Dr Livingstone I Presume …


Well not exactly, nor did I run into Lord Lucan or any other missing individuals.

Of course not. After all, I’ve just spent the last few hours delving into the upper reaches of my garden, in sunny Hampshire.

To my knowledge, neither  Livingston or Lucan have ever ventured into my garden. Livingstone spent many years in Africa and Lucan could be anywhere having supposedly been seen everywhere.

After hacking back the brambles and Jasmine vines, and numerous other invasive plants I can state categorically that neither of the aforementioned gentlemen are to be found.

The Lost Gardens of ???

Unfortunately, this end of the garden has been neglected somewhat. Not helped by our seven month sojourn in Australia. The picture above was taken after I had made a valiant foray, boldly forging a path through the brambles and Jasmine with my electric hedge trimmer.

What’s triggered this sudden exertion ?

Well, the fence, that you can just catch glimpses of, is in a very dilapidated state. In fact I believe the plant life, that I have been cutting back, is all that is keeping it up.

The plan, much like a game of dominoes, is in several parts.

Step one, is to replace the fence. This I am going to do with the help of my daughters boyfriend. Actually, he is the expert, I will just be his bitch. So approximately twelve metres of featherboards mounted on arris rails.

Ancient Shed

Step two, is to replace this sorry broken shed. The plan is to replace it with a new one, approximately twice the size. This shed has performed admirably until late last year, when some guys I had hired to do some hedge work, chose to fall through the roof. Removing the shed will be a bit of a voyage of discovery as there are signs of subterranean habitation. That is to say there looks to be a tunnel going under the shed. You can just see the entrance to the right of the door. Potential inhabitants range from hedgehogs thru foxes to rats. Hopefully not the latter although, I believe, we would have seen more signs if there were any living that close to the house.

Greenhouse

Step three, replace the cheap n cheerful greenhouse with a more robust version. Over the last couple of years this structure has suffered damage due to strong winds. So it’s time to get rid.

The latest storm blew off the door, breaking the plastic glazing. Blew off the skylight (now placed back on the roof). And, I have since discovered, the wind also dislodged some glazing at the back. So, no longer weatherproof. The greenhouse was used last year, to grow a bumper crop of tomatoes. Not this year though.

And finally, step four, build a new deck area to provide a base for a swing chair. Our current swing chair has suffered under the same rough weather that has damaged the greenhouse, bending and snapping the canopy frame.

So in preparation for Step One I have been clearing out the jungle. This has been more like an archaeological dig, rediscovering long lost areas. Who knew that the space behind the shed was the hiding place for our first ever patio table and chairs. Originally white, but now turned green by nature.

What is that, a snake ? Nope just a long section of garden hose, bright yellow.

Birds Skull ?

Then there are the bones. I’m guessing, judging by the size of the skull, that they are the remains of a pigeon. Question is, who did it ? Did the luckless bird fall prey to one of several neighbourhood cats, or perhaps one the kites or kestrels often seen soaring overhead.

Dinosaurus Plasticus

And what was that I spied, hiding under the coniferous canopy ? A baby dinosaur ? No, just a toy abandoned by one of our grandchildren. One brave enough to venture into our mini jungle.

The bulk of my discoveries, from behind the shed, have now found their way to the municipal tip. I didn’t have room for the old wheelbarrow or the old fridge, so another trip has to be planned. Perhaps some of the junk in the garage will find it’s way into that next load too.

As I post this, I have received notification that the fencing materials will be delivered on the 15th April. So I’d better start limbering up and get ready for some hard physical labour.

Makes No Sense While In Lockdown


Why would you lock the country down, during a pandemic, but then allow a subset of the nation to gather in large crowds ?

To allow people to gather in large numbers, under the guise of protest, in numbers denied to the general populace, makes no sense at all.

BBC News – Coronavirus: Protests should be allowed during lockdown, say 60 MPs and peers https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56466291

These 60 politicians have their heads firmly stuck where the sun don’t shine.

We have seen, time and time again, that those that gather in protest, don’t social distance, many don’t wear masks, and many are there to cause mischief requiring intervention by the police, who are then put at risk.

If the government listens to these idiots they are asking for trouble.

Sad Times Indeed


In another time, my father, long passed now, was a police officer.

He served in the navy, became a policemen on his discharge and was initially stationed in towns such as Lewes. In those days, police officers and their families were moved around. And so, my father found himself as the “village bobby” just a few miles north of Hastings.

He was there to deal with the, seasonal, mods and rockers battles, along the south coast. He was also scooped up to provide security during JFKs visit to the UK. In between times he had to deal with gruesome fatalities, by road traffic accident, murder and suicide by shotgun. Of course there was the “bread and butter” work, dealing with thefts, burglary, drunkeness and so forth. In his latter years, until he retired, he became a highly skilled road traffic cop, where his patch was East Sussex and sometimes beyond.

Since then, the world has moved on and changed dramatically, become a more feral place.

I think, if he could see how the police are viewed and treated in our current times, he would be very sad. He would be confused by how we have come to this point. For sure, I certainly don’t understand it either

So I make no apologies for reproducing another Facebook post on the subject of the UKs police forces and the almost impossible tasks that confront them. Tasks that they carry out, despite the toxic press and the lack of support from the government and the flagrant use and abuse they receive at the hands of the opposition parties.

And so, here it is …..

Sad Times
Once we had a Police Force that was respected by all
Today they are abused swore at and spent most of their time dealing with ugly situations like drunken behavior, knife and gun crimes on the streets of the UK. A lot of their time is taken up with sorting out domestic violence and widespread shoplifting.
So called peaceful protests means the participants have the right to attack the police and when individuals are arrested there are shouts of Police brutality
Many young men and women joined the Police Force to make a difference and protect the streets from criminals and help their community’s by tracking down the thieves and villains that openly roam around causing distress and harm to the innocent.
The Police Force however have a bigger threat that causes them worry. Some will not make it to the end of a shift without injury or mental stress.
This threat is called the general public and they should be ashamed of themselves. Their behavior is splashed all over the media yet the blame for this disruption and violence is placed upon the Police Force
Did the Police Force gather in noisy swearing groups during lockdown?
Did the Police Force invite people to verbally and physically attack them?
Did young men and women join the Police Force to become human punchbags?
Once we were proud of our Police Force and their efforts to keep us safe.
Yet we see it splashed all over the newspapers condoning this kind of behavior by the General Public.
Stiffer sentences and larger fines should be issued out to these kinds of people or these situations and disruptions, they cause will become the acceptable norm
Would you want your son or daughter to Join the Police Force?
Welcome to Feral Britain!

As I said, my dad was a policeman. His time has passed but I have two grandsons, who are both serving police officers. One here in the UK, the other in Western Australia.

I fear for their well being as they carry out their service, protecting the general public.

Well Said ….


I have copied this, as is, from a post on the “One Police” Facebook page.

It was triggered by the Sarah Everard tragedy but is relevant to so much more that is going on in the UK. This post touches on the nasty attitudes which have been visible for several years now. Permeating our society and throughout BREXIT, the pandemic, BLM, and so much more.

There are people in this country, and around the world, who are hell bent on division and antagonism. People who will happily hijack what was meant to be a peaceful event, albeit one that te authorities had said should not go ahead.

As ever the police are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I debated for hours whether to post this or not…….

I’ve read lots of tweets and posts over the last week, and especially in the last 24 hours which have made me angry, sad, furious, shocked, mortified, confused, and just plain pissed off.

Don’t enforce the law = massively criticised / hammered in the media.
Do enforce the law = massively criticised / hammered in the media.

Ask yourself what are they supposed to do? Coronavirus legislation is what it is, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, and 10’s of thousands of people have died as a result, directly or indirectly depending on which view you take of Covid.
But the fact is the rules are laid out, as per the wishes of the government. And they are there ultimately to attempt to keep us safe. The task of enforcing these laws (as always) falls to the police, along with everything else they’ve got to do.
So again, what are they supposed to do? Enforce the law, or don’t enforce the law. They will be hammered either way. Can’t win.

What happened to Sarah Everard was utterly horrific. And it goes without saying i completely understand the strength of feeling towards the case and the issues raised. The sad reality is what we all saw last night was the blatant hijack of a vigil (which had been rightly told not to go ahead and backed by the courts) by activists, anti-police agitators, opportunists with ulterior motives and those hell bent on causing a disturbance. All under the ever present camera lenses of those with other agendas.
Spraying “All Coppers Are Bastards” on a police van is not supporting Sarah’s family.
Shouting “No justice, no peace” is not supporting Sarah’s family.
Holding up “Defund the Police” banners is not supporting Sarah’s family.
Unfortunately a reaction was sought by some, a reaction was had (through the clear disregard of the law, public safety, call it what you will), and the aftermath perfectly timed and captured for the media to lap up and farm out.

I know who WAS supporting Sarah’s family though. The police family liason officer’s, sticking by them throughout the most awful time of their entire life.
The investigation team which has worked and IS working tirelessly to put the person responsible for this horrific act behind bars.

And let it be said right now, if it even needed saying: NOBODY HATES BAD COPS AS MUCH AS GOOD COPS.
They go against every oath we hold dear. They ARE NOT us.

Last night could have been and should have been a huge outpouring of support for Sarah, with doorstep candlelit vigils across the country in scenes like we saw with “clap for our NHS heroes” albeit an unbelievably sad reason on this occasion.
But in all the noise and smoke, the real message and the real show of support has been lost, as we woke up to celebrities, government officials and the *media lambasting the police.

*The utterly poisonous mainstream media quite literally, day in day out, wake up with the seemingly sole intention of dividing people, and causing hate.
In any way they can, they sow the seeds of hate between us, whether it be race, religion, gender, anything. Because it generates clicks, and in turn money.

We’re at a point now where the police are always seen as the villain. My inbox has been pinging away with calls of “murderers” and “scum”. We’re so quick to forget names like Wayne Marques, Ian Dibell, David Whyte, Keith Palmer, Nicola Hughes, Fiona Bone, Stephen Oake, Sharon Beshenivsky and many others. Who risked everything and in some cases gave everything to try and keep us safe.

I don’t know where this all ends up. I don’t even know why i wrote this. Maybe i’m just sick and tired of hearing the one sided narrative, and want to try and give a voice to the “silent” majority.

Don’t get me wrong, we are NOT perfect, never claimed to be. We’re only human and can / will make mistakes, it would be hugely naive to think otherwise. But we’re not the enemy.

I guess i’ll sign off by saying this is only my opinion. I’m not speaking on behalf of the police, although in amongst the handful of likes and comments it will inevitably get, i just hope the message gets through.

I, for one, hope the message gets through too. Something needs to change in the attitudes of the vocal minority. And certainly the media wants to do some serious soul searching, to look at themselves and where their allegiances lie.

The silent majority also need to find their voice.

La Mola


In June of 2010 we were holidaying on the island of Menorca. The island has much to offer and although we have visited the island many times, we had never visited La Mola, a fortress situated just outside of Mahon.

The fortress of Isabel II, La Mola, is one of the major European fortresses built in the 19th Century.

Queens Gate, entrance to La Mola, Mahon, Menorca

Built during the period 1848 to 1875 it was largely out of date before construction was complete.

The fort became a victim of technological advances, the change from muzzle loading artillery to the more powerful breech loading variety, complete with rifled bores. Instead of grouping the guns within the fortress, a series of coastal batteries were introduced.

The Loopholed Gallery – La Mola, Mahon, Menorca

This gallery, 390 meters long, is formed by 48 arches that house 48 casemates, in each of which there are two loopholes for riflemen. This defensive front served to defend the moat.

Saint Philips Castle and the British tower Saint Felipet – Mahon, Menorca
View of Clot de La Mola

In this small inlet, ships would anchor, during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Hornworks

This is the first line of defense against a land attack and where the main artillery pieces were placed.

A tranquil mooring, La Mola
The rugged coastline surrounding La Mola
The rugged coastline surrounding La Mola

Hopefully, these few pictures give you some idea of La Mola. The place is huge and you need to allow a good couple of hours to do it justice,

Langstone Mill


Langstone Mill, Hampshire, England

Langstone Mill dates from the 1700’s when the windmill was built. Subsequently, in the 1800’s, the mill and the mill store were built. The windmills distinctive black colour is due to the tarred outer skin which is resilient to the effects of coastal weather.