Well Done Artemis


Congratulations to the crew of the Artemis.

They are a four-strong rowing team who set a new record for crossing the North Atlantic when they reached the finish line on Saturday. The previous record has stood for a 114 years and the team sheared 11 days off  it rowing from New York to the Isles of Scilly off the southwest English mainland.

The new record now stands at 43 days, 21 hours, 26 minutes and 48 seconds.

Well Done Lads

Soham Murderer Must Not Be Compensated


Huntley carried out a despicable crime and got caught. Now he is reaping his just rewards, one of which is that he has been attacked by another inmate. Well hard cheese. The old saying “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime” seems to apply here.

Its being stated that he could win £100,000 in compensation but  it could cost the British Taxpayer £1 million in legal aid fees if he follows through with his plan to sue the Ministry of Justice .

Well here is one British Taxpayer who does not want to contribute anything to his legal aid.

What a kick in the teeth for the families of his victims, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

I’ll Continue The Experiment


According to the Telegraph “American researchers found that a plant extract contained in the skin of red grapes helps protect the body against ageing”

Apparently they found that some substance found in grapes has been shown “to prolong life in yeast and animals such as roundworms and fruit flies”. On that basis they decided it would be a good idea to carry out a study on human beings.

So the scientists carried out a study on twenty human subjects of which only ten were actually given the substance over a trial period of six weeks. The results of this experiment apparently show that the substance, “resveratrol” , can have beneficial effects which could reduce the possibility of developing diabetes, heart problems, strokes and ageing.

On that basis alone I intend to carry on with my own experiment, to carry on drinking red wine which is my favourite tipple.

What I need to know is how many bottles a week I need to consume ?

I presume that the reduction in cholesterol that other scientific reports have indicated are not negated by this new substance.

And another question, Does this resveratrol negate the negative effects of the alcohol contained in wine.

I guess what I need is a scientific study which looks into all the reports that say that red wine is bad for you and balances them against all the reports that say red wine is good for you.

In the meantime I will humbly go ahead with my own experiment. Needless to say I won’t be publishing any reports.

However, I am prepared to participate in any official experiments.  My preference is for full-bodied reds so if you could send experimental supplies to my home address at …….

Glorious Butser


Although I won’t go into the whys and wherefores, I spent an hour or so with Becky, my granddaughter, up on Butser Hill earlier today.  Although it was clear enough to see over to the Isle of Wight, down to Portsmouth marked by the Spinnaker Tower, down the Solent and way over to Southampton we just sat looking out over the Meon Valley with East Meon to the fore. The view from up there can rightly be described as breathtaking.

Currently there are no sheep, or cattle, on the hill so there are many wildflowers  in bloom including Musk Thistle, Willowherb, Harebell and Wild Carrot. The scent of the latter drawing such a variety of insect life including flies, wasps and butterflies (blue & white) all busily gathering nectar.  You will need to be quick though,  if you want to see the flowers. A lady walking her dogs informed us that there may well be cattle moved onto the hillside soon. They will then be followed by natures lawn mowers, the sheep. She also told us about her two dogs, both border collies and both rescued dogs. The youngest had been beaten as a pup and was very cautious of people. Although neither of them was very cautious of young Becky they both steered clear of me.

That’s the nice thing about just sitting. Passers by will stop and talk to you. After the dog walker had moved on with a cheery “nice to have met you” she was followed by a formally dressed chap carrying a camera attached to a huge camouflaged lens. He wasn’t quite so talkative but did wish us a “Good Morning”. I assumed he was a twitcher, although he equally could have been a peeping tom. With a lens that large he could probably see into the bedrooms of the cottages in East Meon a couple of miles away. Really, just kidding. Moments later he was followed by his wife, assumption on my part,who was  carrying a large rucksack.

From the hill the patchwork landscape was constantly changing, cloud shadows moving across the fields darkening then brightening with their passing. For a while we watched a Kestrel working below us. Soaring, hovering, swooping then hovering again while other birds, especially the skylarks,  provided a musical backdrop calling on the breeze.

Occasionally we could hear the distant bleating of a flock of sheep and further over a herd of cattle were laying under the trees. Doesn’t that mean we can expect rain ? Although later on our way home we passed a herd of cattle, all stood up. Obviously they listened to a different weather forecaster.

As the cloud cover thickened, reluctantly, we had to call our visit to a halt due to someone being a little cold and hungry.

Who mentioned “cattle cake” ?

The Last Resort


“The Last Resort”  is an award-winning documentary about Southsea seafront made by Russell Oastler, David Kinnaird and Lucas Way as the final project of their degrees. Gentlemen I salute you and thank you for a marvellous piece of cinematography.

The film about the decline of Portsmouth as a traditional seaside resort struck a chord with me, having been a resident in the Portsmouth & Southsea area for over 40 years.  For many years now I have thought that Southsea has looked tired and in need of  something to revitalise the sea front area. This is  a point of view that is reinforced by the film and explored through the eyes of some of the locals who have also seen it change.

The film, dedicated to 86-year-old Mrs Dorothy Browning who died during the making, can be viewed HERE

Straight Talking – Breath of Fresh Air


Prime Minister David Cameron may be raising some hackles with his comments around the world but what a breath of fresh air it is to hear a UK politician using straight talking to express opinion and also to reflect the opinions of many of the UK population.

While in Turkey he stated that Gaza was a “prison camp” and has suggested,  in Bangalore, that Pakistan “promoted the export of terror”  while at home he was quick and firm in his condemnation of the support for Raoul Moat expressed through Facebook.

We the British public are sick and tired of everything being presented in a slick, polished politically correct fashion. It’s not the way we see things and it’s not the way that the majority of us discuss things and it’s certainly not the real world.

Keep it up Mr Cameron. Keep on telling it the way that it is.