. If Wales votes Labour in the next general election and yet a Conservative administration is still elected then the clamour for an independent Wales would be greater.

If Labour win however then Welsh Labour would probably demand more devolved powers for they to acquiesce to Mother Westminster. If a Westminster Labour government fails in any way to agree then again the call for Welsh independence will increase.

So in terms of Welsh independence whatever way the dice is rolled if there is a future Labour government it will not die as an issue. The only certainty though in all of this is that how it will turn out will be even more uncertain.

We live in interesting times.....which is a Chinese curse.

Until the next time.

So 

 

Saturday, 1 January 2022

"Happy New Year"?

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

So as I'm writing this it's New Year's Day which I spent the main part of which working. Not particularly bothered by that but there we go.

A quick digression before chatting about a "Happy New Year". Let me say that if I was ruler of the world I'd ban all fireworks twenty four hours before midnight New Year's Day. I mean it's annoying enough then but there's a clear point but twenty four hours before? That's just people with fireworks being impatient and just wanting to get to he drinks before the time occurs so they just set them off beforehand. I mean what's the point?

Anyway back to New Year's Day itself which was low key. But still people wished me a "Happy New Year" to which of course I responded in the same way.

But it occurred to me were we both in a way lying? Not that we didn't want the recipient to have a Happy New Year more that we really felt that it was going to be difficult.

After all here in Britain there's not only Covid, there's rising energy prices and a general cost of living increase. 

And that's not including the current unmitigated disaster. that is Brexit. 

I may have lost a sense of many things since I've had Covid, but I can clearly feel the gloom. That this Disunited Kingdom is a set of nations not at ease with it's various selves. No matter what the deluded fool of a sub-Prime Minister will actually tell you.

So I do wish you a Happy New Year. Though I suspect that the greatest achievement will be just to get through it. With all the obstacles that it will throw at us.

Until the next time.


Thursday, 30 December 2021

A Vintage Penguin, A Pharmacy Question....Oh And Dissatisfaction With A McFlurry I Didn't Eat

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

Well the most important thing I did today was to take daughter to have her Covid booster. Thankfully it was done with no troubles. She's fine.

Whilst waiting for her in the car park though I finished reading this

1348 - Noblesse Oblige - Edited by Nancy Mitford

I must admit that if I wasn't a collector of classic penguins I would not have bought the book. Billed as it as "An enquiry into the identifiable Characteristics of the English Aristocracy" . That is to say those who consider themselves through breeding to be superior to the rest of us.

As it happened as I suspected I did not like this book. Though some of the reasons surprised me. I expected some sort of humour given the editor which generally it lacked. The first essay is from  Professor Alan Ross basically detailing the differences between how the upper class and us lower orders say things. And the essay was just as dull as the previous sentence suggests.

Nancy Mitford's essay was just as dull as was Evelyn Waugh's response. As were the other contributions aside from a short poem by John Betjeman at the very end.

According to the blurb Mitford's essay caused controversy at the time. Still not sure why. And even worse. I don't care.

Now as I said I was waiting whilst daughter was having her booster in the car park of a nearby leisure centre. Before I started reading I noticed the van next to me.


 

What the sign says is NHS prescriptions delivered to your door for free. However note the asterisk against where it says that and look (through the rain on the car window - apologies) where it says "Only in England")

I have tweeted Well pharmacy to ask why "only in England"? At time of writing there has not been a response. Should I get one I'll come back to you.

And finally...

We all know how everything has gone smaller but we're really being charged more? Well here's the latest example. Got daughter a McDonalds after we left the Leisure centre and amongst the Chicken nuggets (for some reason she's never been one for a burger ) I got her a Celebration Mcflurry.

Well you could tell that it's been a while since I've been there. This is what I was given.


This was just about the size of those tiny fruit juices you had to put a hole in thus spilling a bit of the stuff on your clothes. Furthermore when I last bought a Mcflurry it had a lid. That now has gone.

Oh just to add to the joy of life just now.

Until the next time.

Perhaps There Is Such A Thing As Quiet Long Covid?

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

What I'm going to say is based on my own experiences and anecdotal chats with others. I make no scientific evidence of this whatsoever.

But baring that in mind......

As regular readers are aware I caught Covid before I received the vaccines in November 2020. Went through the isolation process and came back to work.

But as I've documented whilst physically I've had no problems as I would say "below the neck" so I have gone back to work etc I do not feel as if some things have gone away. The problem of the sudden urge to sleep if my brain is not fully engaged is still there. As is the feeling in certain matters of detachment. That I can see it (like Christmas or the Olympics) but can just park it out of my mind almost as if it does not exist. The world is focused on something and yet I'm out of it, some things indeed I enjoyed previously. The feeling that I am but a ghost.

The wife says I'm depressed and should do more things round the house. Well she's wrong. And I know she's wrong because my lifestyle has not changed after I had Covid. But I have changed. You know when you're driving a car and whilst it still moves you sense something is not right. Well at this moment I am that car.

I have chatted to the doctors about my sleep problem on the phone. I've followed their advice of taking a siesta. But it's only improved things slightly. I won't go further though. Because I know full well that my issues are comparatively minor to others that should be dealt with first.

But when (hopefully) this Covid pandemic is contained. That will be the moment when I will go back to the doctor to chat further about everything that I feel has happened to me. And I suspect that I'm not the only one who will do that.

If I'm right then the NHS will find that their Covid related issues would have not quite finished. For those of us with quiet Long Covid will need their help too. 

Until the next time.


Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Omnicron Is Proof Westminster England Has Gone Mad

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

In this Covidised world we live in now the difference between England and the rest of this Disunited Kingdom has become more and more pronounced. So now we come to Omnicron. A variant which whilst apparently causes less danger to your health than others in this ilk (as long as you've passed the intelligence test and have taken the vaccines) but is far more virulent and therefore an increased threat to the health service's capacity to deal with it.

Now most of the nations of this world have reimposed restrictions and that's including Westminster England. But Westminster England have imposed less restrictions and have revelled in it. And have questioned even mocked the Celtic nations imposing more stricter controls.

And ask yourself this. Wales is ruled by a Unionist Labour Party, Scotland by a Nationalist one and Northern Ireland by an amalgam of the two and yet it's England that's out of step.

All this because Boris Johnson is scared of another cultist Tory rebellion in the the name of "liberty"? Who knows. Though let's face facts no one would put it past him. All of this so that right wing press can show New Year celebrations in England but deserted in Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast etc?

Who also would be surprised, as they have done in the past, watch Westminster England follow every one else and yet act as if they are the innovators?

So rather like the consequences of Brexit the Coronavirus virus have helped the cause of independence partly by showing the differences. But also because it's England that gives the impression of political policy on the hoof.

This is I would argue the consequence of an exceedingly right wing Conservative English mentality first really permeated by Brexit of never having to say you're sorry, And yes I know that Wales votd for it as well (a decision which every subsequent election suggests regret) but it is only England's arrogant approach that has fuelled the split.

(And I say again look at Northern Ireland - partly run by a hard line Unionist party - and yet when it has come to Covid they haven't gone all "libertarian". They have imposed restrictions as well.)

It's not just the only reason. This arrogance and then following their Celtic neighbours suggests partly a supposed Westminster England superiority but also, and I would suggest this is subconscious an act of independence as well. "We are better and we will show you". If I'm right.....well

Will things change? Who knows. As I've said in previous posts the Welsh government was right in closing nightclubs etc (though wrong in not closing the border with England - thus leaving the obvious loophole). I think though what is clear is that attitudes to Westminster England has changed here in Wales. Whilst I'm not saying it's independence now the argument for the Union is shrinking with every inept step Boris Johnson and his cronies take.

Until the next time. 

Saturday, 25 December 2021

Sex and The Vintage Pelican

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

It has been a long wait I know that. But at last I can read my vintage Pelican and Penguin paperbacks again. So let's start then with something simple.

A194 - The Psychology of Sex - Oswald Schwarz

This book was I suspect the closest the casual reader got in 1949 (the year this was published) to get anywhere near a book which would talk about the subject. A "medical" book without any titillation whatsoever (and if you buy it for that reason trust me you'll be disappointed).

I must admit to have been surprised that a book that old would mention subjects like impotence or masturbation (indeed female masturbation) and had passed the censor at the time. But then again it was 1949. just after the second world war so presumably people had gone through a whole load of experiences then.

But as I read this book, and bare in mind that Oswald was a psychologist, one thought began to form in my brain. It was that my gut instinct was just not to believe he knew what he was talking about.

Of course I don't know. But certain factors came into play. Chatting about men he seemed to me going on cliché. When he was talking about specific cases they were always confidential (obviously) so we could not be sure he didn't make them up.

It was though when he was speaking about women. That was the real moment when I had serious doubts about Dr Os. There are parts too numerous to mention where my internal reaction was to go "Really?" But I'll give three examples.

1) That few women become prostitutes out of economic necessity. Really? Is he seriously suggesting most women become prostitutes as a preferred career option?

2) That incurable male sterility  can destroy a woman's sexuality.

3) In relation to marriage no woman wants to be "possessed" but she wants to be "owned".

I could go on and on. But you get the drift.

So when you don't trust the writer, even baring in mind when this was written, then it becomes dead to the reader. Impotent as it were.

Until the next time.


Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Let Us Return To The Subject Of Making Welsh Independence More Populist

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

At this moment Welsh independence is in a hiatus stage. Understandably so as well. Most people consider combatting the pandemic to be more important and of course they're right.

But there will come a time when some sort of normal will return. And when it does so will the issue of Welsh independence.

I've stated before that my view is that Plaid Cymru should take the populist ground on the issue currently occupied by Yes Cymru given the latter's problems. But should Yes Cymru return to what it was before it's internal issues blew up in it's face fine independence as an issue is a broad enough church. That though does not mean that Plaid (the party I'm a member of) should not step up.

And as I've said I don't think the current leader Adam Price is the right person to galvanise the electorate. It needs a leader who is capable of doing that. 

To put it simply. It needs a leader who can think big.

All politics requires "the big idea". Independence is exactly that. What the independence movement in Wales needs a leader that convey the big idea to the people out there. There is nothing wrong with populism in the pursuit of an idea when it does not clash with democracy. Neither is it controversial to say that the leader needs to convey him/her self well on television, TV is where most of us formulates our view of political leaders so it's not sacrilege to say that.   

What the virus has shown is that Wales is capable of making it's own decisions. Also when Covid is no longer a distraction the economic mess that Westminster has helped bring about will make people look for other choices than a day by day V for Vendetta conservative administration. And unless England turns fundamentally away from that position then independence is the only other option.

And it's from that position where we must start. Independence provides the alternative for your heart and head to the Westminster status quo. For it is the Westminster status quo that has put Wales in the position it's in now.

Would English "immigrants" (Hello) create a problem for Welsh independence? I would argue no, If the Welsh born populace can be persuaded to support independence then English immigrants would for the most part follow suit. Because if the centre of Unionism Westminster cannot hold then they too will see that it's the only remaining option short of anarchy.

An alliance of the traditional Labour voter, forever betrayed by the party relying on their glorious past and their better performance over Covid than their Westminster equivalents plus the people who are actively thinking and planning about independence would work. Covid has delayed the process. But it has highlighted how Wales can think and act differently to London Unionism and get better results. Indeed take decisions that the Conservatives eventually follow suit.

Independence then. Currently dormant. But I suspect a dragon whilst awake.

Until the next time.



 

The Covid Welsh - English Border Loophole Strikes Again. The Sports Episode

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

A few posts back I chatted about the Welsh Labour government's plan to close all nightclubs from December 27th onwards. Pointing out that whilst I felt the action was sensible there was a clear loophole in that nothing stopped people travelling over the border to England and going to nightclubs there.

Well there is apparently a sequel. Midnight this morning (why?) brought the announcement that crowds in  all sports events in Wales would be banned with immediate effect.

Now I personally don't have any objection to the policy. I would rather the government was cautious and wrong than reckless and wrong. But as is clear here the same issues apply. There is nothing to stop Welsh sports fans travelling over the border and watching sports events there and thus the greater potential of catching Covid.

And of course a lot of fans will to go to a pub either going/returning or both from the game, thus increasing the risks further . Although at times of writing pubs have not been told to close in Wales (though it will need to be noted that as at time of writing the Welsh government are apparently looking into the sector next).

Now in this regard of Sports fans travelling over the border the major group it will affect are the five Welsh football teams that play in the English leagues. Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Wrexham and Merthyr Tydfil. All major towns and cities so any fan who caught the Omnicron virus could easily spread it throughout vast concentrated swathes of the population living here.

It puts undue pressure on the football teams involved. What can they say? "Don't come and support us?" when it is not illegal to do so?

So why then not close the border with England for non-essential travel? As I said in the previous post First minister Mark Drakeford seems scared to do what he did last year for no clear reason. 

Basically with some major exceptions I've been supportive of  the actions of the Welsh Labour government with regard to Covid. But to implement two major measures with an obvious loophole which you don't fill makes no sense. Indeed it's just madness.

Until the next time.

Monday, 20 December 2021

A Short Note On My Sudden Roald Dahl Regret

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

You know there are some moments in life when regret hits you. Perhaps unexpectedly. A thought just emerges from goodness knows where and you suddenly realise that whilst it was not a mistake as such perhaps a slightly different path from the one you took might have been better.

So for some reason today a thought just popped up in my head. 

It was simply that I wished when I was a kid I'd read more children's books by Roald Dahl.

And here's the odd thing. I only ever read one children's book by Dahl, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and I liked it a lot. It's a classic of it's kind and you could see why. One of the greatest books as a boy I've ever read.

Yet I never read another book for kids by him. Why? To be honest there was no deliberate intention not to go so further so perhaps so many books (also comics) so little time is the probable reason. Truly though I don't really know.

I know what you'll say. "Well you can read them now". But no. As I've explained previously I don't believe adults should read children's books for their own pleasure other than rereading those they enjoyed partly because there are so many adult books to read but also that you invading the kids space in doing this.

And to rub salt into the wound I recall reading tons of Enid Blyton books at the time as well (I was a Secret Seven fan than the Famous Five) and yet whilst I can remember Charlie and The Chocolate Factory I cannot tell you any of the plots of La Blyton's books.

Regrets I made a few...

Until the next time.

Those People That Have Had Covid That You Don't Know About

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

You know in one respect I've been lucky so far with regard to Covid. It's that the closest person I know who has had it has been myself. So that I've not had to experience the agonies of others close to me. Or indeed have been unable to help loved ones who have had the full blown version of the disease because of lockdown.

And, whatever the issues with fatigue and on certain subjects mental detachment  that have faced me in the past year as I've always stated in previous posts I know that many people, even those who survived the initial Covid isolation have experienced far worse.

That all being said and understood. It occurred to me in the past few days. Perhaps it's just the nature of a pandemic I don't know. But there are people who have had and have had to deal with Covid that you did not realise have had it. People who you know but are on the borders of your life and so whose disappearance you didn't notice until they suddenly reappear or if you hear bad news. Because you did not know then the sudden shock of their struggle becomes greater.

The first guy I chatted was last Saturday. I hadn't seen him for a few weeks which was when he remarked that he had Covid last month. He seemed OK now. The only irritation and of course worry seemed to be the cancellation of his booster jab which fell during this period and now he was waiting for a new date.

After telling him that I too had the virus I asked whether he now found himself sleeping a lot more. He looked at me as if I'd just read his mind. Mentioning that sleep just overcomes him when he's not at work sometimes. Enveloping like a gas.

It seems then that he has exactly what I had, and I told him that. But then again note the word seems. I'm not a doctor so how could I be sure? Which is the reason why I said nothing else. 

It was Sunday when I saw the other guy. It had been over a year since I saw him. Why? Well he obviously had Covid, but that was at January last year. Only now did he feel anywhere near he did beforehand.

He felt "as sick as a pig" and although I've never seen such an unwell animal the imagery was enough. Indeed it made me not dwell on the subject. For whilst I was curious it was clear that the memory was painful enough that we shouldn't speak further. So I just mentioned that he looked well (which he did) and we went our separate ways.

And what's the point of all of this? Simply that we probably know of more people who had the virus than we realise. That surviving it probably won't eradicate it's memories. And well...whether we can return to the old normal mentally, even if there is a single permanent cure, is up for debate.

Until the next time.

Sunday, 19 December 2021

Why The Welsh English Border Should Be Closed, Why A Lockdown Should Return And Why It's An Independence Issue

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

Just a few days since my last post then and it's clear that the Omnicron variant is surging throughout this Disunited Kingdom but particularly so far in the England and around London.

But that won't last. So perhaps it's time to step back here in Wales and view the situation.

Omnicron is here in Wales and will spread. The issue is how to limit it.

Hospitals will find themselves filling up with patients. Many will of course be those people who louder and proudly refused to have the vaccine when it was offered to them. Personally I reckon those specific people should pay for the treatment the NHS is and will continue to give now. But that's for another day.

What is also clear though is that the Westminster Conservative government will have great difficulty in enacting more stringent measures than the relatively minor ones they imposed last week given the rebellion by the loopy do "libertarian" wing of their own party. They will feel their opinions would have been bolstered by the news of the resignation of Lord Fox the Brexit minister. A man so capable he negotiates the Northern Irish Brexit accord which he's now complaining about.

But given this and assuming the Westminster government will move no further then it's clear that the Welsh Labour government will need to act. Impose a lockdown and close the border with England to non-essential travel.

I won't say I'm an expert on the financial consequences. But the social consequences of just letting things as they are will remain high. Indeed an open border with England will lead to some people fleeing to their second homes here in Wales. An action which might cause social unrest as well as spreading the virus further.

And let's be clear. This is also an independence issue. Let's say for the sake of argument that the Westminster government does not move further in imposing further restrictions but the Welsh and indeed Scottish administrations do. Again the loony "libertarian" right wing will shout the loudest. But most people will see and understand it to be the public health issue that it is. They will consequently notice the Welsh/Scottish administrations of protecting the people who live here.

As a consequence it will make the differences between Westminster and the devolved administrations even clearer. There will be a clear argument that if Westminster is not prepared to do it's bit for public health then why should Wales and Scotland tie themselves to it?

No one who supports the independence of Scotland and Wales want this scenario to occur because of the damage and misery it will cause many families. But at that the same time should it occur it cannot be ignored either. Westminster cannot run away from it's culpabilities.

Until the next time.

Friday, 17 December 2021

Why Is Mark Drakeford Scared Of Closing Wales' Border With England?

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

So in this "lockdown in slow motion" world that we live in now then it does appear that in this Disunited Kingdom it is this Wales that is currently taking the most preventative messages against the rise of the Omnicron variant. From December 27th for example Social Distancing will be returning in shops and offices here. Why from December 27th and not now is of course debateable as is the question of whether nothing short of a full lockdown is needed. But for now expecting the worse and being surprised if it's in anyway better is probably the best way of approaching all of this right now.

One noticeable rule (and another that will apply from December 27th) is that nightclubs will be banned in Wales. So far the only establishment that has returned to full closure.

Now December 27th to close nightclubs actually makes sense given that New Years Eve and their parties are close. What does not make sense though is why the border with England is not closed to all but essential travel.

Because what will stop people travelling going to nightclubs from Wales to England? It won't be the majority but it'll only take one person to be infected in the socially not distant atmosphere of a nightclub, return home and there you are, another Omnicron entrant in Wales.

So the first question is "Why put such a restriction in when there is a clear loophole"? It doesn't matter that the majority will stay at home. We all know there will be a minority in all but shouting about their freedoms in the loudest voice they could muster who will do this. 

And the key date here is New Year's Eve. As a date it's an incentive.

The only reasonable solution is for the Welsh Labour government to close the border with England to non essential travel as they did last year during full lockdown. And yet they have seemingly no intention of doing this. Why?

Last year the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford showed courage in closing Wales' border with England and yet now he's been reluctant to act even though the loophole to the effectiveness of the nightclub closure is obvious. Should Omnicron take effect here then perhaps Drakeford's timidity could make the situation worse.

Until the next time.

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

The Misery Of Updated Toys

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

Yesterday I found myself in Leckwith, on the outskirts of Cardiff near the Cardiff City stadium. Specifically in a group of large shops nearby and even more specifically in Smyth's Toy Store. Why? Just rumbled into this really. Just found myself meandering through the store whilst the wife did the shopping (which to be fair to me was for young girls).

But as I was wandering I felt depressed. Not for the toys created after I was an adult. But for the toys that I remember as a child that seem to be updated for whatever reason.

You know when I was young we had water pistols. It squirted out water and all you got was wet.

Now however....


I think to myself why would I want to give a kid this? It's beyond mere play. 

When I was young I used to have a Hot Wheels track. Toy cars that looped the loop and other things very fast but not for long. Never as good as the ads. It was ultimately dull

Now however we have this.....


As if the introduction of a gorilla tunnel will make any difference.

Now we've all played Monopoly in our lives. Though I would admit since my politics moved leftwards that hasn't happened for decades now.

And it had a simple board based on the nearest city to where you lived. That was it. Job done. The game did not need any more fancy design. It was strong enough to survive. Now however there are seemingly a 1,001 versions. Many culled from film or TV franchises.

That's bad enough. This seems to be the worse.


So Fortnite is an online game (which like all such things being old I haven't played). So the manufacturers seem to feel they need the allure of a video game to support something that has gone on for decades.

Which is rather sad.

Cluedo is another classic board game that's lasted decades. 

What's wrong with this? Have a look at the bottom right. They've added a new character "Doctor Orchid" I mean why? Who will that appeal to? Will it make any difference? I don't think so.

Time for a digression. This was the toy which had nothing to do with what I've been chatting about but made my jaw drop.


Surely the most inappropriate toy either for the Playmobil or a James Bond audience. I mean if what could be more suitable for pre-school kids than a franchise that includes violence, sex and attempted world domination? And if you're an adult with this then you're very, very sad.

The point about all these toys is that they appear to have updated to literally "appeal to the kids" weaned on Playstation and the like but in doing so make themselves pitiful.

Until the next time.

Monday, 13 December 2021

Quick Christmas Shopping With No Sense Of It At All

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

Christmas shopping when you lack a sense of the season (see previous posts) is a weird feeling. For no matter how much you are devoid of emotion there are still things you have to do given that you have loved ones that you won't spoil things for about Xmas no matter what.

Actually I will quickly chat about it. I've mentioned before that I've lost all sense of feeling for things like Christmas and most sports. Well I've discovered another thing I've lost. If I'm not watching a particular TV programme I'm no longer distracted for the most part by it if wife/daughter are glued to it. Eastenders is on as I write. I can hear it, see it but am not drawn to it. Reality TV is another example. Strictly Come Dancing Get Me Out Of Here has no place in my brain anymore.

Anyway back to Penarth....

Whilst there were some things which I had to get dealt with online this was mainly to try and get certain specific Christmas cards, a book (any book) for my mother, get a hair appointment and see whether I might be able to get a present for the wife/mother without having to bother to go online. I actually had other things to do but they were the Christmas points

Of course could go to other places. But thanks to Omnicron we are as I said previously almost back in lockdown life now. Going to Penarth town centre, just ten minutes walk from where I live is now almost an adventure/risk in itself.

And it's decorations reflect the muted Christmas of 2021

And this mutedity also applies to the Christmas trees


Penarth is a small town. Not really with the widest choice for gifts. Still one of the places I wanted to go to was the card shop just to get something marked wife and mother. But I only needed to look at the small area packed with masked mainly elderly customers and thought to myself that really in this land of Omnicron I should just postpone my visit for another day. 

Turned off walking into a card shop. This my friend is the world we live in now.

And as it happened gift wise with one exception I wasn't successful. I'm afraid the internet has won in this regard. Will deal with that shortly.

There was one exception. Outside the Griffin Bookshops there was an ad for this book.


 It was the words "signed copy" that caught my attention. I suspect that this autobiography would be no different to the majority of other such books. But I had the rugby mad brother-in-law in mind here. Rang the wife. Said it was a signed copy. "Buy it" came the response. That was enough.

As for the book to get from daughter to my mother, I looked around. Nothing screamed " buy me" unfortunately.

And so I left Penarth discontented. Though I will return Wednesday, That's the date of my hair appointment.

One final thing. Anybody else think this isn't really safe on a town street?


Until the next time

Saturday, 11 December 2021

So A Woman On The Street Where We Live Asks The Wife "Do You Live With A Husband?"

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

I have made it clear in this blog before that I am mot a social animal and this includes the events that the street where I live do from time. I am, never rude to people, always polite and will say hello if someone says that to me. But other than the actual murdering bit I for the most part seem to follow the lifestyle of a serial killer in that I mainly keep myself to myself. As in all things there will always be exceptions but that's basically how things are.

And it is I should stress again before I go not a superiority thing. I never felt like that towards most people. It's just those moments where relative solitude seems to be the more peaceful option.

Now the wife and daughter are completely different in this regard. As I also mentioned recently the wife is in the street's Whatsapp group. So when it was suggested that there socially distanced drinks and chat event along the road they were quids in.

This event happened yesterday....and I wasn't there.

And the above was just the reason why.

This post wouldn't have even happened if it wasn't for what occurred during all of this. As the title of the post stated whilst they were having these drinks a woman living in the same street as us asked the wife whether she lived with a husband. This daughter could not contain herself in telling me when they came back.

I was when told of this subsumed with two contradictory reactions. Indeed so much so that I didn't and still haven't asked the wife what her response actually was. 

My first reaction was one of confusion. For no matter how solitary I act I've never maintained a cloak of invisibility in the past two years of living here. 

But then I must admit I was rather pleased. Just being non-existent  in this street where I live seemed to be perfect for me. When I mentioned this to wife and daughter they were not amused. I know they'll be a massive argument when the next street event comes along.

But unusually they'll lose that one.

Until the next time.


Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Why The Selfish Unvaccinated Are Damaging the Rest Of Us

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well today.

Now before I start let me stress one thing. I'm not talking here about those who are not taking the vaccines for medical reasons.

Well yesterday (Wednesday) I had my booster. Nothing really to say. It went fine. Perhaps the most symbolic, perhaps the saddest thing to say about all of this was that it was in an old Toys R Us store. The place is now locally called Jabs R Us.

And it was busy. My appointment was for 10:10. I had to wait and actually got out just before eleven but there wasn't an issue for me. I suspect most people are patient enough.

Let's be clear . Those who are vaccinated are the majority. No, those who are vaccinated are the vast majority. Yet the selfish unvaccinated are louder.

And they are selfish. More of these people go into hospital with full blown Covid than the vaccinated. Yet these are the people who have refused treatment. They are the people who possibly have denied the health services here in Wales as well as every other country a bed for those suffering say from cancer.

They are not libertarian heroes. They are what they are. Villains within the community.

We are in a pandemic with multiple variants. Yet these people will act as if this does not exist. And you know they will object to a vaccine pass for big events. But I will say, tough. You know what they need to get their "freedoms" back but they refuse. The idea that an individual's liberty is more important than the greater good is a foundation of right wing theology. A pandemic though affects the community. Which is why vaccine take-up supersedes the libertarian doctrine.

Wales is not a country without the anti-vaxxers. But because the Welsh traditionally ensues community they are at odds with the majority. It does not mean though that it will be immune from the these people which consequently not only damages the health of others but also slows the return of the old normal.

It seems to me that the right wing (including the Welsh Conservatives whether vaccinated or not pander to the selfish anti-vaxxers in the same way that others pander to the school bully. They should just grow a pair.

In Britain anyway I suspect that anti-vaxxers have the mentality of Brexiteers looking for something else to be contrary about. Such is what this Disunited Kingdom has turned into.

Until the next time.



Tuesday, 7 December 2021

I May Have No Feeling For Christmas But I Do Feel The Christmas Gloom

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

Whilst i'm not as I've written about before Mr Christmas, nor can I even have a claim to even have a feeling about it anymore I am getting a sense that in the past couple of weeks this might be a worse Christmas than last year for most people.

Before I chat about that further a quick digression. As I've explained last year since I've had Covid there have been certain circumstances that I've lost a feeling towards. That i can see things around me but have nonetheless am detached from. That I can just put it away and live the rest of my life.

it is rather frightening. But at the same time I'm not going o the doctor's about it as they're too busy in this time of Corona. Whenever it wanes then i will go in. What i have found completely by accident from the American radio station NPR is what it could actually be. However note the word "could" . Whatever I am in life it's not a digital doctor.

Anyway back to this Christmas. What the Omnicon variant has done is to see already certain doors being closed to the old normal already and the feeling that the new normal has struck back. That restrictions, including lockdown are on the table. And whether that table turns out to be in a restaurant is a matter of debate.

And whilst I might have lost the feeling for Christmas what I've not lost is the sense of gloom particularly in this Disunited Kingdom given the additional fun factors of Brexit, empty food shelves, inflation particularly in the energy sector and the list goes on.

So that strides were made in returning us all to he Old Normal. But now we seem to making major steps backwards.

Rather like last year as I mentioned at the time i am getting the impression from the streets where I live that people are making every effort to make their house more Chrismassy than previously (obviously not me). The wife says that there's a competition for the best designed display on our street's Whatsapp group (She's on that group obviously I'm not).

But I'm getting the impression that this is false jollity. That all of these lights and tinsel hides a fear of how things are going to turn out. That it is metaphorically and literally "for show"

I'll give you other anecdotal examples of the gloom. Unlike previously vaccine times there are apparently queues to get into the booster. Apparently also a lot of people apparently are beginning to hunker down after say six pm. A lockdown mentality has begun I think.

And perhaps the most fearful thing is that no one really knows how things will be this time next year.

Until the next time.

Friday, 3 December 2021

The Drive Through The Small Flood

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

In my job (which whilst I've never so far revealed it is never as grandiose as it might seem) I can work early in the morning when it's still dark and way before rush hour or conversely start in the afternoon and leave for home at about ten.

Of the two driving back to the house at night never bothered me. Perhaps because I was for the most part aware of things. My senses thankfully dimmed when I reached the house and had the late late dinner which I either pinged in the microwave or the wife kindly stayed up to cook for me. Driving in the dark early morning (around five) was not so endearing for me. I think because whilst I was awake it was still too early for me to truly prepare for the journey to come.

When I went to the kitchen this morning to have my normal anti-Brexit Breakfast of croissants and jam the wife had written a message on the kitchen sideboard warning me of the forecast of "icy patches" on the roads. But things seemed fine unlike the previous day when I had to scrape off an admittedly light level of frost from my mighty Kia Picanto.

Now on this route from Penarth to Bridgend the bulk of this half hour to forty minute journey is as I've said before is taken on the A48 which despite the superior title is really just a tarted up country road at heart. Still during the day it's a pleasant enough drive. Today though it was through the darkness of an early morning. 

I'd driven past the turn off for Cowbridge and made a slight turn when I noticed the pool of water in front of me. That it was large. That it reflected the lamplights. 

That it was very large. That it was so large it covered the road. Difficult to estimate given the suddenness in all of this. As if I would be turning into an angler describing the one hat got away. So on the understanding that memory could be playing tricks let's say two swimming pools back to back. 

And I realised the situation that was coming towards. Unable to put on the brakes for fear of doing greater damage I knew that there was a small flood in front of me. This was completely unexpected given that there were no signs of others during the journey that far. Particularly in a notorious dip where heavy rainwater liked to congregate in front of what was one of pub cum restaurants on this road but now was just a closed down I would presume victim of Covid.

So then there was only one option which was to go as fast I could whilst still having control of the car. The fear of stalling in such a road was the motivating factor.

I pressed the accelerator. As the water washed from either side I remember shouting. Not so much of fear more out of trying to distract myself from what I was doing. Thankfully the mighty Kia took it in it's stride and I went through.

A few hours later at work I learnt that the flood had stretched further for a while before stopping. 

Sometimes a simple commuter journey is a drama in itself.

Until the next time.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

The Insult I Reckon Most Welsh People Hate Most When Said By Someone From England (And Not Involving Sheep)

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

What I'm going to chat about has no scientific (or any other research) in it whatsoever. Purely my opinion then. Indeed I wouldn't have written a post about it at all had I not heard what I reckon the most hated remark from anyone English in a shop a few days ago.

Of course there are insults that come close. In particular regions of course sentences that are something around "I'm buying/staying in a second holiday home" will always win hands down.

But if we take the country as a whole then this is what I was reminded of yesterday. I am in a shop. A customer, English like me is chatting about something or other and then he said the following, linking it to his wife.

"We love the Welsh people,,,"

Whether meant to or not it's probably the most patronising thing I would hear this year. It treats the Welsh people like some Labrador puppy. As if  they should  be eternally grateful to it's master for it's affection.

And of course there is also the counterweight.

"We love the Welsh people but..."

As if the puppy has urinated on the carpet. When that is said the expectation is that anybody Welsh would be upset that it's master is unhappy.

Wales is better than that. One day I suspect the puppy will bite.

Until the next time.

Monday, 29 November 2021

Adam Price's Last Chance

Hello there. Hope you're feeling well.

I must be honest in saying that it was not my intention to write a post about the leader of Plaid Cymru (the party of which I am a member after having chatted about their cooperation agreement with the Welsh Labour government recently. But this morning I was reminded about one fact that ultimately could affect Plaid and it's consequences for their leader Adam Price.

Before I do remember that I mentioned one of the perils for Plaid in this agreement was the danger of it being eclipsed by Welsh Labour? Already this has happened with a Welsh Labour MP Nia Griffith tweeting that Plaid joined in the Welsh Labour policy of free school meals when in fact Labour voted against them previously in motions instigated by Plaid. Incidentally she has lost her post as Shadow Westminster Welsh Secretary in a reshuffle by their leader Keir Starmer. You wonder whether that tweet was the final straw.

Anyway back to the fact, or rather the date, that could affect Plaid Cymru's future and specifically that of Adam Price. May 2022.

For that is the date of the local council elections in Wales, And whilst I feel he should have resigned after the disappointing Assembly elections this year  this is surely his last stand let alone last chance as leader.

Now of course anything can happen between now and that date. But let's for the sake of argument put forward the hypothetical that Plaid Cymru don't progress in these elections. What then?

Ah you might say there are mitigating circumstances. I would argue that these do not really exist. Don't forget that when he was elected Adam Price was supposed to be able to push Plaid forward unlike supposedly his predecessor Leanne Wood. Clearly this has not happened. Indeed if anything the party has regressed.

He does have a chance. As I've mentioned previously he could just shout loud and proud with regard to Welsh independence. Make the party become more populist on the issue. This has not been done which is why the real focal point on the issue has currently been Yes Cymru. That having happened is I would argue a failure of leadership.

Of course Plaid Cymru has other policies of which it should be proud but as I've said before it is the party for independence for Wales or else it is nothing.

Next year then is important for him and for Plaid. Failure to progress should mean he hands over the leadership to someone else.

Until the next time.