29 September 2023
28 September 2023
There was a time when such an idea would have been unthinkable. Serious politicians are meant to focus on the onerous responsibility of running countries not upon souvenir merchandise sales. But Trump spotted a business opportunity.
At the Trumpstore you can purchase all manner of apparel from T-shirts to baseball caps and from hoodies to golfwear. Mostly these items bear a single word and that is "Trump". It is as if he is some sort of religious leader - a mast to pin your allegiances to.
Leaving the clothing aside, here are some of the other bizarre items you can purchase via Trumpstore
Perfume, hi-ball glasses, bandanas, flasks, umbrellas, socks and many other Trump items may be bought from the Trumpstore. But here are some things that they don't sell - Integrity, Honesty, Kindness, Humility, Intelligence, Fairness and Truth. Of course these things do not sit well with Donald J. Trump. And they do not seem to matter much to his deluded followers either.
27 September 2023
Lying in bed this very morning half-listening to the "Today" programme on BBC Radio 4, I was surprised to hear the dulcet tones of my niece Katie warbling "I Remember You Singing This Song Ma". There then followed an interview led by the presenter Martha Carney with our Katie plus an American documentary film maker called Lila Schmitz.
Schmitz has created a film called "The Job of Songs". Focused upon Doolin in County Clare, Ireland, I understand that the film explores the tension between the quiet solitude of the west of Ireland and the vibrancy of traditional music sessions. Apparently, Katie has a lead role in the documentary which I have not yet managed to see.
Katie features in the film trailer...
Such family fame and publicity! In contrast, the faceless author of this humble Yorkshire blog has reached the end of his course of antibiotics. Still feeling rather nauseous and not quite myself I did very little all day - only venturing out in the Clint rocket ship to do some grocery shopping at half past eight in the evening.
26 September 2023
The nights are drawing in and autumn seems to have ousted summer. It wasn't so long ago that it was still light at 9pm but now it's getting dark by 7pm. There's a definite chill in the air.
At this time of year, in many British communities, people still give thanks for harvest time - in schools and churches. For me, growing up in a village that was surrounded by productive farmland, the idea of harvest festivals seemed perhaps more pertinent than it might have done to city dwellers. We saw combine harvesters scything the wheat and we helped to pick the potatoes and the peas. We knew for certain that our food came to us from the very earth that we walked upon.
As an erstwhile choirboy in Holy Trinity Church, I knew the harvest hymns by heart and watched small children bringing baskets of produce to the altar. It was a time of celebration.
For decades, a BBC TV Sunday institution has been a programme called "Songs of Praise". The format is quite simple really. The cameras visit different churches to record congregations singing hymns in unison. Of course, unlike ordinary Sundays, the pews are always filled and people are always nicely attired. They are clearly told to ignore the cameras.
I now invite you to sing along to "We Plough The Fields And Scatter" - Britain's favourite harvest-time hymn (written by a German). And while you are singing along please observe the multicultural nature of the congregation - like a beautiful rainbow pattern... See Michael Caine at 2:22 - he has been putting away the pies.
25 September 2023
Last week our current Tory Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, sought to distance himself from established green policies and to slow down the pace of change in that critical area. This is all about him appealing to the lowest common denominator in order to win votes in the forthcoming General Election. Currently The Tories (Conservative Party) are in for a trouncing and Sunak is desperately looking to change gear, even making stuff up about proposed green measures.
Once again, Jonathan Pie has seen through the bullshit:-
24 September 2023
23 September 2023
Last night was awful. I am sure I was experiencing side-effects from the antibiotics. I don't believe I have ever been given nitroturantoin before. Because of the unpleasant reaction, it is hard to tell if my urine infection is being effectively targeted. I just feel rotten. I will spare you the gruesome details of what transpired last night but it involved several visits to the bathroom
Again I did not feel like eating anything but this morning I had a small bowl of porridge - simply so that I could take the first capsule of the day with food. It was the same in the evening when I had a cheese sandwich. That's all I have had to eat today.
I spent the entire day on our sofa watching, "Hey Duggee" and two World Cup rugby union matches plus other bits and bobs. I didn't have the energy to do much else. "Hey Duggee" was to please Little Phoebe as she is staying with us again this weekend. Her parents are attending a wedding down in Oxfordshire. I think this is the last one in their 2023 diary.
I am afraid that my granddaughter caring skills have been on ice this weekend but fortunately Shirley has been in top form.
A little googling suggests that there can sometimes be a correlation between COVID booster vaccinations and urinary tract infections. I had my last booster on Tuesday afternoon and by Wednesday evening I was starting to feel somewhat queasy - and not in my usual robust health so there may be something in this idea.
And now I am off up the stairs to bed. I hope I have a better night than last night.
22 September 2023
I don't have much to say today as for the past thirty six hours I have been suffering from a urine infection. This happens to me perhaps once every two years or so and the symptoms are unpleasantly familiar.
You feel washed out and feverish. It's a bit like being poisoned from within. My urine is cloudy and as instructed I took a sample of it to our medical centre in the early afternoon. I have hardly had anything to eat today for my appetite vanished entirely yesterday evening.
Fortunately, I now have a course of antibiotics that I picked up free of charge from our local pharmacy later this afternoon. No sign of any improvement yet but fingers crossed I will turn a corner tomorrow morning.
I must share this with you. At the pharmacy there was a smiley receptionist in her late fifties. When I rocked up she said, "You used to be my English teacher!" She had left the school in question in 1982. We both bewailed the fact that it is now the location of a retail park. Such a shame. It was a great school and I had five happy years there.
21 September 2023
20 September 2023
Blogging can take up quite a lot of one's time. There are blogposts to compose day after day and there are visits to make to favoured blogs, frequently leaving comments behind.
Though I am quite reliable with regard to visiting certain blogs, I can't help feeling guilty about my general failings as a blog visitor. For whatever reason I like to visit "Magnon's Meanderings" and "Shadows and Light" every morning and I am also pretty good at keeping up with "Nobody's Diary", "Going Gently" and "Northsider"but there are many great, well-maintained blogs that I only tend to visit intermittently.
There are some blogs that I hardly ever visit even though I know they are eminently readable and worthy of regular attention. To these bloggers I want to send a heartfelt "sorry". In my defence I can only say that I want to limit my blogging time and argue that it is possible to sign up for too many blogs.
Before you know it, the daily hours you spend on blogging could easily be doubled. You have to draw the line somewhere.
I am very grateful to the people who regularly visit "Yorkshire Pudding" even though I may not do them the honour of courtesy return visits.
Here in the blogosphere, I have encountered many wonderful people who pump out great blog content. From Mary Moon in Lloyd Florida to Andrew in Melbourne Australia and from Meike in Ludwigsburg, Germany to Bob in Camden, South Carolina. The ride so far has been marvellous but to repeat, I am sorry that I cannot spare more time to pay intimate attention to even more blogs.
19 September 2023
Have you ever ridden on a long distance bus? Where were you travelling to?
On Saturday morning, Shirley and I travelled by "National Express" coach right into the heart of London and returned on Monday afternoon via the same mode of transport. Sheffield is 170 miles from our nation's capital city. For the two of us the cost of the return fare was only £42.00 (That's US$52 or AUS$80).
The buses were pretty new and clean with plenty of legroom and it was nice to let someone else do the driving as we read our books or, in Shirley's case, knitted little hats for babies. We had made sandwiches to consume halfway down the motorway and the same on the way back. We were not irritated by other passengers for there was a quiet, respectful atmosphere on board our two coaches.
When I was in my early twenties, I climbed aboard a few Greyhound buses in The States. I guess the longest journey I took was from Bloomington, Indiana - changing in Chicago before carrying on to Minneapolis. I also journeyed between New York City and Cleveland.
However such bus travel pales into insignificance when I recall the return coach journey I took in the summer of 1980 from London to Athens, Greece aboard The Magic Bus. I dimly recall that the journey took over 24 hours - so long that it seemed it would never end.
In northern Yugoslavia in the middle of the night, I opened my eyes to witness the horror of our two drivers swapping over at the wheel while travelling at seventy miles an hour along an arrow-straight road. I am sure I did not dream this.
I also took a long distance bus from Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina in 2009 - right through The Andes passing close to Aconcagua - the tallest mountain in South America. Long distance bus travel appeared to be a vital means of connection in South America where the rail "network" is patchy or non-existent.
Earlier today I was asked to complete a customer survey by National Express and I found it rather nice to score ten of ten for just about everything. We had no complaints but I guess we were also quite lucky that there were no hold-ups on the M1 motorway because of accidents, congestion or roadworks. That is pretty unusual.
18 September 2023
Nonetheless, this time round I had the idea that we could drive over to Richmond Park in Ian and Sarah's brand new electric Volvo car. It's sleek and black and goes like a rocket. To be honest, they don't actually own it - they have leased it for three years. Their neighbourhood in Fulham is well-supplied with public electric charging points and of course Greater London is now an ultra low emissions zone so an electric vehicle makes sense.
The top picture was taken in Two Storm Wood in the heart of Richmond Park. This area is fenced off to prevent grazing by deer and below you can see Ian, Sarah and Shirley walking through it. Like Saturday, Sunday was a mild and pretty nice day down in our metropolis.
16 September 2023
As an international jetsetter I am always on the move and this morning we are on our way down to London to see our lovely son Ian and his equally lovely mistress - Sarah and their even more lovely but unborn babe Zach. We'll be back on Monday so no blogging until then. Of course, as an international jetsetter I will be travelling by National Express bus. All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go....
15 September 2023
We're back home from Flamborough now. Clint took two hours and fifteen minutes to bring us back to our door. It was a lovely break from normality and had been fantastic to reacquaint myself with Flamborough Head after many years of absence. The local people talk just like me so the experience felt rather like going home.
Yesterday evening we were about to walk out to "The North Star" for our three course evening meal when I heard a man calling my name, "Neil! Neil!"
The barn had been converted into six accommodation units which are all named after birds. We were in "Nightingale" but the voice was calling from the door of "Lapwing". It belonged to a stocky man with bright blue eyes, silver hair and a silver beard. I simply did not recognise him and I told him so with an apology attached.
Turns out his name was Grant and he had been the "senior learning mentor" in the secondary school I retired from fourteen years ago now. I had not thought of him in all that time but I remember him as a good man who did his best to support troubled schoolchildren and the learning process in general.
He wasn't a teacher. He had arrived at my old school via youth work and was part of a nationwide movement to fill gaps in education with mentoring support. It was a kind of job creation scheme. I suppose it was also a fashion because before mentoring arrived on the scene, schools were just about subject teachers and their charges - the pupils.
As I say, Shirley and I were going for dinner but Grant seemed genuinely happy to see me. He crammed the next few minutes with talk that was all about my old school and the people who had worked there. It was not a subject I was enthused about.
I would have preferred to talk to him about Flamborough, football and the three little dogs that he had brought with him on holiday. The work life he was referring to is way behind me and I am just not interested in it any more. Tittle tattle and making mountains out of molehills. It has taken me a long time to bury those bones.
This morning we packed up early and left North Moor Farm without bumping into Grant again. I guess that some people love to meet up with old work colleagues and reflect on old times but this is not in my nature. I am not saying that I am right but my instinctive desire for distance is just a facet of who I am and I can't help it.
14 September 2023
There, mannequins have been used in a vain and rather amusing effort to suggest the lives of Filey residents of the past. It was once a fishing port with its own fleet of unique boats known as "cobles".
13 September 2023
This morning I set out with Tony at 9 a.m., heading north. The four mile route took in Thornwick Bay before cutting inland to Flamborough village and then back to Nightingale Cottage via the road to North Landing.
Prize winning fish and chips this evening from "The Lighthouse" fish and chip shop. The end of a gorgeous day.
12 September 2023
11 September 2023
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