Is it ok to dream?

I hold my hand up and am the first to acknowledge that I know nothing, absolutely nothing about soccer. I do though like to hear people talk about it, and in so doing perhaps I might find out what I have been missing all of these years. Ok, I hate sport, always have and the status quo seems set to continue ever so. But, as I have said, I love listening to people who are it has to be said enthused by it. I have along with my compatriots watching England falter time and time again. Down through the years we have started each tournament in the belief that this time we can win it. Spurred on it has to be said by a press looking to reward and put the boot in with equal amounts of effort. We have been laugh at for daring to believe that our bunch of guys should even be allowed to be on the same pitch as the artisans of the game from German, Spain, and just about ever other country.

We have I feel made a mistake in listening to them. The simple truth is thus, we need to dream that this time we can do it and to hell with those that say we cant. Why bother getting on the plane to Brasil if you harbour doubts about the venture. Understand this, all of the team out there are going to lose except for ONE.

I have had up to here with one pundit after another telling us we are not very good.  Hmmm, most of these pundits played for us in the past did they not? Look in the mirror chaps. You are the failures if you choose to look at it that way.

Let us go and lets give it a go and if we lose, well so what.  Invest our fun in the game and not our soul. It is a party, a celebration of football.

If you want to find a fool in the country, bring him with you.

The human race can be divided into two quite different groups urban and rural. Each side has a different take on the other and they are for the most part not complementary either. However, upon closer examination of these two groups one can see that there are sub-divisions to be found. The two main groups are a product of social evolution and it will be interesting to see how these groups develop or rather evol. The urban group has subdivisions ranging from those that live in supercities to those that live in large towns of a size that to all intents and purposes are embryonic cities.  The rural race can be defined by those that live in towns at one end of the spectrum and hamlets at the other. I am not suggesting that these two tribes would not interact with each other, of course they do. Indeed they have two. For each is dependant upon the other. However, their value systems are not and never will be the same. The suspicion and ridicule handed out is testament to that fact. The countryman has this deep set resentment of those “city types with their fancy ways” And the city dweller has a mistrust an environment in which life is governed by the powers of nature. This is understandable if one has been brought up in an environment regulated by the throw of a switch. City man lives and moves within an controlled environment in which the quality is known and controlled. Each city is really a microcosm of the world and one need not travel far to sample life from around the world, for it is often no more than a block away. When our city man sets forth to travel then it is more often than not a journey from one city to another. Let us not delude ourselves that when he sets forth to see nature in the wild, so to speak, then it is done so in the sure and certain knowledge that  he can return to the safety of his city when he so chooses to do so.

The country man with his deep set views is no better. The insecurity felt here is manifest by his delight in seeing those city types struggling when faced life in the country. So he does not know the difference between a cow and a heifer, who bloody cares anyway. Would county squire be any different when faced with a city metro system? Ah life in the country is best with its fresh air. Really? Never mind complaining about living next to an airport when you have the dawn chorus giving it some from the crack on dawn onwards. Bird song is nice, but hours of it is not! The smell of cowshit, horseshit and just about any bloody kind of shit is enough to make one want to head back to the city. Add to this that narrow country lanes with massive tractors roaming down them with all the superiority of a sherman tank and you get my meaning. Life in the country is dangerous, noisy and smelly.

However, we need each other. We compliment each other and you know, I rather think we have a grudging respect for each other. To those of the city then my strap line suffices and don’t go looking for fools in the countryside. You will not find any.  I am country born and breed, strong in the arm and not so weak in the head.

Good night me hansomes


Mr Arthur Righteous and I.

We all love to spend time with those that have a medical complaint, because we love an audience. And have you notice that we all have the best Doctor in his or her field? Also, it seems that our particular complaint is of scientific importance, yes…

We have a choice and I choose to exercise that choice by finding this whole arthritis funny. The journey started about a year or so ago. It was in depths of winter and I found my knees to be somewhat painful. I put this down to it being icy and that I must have pulled a muscle whilst struggling along on my daily travels. However, this pain in my knees did not go away, in fact it got worst. My wrists did not want to be left out and also joined in the fun. I was starting to seize up. It was during this time that I learned a number of strategies to deal with getting up and down from chairs and toilets. I found that running warm water over my wrist was helpful. I knew that I needed someone to look at this problem. I had tried using the family doctor, yes, the internet. DO NOT DO THIS!  my symptoms ranged from  complications with pregnancy to some complaints which suggest that I may have undergone a medical examination in a  alien space ship. So off I took myself to see the local doctor in our town. He was a not much one for idle chatter and that is being kind. “What can I do for you?” was his opening gambit when I crested his office. I was hopping that he might have picked up on the fact that I walked into his office rather like I had spent a great deal of time riding a horse or I had pooped myself. It was while he was checking my knees that he asked me, “How long have you had psoriasis?” to which I replied, “What is psoriasis?”.  Which then started him checking all over my body for this disease.  He then arrange blood tests, x rays and for me to see a  rumatologist consultant in the hospital. This all took part on the Monday. On the Tuesday I had my blood tests. On Wednesday I have my x rays. On Thursday I had my appointment with my consultant. We love to complain, but things could not have moved faster.

My consultant is wonderful. All of my experiences with the medical world had previously left me with the impression of being on the clock. He however told me that there was not rush and for the next two hours he went over my medical history. It was at this point that I was introduce to a medical condition that I had, psoriatic arthritis. That rash on my right knee which had kept me company for well over thirty years was the smoking gun. It also cleared up why I could never really deal with my chronic dandruff. He drained the fluid off of my knees and injected some steroids into my knees. The effects of which gave me relief from pain and for what felt the first time in ages I was able to move again.

But, this treatment was relatively short gained and whilst attending his consultation on my second appointment it was obvious that although better I was still suffering. He made the decision to put me onto aggressive course of medication. And over the next few consultation was increased as I did not seem to be suffering from any of the side effects. He efforts worked and worked well. After a period of some six months I was able to return to work. I have now started the process of reducing the steroids and although this has been hard I am making progress. But, it is a fact that I could not have done this where it not for the support of my wife and daughters.

It is now one year on and we have reached a mutual agreement the arthritis and I, each of us has good and not so good days. But, I am winning out. :)  My support team of Family, The worlds leading consultant on my scientific miracle disease and a attitude to life which seeks to find the amusing, has help me through.

Does the architecture of the now reflect the values of the present?

All that we have and all that we see and do is in the here and now.  We build not for the future, if that future is greater than the span of one generation. The Victorians and Edwardian ages laid down investment in the sure and present knowledge that they would not see the fruits of their labours. Look at the wondrous buildings bequeath to us from them. The buildings left by them, stand testament to belief that they will endure, and they do. And what of us, our brave new world? What message do we wish to leave? Taller, bigger and more efficient. I have walked beneath the vaulted roofs of Notre Dame, Chartres and Westminster abbey, and have felt my very soul lifted by the wonder of it all. But, when my eyes roam across a city landscape of our age then I feel depressed that we that have come so far have lost so much. Our buildings have to be only that which is needed and no more. Certainly, beauty and grace, twin sisters that have fallen to the knife of the accountant.  Never in my life have I see such a lack of ambition in allowing artists to create.  This I have come to understand is not the technological age that we think it is. Computers can help and they do, that is until the account comes along and cuts a bit here and a bit there. Really, is there anyone out there that can give me a example of wondrous design.  Which of the plastic/glass sheds that we have  that will pass muster with our ancestors. None, I tell you,none!

The rising star in the east feeds upon the failure to invest by the west, and we will pay a great price for this. In my life time we have moved from being able to create, build if you will, world beating designs in aviation, shipping and technology. And now we seek to build one rail link(Note the singular here) from London to Birmingham and that it is going to take years to build. Well not to contradict what I have already said, but, this need not be so. However, we have to have these bloody interminable meetings before it gets started. We need another runway at Heathrow and we all know that nothing will happen until all of these protesters have had there say, by which time it the price will have gone through the roof and that will be the end of that. Resulting in the widening of the gap between not the north and south, but, of the east and west. A balance must be found and it needs to be prioritized. I would add in closing that the next big project should not be detected by cost alone, but by aesthetics. Lets us be proud of it for its own grace and beauty.


A child is born

The relentless march of humanity and the right to have children is one, if not the only threat for its continued existence. We cannot keep up this pace of population growth, for it will be our undoing. I am blessed to be the father of two children, but, at no point did I regard it as my right to be so blessed. Also, it is important to take into consideration the ability of the environment  in which one finds one’s self that it can support the population. Here in Iceland the land is able to support its population, indeed it can support a significant increase. This is not a situation that can be so said for most of the rest of the world. A cry from the maternity ward will herald joy for its parents and woe for the planet upon which it will feed. Who is to make this judgement? The human race has never been any good at being proactive, rather we are a reactive animal. But, I say again who is to make this judgement? Thankfully no I. The label hypocrite comes to mind and I would of course stand accused, and rightly so. What I fear we will do is to leave it to our beloved mother Earth to make that painful choice for us. And it will not bode well for us. Will she choose plague? or might it be a super volcano? Or might it come from some as yet other source? The solution would be for all of us to sit down and work out a figure by which the entire planet might find balance and then work towards lowering the numbers down to that level. At the heart of this is the family unit. All children need to be regarded as belonging not to the family unit but, rather the family of mankind. That each child is treated as being humanities most precious gift. A love of country must be changed to that of a love of humanity, of the Earth. The coming storm will hit hard and it will be merciless. The planet is groaning under the weight of mankind and the breaking point is almost upon us. The climate is changing and we are having an effect and it is not a good effect, of that I can assure you all.

Do pets go to heaven?

A few days ago I had to say a sad and tearful farewell to my dear friend “Tiger”.  Now friends come in all different shapes and sizes and yes, species too. Tiger was the most wondrous of cats, a special cat who came into our lives and for a short while blessed us with wisdom and fun.  He sought and needed company and was my wife’s constant companion as she worked away in her office at the top of our stairs. But, a few weeks ago we noticed that he started to get thin and would no longer eat. With each passing day the dread that filled our hearts deepened and it came not as a surprise when our Vet said that it was time for us to let him go.  He now rests in most delightful garden high up in the valley where our families farm is to be found.  He has left a hole that I fear will never be filled for it represents a time and place that will never come again. He was our most precious friend and I hope as we must all hope that across the river of Styx there is to be found a peace that rewards those that have made the lives of those they touch a better place. For certain he created a warm spot in my heart that even now shows no sign of cooling and will be a comfort on the journey ahead.  To my sweet friend Tiger, I hope that God understands that we have given unto him a companion of which there is not equal.

The aches and pains of a grumpy old devil

When I was young then the world was young and all that was possible was attainable. The future was a place and time set aside for my personal use. The past was the failings of those let fortunate to not have been born me. The horizon of mortality seemed so far away that it did not exist. I progressed through the stages of youth, young adult and then middle age and never did it ever occur to me that life is limited. Never did my mind comprehend that life and its seemingly endless supply of gifts would at some point in the far and distant future would have to be handed back.  A look in the mirror of the morning and the savage reality that your shell has changed faster than your mind did. The lines, sags and rummy eyes should awaken that alarm that your power is or has faded. Oh for a day or so of being young again and to run  down the street and do the silly things I should have done and never did.

If any of this finds understanding in you then good. It is not too late to shame the young and do that which you feel belongs to a younger self. I have recently been diagnosed with Psoriasis Arthritis at the grand old age of mid fifties.  Am I concerned. NO!  I have have bloody good excuse to wave my walking stick in the air and swear like a trooper.  My dear friend Chris who would take great delight in calling me a Grumpy old git, whilst I was still in my thirties.  :)

My mornings start will a bucket full of tablets and heaven forbid cod liver oil  I live the rock and roll life that is for sure.  But, it is fun you know, I wake each morning and do a role check and then kick the bits that fail to start properly. :)  I have learned this late in life that the best medicine is ABJECT BLOODY ATTITUDE.