Wednesday, April 25, 2007

missing bits

Here are some fragments I would have thought would be on the net somewhere but I cant find them. In case I am the last receptacle of this junk I’ll record them here.

I know three things about the horse
And two of them are rather coarse.
(Don’t remember where I heard this but it stuck)

Ive only got three ha’pence and that looks mighty queer
Wheres the other sixpence
Must have gone on beer.
(as sung by my Grandmother)

What we gonna do when the baby cries
What we gonna do when the baby cries
What we gonna do when the baby cries
Stick two fingers in his eyes.
(From a folk song but I cant find any reference to it- obviously not pc so might have been suppressed)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mr Healey's sheep

I still seem to be suffering with the rural. It is not at all like me and I dont think it will last much longer.
This is a picture which should excite my sheep farming neighbours.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Nice Cows

Went to Dinefwr Park and Castle today. Very pleasant National Trust house, park, gardens and castle. By the way I love that line in Dinner ladies where one them, her marriage unsatisfactory illustrates with; “ We are members of the National Trust, but we never go”.
Im not terribly enthralled with livestock as a rule but the park contained some very ancient looking white cattle which turned out to be a pedigree herd that had been at Dinefwr for a thousand years. Cow Information here

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Another record failure

Just been looking round for a disk to put a database on and found this on a disk.
Its a project I had in 2003 to take a picture everyday for a complete calender year and to write a brief diary. I see I didnt get round to starting it until January 15th - 14 days late and then forgot to take the picture and then the next day I seem to have taken the picture but misplaced it and the day after that I seem to have forgotten the project altogether. But I will leave this little scrap here as it is fossil evidence of my existence on this planet.

15th January 2003

Forgot to take a picture!!
Ian arrived back from Naples just after 2pm much to Ann's relief. (and mine but I realise that this little episode is nothing like that which is to come.)
Poor old Monty admitted to Bronlly's with water works problem.
Jim Mayers has been up there all day waiting for a blood transfusion - they forgot the blood!!
Been trying to understand W B Yeats poem the 'second coming' as it seems absolutely loaded with significance. But on the internet even those who teach the subject seem remarkably ignorant.
One academic said '….the centre cannot hold…..' referred to the collapsing of the 'Gyre' of the opening lines. Even I see that this is nonsense and it's primarily a military metaphor. And that silly bitch taught English, this being her 'favourite poem'!.

16th January 2003

Thursday and I am at the Builth Office again. Picture - Our car park at the back of the office/bank and Builth bridge from over the road. Weather much milder but no sign of any big winds. When I get home tonight - should be about 5.15pm from Builth - I will have a cup of tea and go and see Monty at Bronllys. Today I am burdened with many commercial risks and nobody sensible enough to talk to about them - i.e. insurance companies.

You heard it here first

Here is a journalist with her finger on the pulse. And its an 'exclusive' too.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Lost data

I have lost count of the number of times I have been seated round about middle and off as you look at this Picture taken today in Saundersfoot carrying out valuable research. I realised today that it has been a wasted effort because I neglected to keep the proper records.
What happens is that Ann goes round the shops and I sit quite near to the whelk stall as was and sneer internally at the passers by as I await her return. In itself this would not be a valuable contribution to the advancement of science. However in addition to sneering I got into the habit of assessing each person who crossed an invisible line running from the whelk stall as was to me. I put them into one of two pigeon holes. The slim and the obese. Those of indeterminate size I mentally discard.
So I sit there counting the obese on the fingers of my right hand and the slim on the fingers of my left hand and when I get to more than five I perform a strange little mental trick that I cannot explain that enables me to continue counting.
How valuable this data would have been had I written it down when Ann turned up instead of immediately forgetting it and saying something like "Where have you been?"
I realised today too with even greater regret that were I to observe my present self crossing the line from where the whelk stall was to the bench where I sit I would have no option but to count myself on my right hand.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Politics explained

I remember as a child asking my mother what all these poster were about that kept appearing in windows. She told me that labour stand for the poor and that conservatives stand for the rich. And the liberals?. “They don’t stand for anything your father votes liberal”.
I think she was essentially right except I would change ‘stand for’ to ‘use’.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Collapsing Rhino

Aunty B: “She has to loose 2llbs if she wants Brecon to do it (general anaesthetic), otherwise its Nevil Hall.(big hospital).
Me: “Doesn’t sound right - Brecon gave me a general anaesthetic”
Son: “What did they do shoot a dart into you?”


Im not sure where I got this but refound it in some corner of the computer.
If you load it into ,Paint Shop pro say, and flip the image , maybe rotate it too, then the love in the mirror does become hate and the other love.

Monday, April 09, 2007


The other day in the hut I read Alice in Wonderland again.
I have never seen a decent representation of this book on screen they all feel compelled to fiddle with it for some reason.
Given away with the Daily Mail recently was a version of Alice with one Tina Majorino as Alice. (Surely they MUST have called her Utterly Butterly at school or even ‘I cant believe shes not butter’. If they didn’t then they should have been ashamed of themselves and all got jobs in the Royal Navy collecting goody bags)
This version occasionally had the feel of Alice despite from the start the ridiculous motive for the dream that they felt compelled to add that she was worried about having to sing a song in front of some grown ups. However I felt more uneasy about Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee turning up played very badly by Robbie Coltrane and some other fat chap and soon after that an elderly knight. My rereading confirmed that the Tweedles and the knight do not belong to the book.
These tales were supposed to have been told to Alice Liddell while on a rowing boat hired from Salter Brothers of Folly Bridge Oxford for a trip on the Thames.
I hired a boat for the first time from Salter Brothers. It was a motor boat called Pilgrim and it was hired during ‘Bumps week’ After being shown how to steer/drive they asked me if I felt competent to go and of course I replied yes. So we set off down river and shortly came upon the races in full flight. I steered in and out of the speeding boats in a most embarrassing manner. Ann hid below decks while Bertie Wooster types shouted at me from the bank through megaphones. Eventually we got past. But then Ann said we had left the bedding behind at Salter Brothers and would have to go back for it. I was all for leaving it there and pressing on down river but she insisted. So I had to turn and weave my way back past now frantic screaming from both banks. At one point I glanced over my shoulder and saw a crew of eight bearing down on me at fantastic speed – all facing the wrong way so far as I could see. I shut my eyes but thankfully there was no collision. We picked up the bedding and set forth again downstream. Those students must have thought I was really taking the piss but luckily there was some kind of break in the proceedings and this coupled with my newly acquired navigational skills allowed us to pass incident free.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Did this one of Kipling's in school but I have seen neither hide nor hair of it since.

Now Tomlinson gave up the ghost at his house in Berkeley Square,
And a Spirit came to his bedside and gripped him by the hair—
A Spirit gripped him by the hair and carried him far away,
Till he heard as the roar of a rain-fed ford the roar of the Milky Way:
Till he heard the roar of the Milky Way die down and drone and cease,
And they came to the Gate within the Wall where Peter holds the keys.
"Stand up, stand up now, Tomlinson, and answer loud and high
"The good that ye did for the sake of men or ever ye came to die—
"The good that ye did for the sake of men on the little Earth so lone!"
And the naked soul of Tomlinson grew white as the rain-washed bone.
"O I have a friend on Earth," he said, "that was my priest and guide,
"And well would he answer all for me if he were at my side."
—"For that ye strove in neighbour-love it shall be written fair,
"But now ye wait at Heaven's Gate and not in Berkeley Square:
"Though we called your friend from his bed this night, he could not speak for you,
"For the race is run by one and one and never by two and two."
Then Tomlinson looked up and down, and little gain was there,
For the naked stars grinned overhead, and he saw that his soul was bare.
The Wind that blows between the Worlds, it cut him like a knife,
And Tomlinson took up the tale and spoke of his good in life.
"O this I have read in a book," he said, "and that was told to me,
"And this I have thought that another man thought of a Prince in Muscovy."
The good souls flocked like homing doves and bade him clear the path,
And Peter twirled the jangling Keys in weariness and wrath.
"Ye have read, ye have heard, ye have thought," he said, "and the tale is yet to run:
"By the worth of the body that once ye had, give answer—what ha' ye done?"
Then Tomlinson looked back and forth, and little good it bore,
For the darkness stayed at his shoulder-blade and Heaven's Gate before:—
"O this I have felt, and this I have guessed, and this I heard men say,
"And this they wrote that another man wrote of a carl in Norroway."
"Ye have read, ye have felt, ye have guessed, good lack! Ye have hampered Heaven's Gate;
"There's little room between the stars in idleness to prate!
"For none may reach by hired speech of neighbour, priest, and kin
"Through borrowed deed to God's good meed that lies so fair within;
"Get hence, get hence to the Lord of Wrong, for thy doom has yet to run,
"And . . . the faith that ye share with Berkeley Square uphold you, Tomlinson!"
The Spirit gripped him by the hair, and sun by sun they fell
Till they came to the belt of Naughty Stars that rim the mouth of Hell.
The first are red with pride and wrath, the next are white with pain,
But the third are black with clinkered sin that cannot burn again.
They may hold their path, they may leave their path, with never a soul to mark:
They may burn or freeze, but they must not cease in the Scorn of the Outer Dark.
The Wind that blows between the Worlds, it nipped him to the bone,
And he yearned to the flare of Hell-gate there as the light of his own hearth-stone.
The Devil he sat behind the bars, where the desperate legions drew,
But he caught the hasting Tomlinson and would not let him through.
"Wot ye the price of good pit-coal that I must pay?" said he,
"That ye rank yoursel' so fit for Hell and ask no leave of me?
"I am all o'er-sib to Adam's breed that ye should give me scorn,
"For I strove with God for your First Father the day that he was born.
"Sit down, sit down upon the slag, and answer loud and high
"The harm that ye did to the Sons of Men or ever you came to die."
And Tomlinson looked up and up, and saw against the night
The belly of a tortured star blood-red in Hell-Mouth light;
And Tomlinson looked down and down, and saw beneath his feet
The frontlet of a tortured star milk-white in Hell-Mouth heat.
"O I had a love on earth," said he, "that kissed me to my fall;
"And if ye would call my love to me I know she would answer all."
—"All that ye did in love forbid it shall be written fair,
"But now ye wait at Hell-Mouth Gate and not in Berkeley Square:
"Though we whistled your love from her bed to-night, I trow she would not run,
"For the sin that ye do by two and two ye must pay for one by one!"
The Wind that blows between the Worlds, it cut him like a knife,
And Tomlinson took up the tale and spoke of his sins in life:—
"Once I ha' laughed at the power of Love and twice at the grip of the Grave,
"And thrice I ha' patted my God on the head that men might call me brave."
The Devil he blew on a brandered soul and laid it aside to cool:—
"Do ye think I would waste my good pit-coal on the hide of a brain-sick fool?
"I see no worth in the hobnail mirth or the jolthead jest ye did
"That I should waken my gentlemen that are sleeping three on a grid."
Then Tomlinson looked back and forth, and there was little grace,
For Hell-Gate filled the houseless soul with the Fear of Naked Space.
"Nay, this I ha' heard," quo' Tomlinson, "and this was noised abroad,
"And this I ha' got from a Belgian book on the word of a dead French lord."
—"Ye ha' heard, ye ha' read, ye ha' got, good lack! and the tale begins afresh—
"Have ye sinned one sin for the pride o' the eye or the sinful lust of the flesh?"
Then Tomlinson he gripped the bars and yammered, "Let me in—
"For I mind that I borrowed my neighbour's wife to sin the deadly sin."
The Devil he grinned behind the bars, and banked the fires high:
"Did ye read of that sin in a book?" said he; and Tomlinson said, "Ay!"
The Devil he blew upon his nails, and the little devils ran,
And he said: "Go husk this whimpering thief that comes in the guise of a man:
"Winnow him out 'twixt star and star, and sieve his proper worth:
"There's sore decline in Adam's line if this be spawn of Earth."
Empusa's crew, so naked-new they may not face the fire,
But weep that they bin too small to sin to the height of their desire,
Over the coal they chased the Soul, and racked it all abroad,
As children rifle a caddis-case or the raven's foolish hoard.
And back they came with the tattered Thing, as children after play,
And they said: "The soul that he got from God he has bartered clean away.
"We have threshed a stook of print and book, and winnowed a chattering wind,
"And many a soul wherefrom he stole, but his we cannot find.
"We have handled him, we have dandled him, we have seared him to the bone,
"And, Sire, if tooth and nail show truth he has no soul of his own."
The Devil he bowed his head to his breast and rumbled deep and low:—
"I'm all o'er-sib to Adam's breed that I should bid him go.
"Yet close we lie, and deep we lie, and if I gave him place,
"My gentlemen that are so proud would flout me to my face;
"They'd call my house a common stews and me a careless host,
"And—I would not anger my gentlemen for the sake of a shiftless ghost."
The Devil he looked at the mangled Soul that prayed to feel the flame,
And he thought of Holy Charity, but he thought of his own good name:—
"Now ye could haste my coal to waste, and sit ye down to fry.
"Did ye think of that theft for yourself?" said he; and Tomlinson said, "Ay! "
The Devil he blew an outward breath, for his heart was free from care:—
"Ye have scarce the soul of a louse," he said, "but the roots of sin are there,
"And for that sin should ye come in were I the lord alone,
"But sinful pride has rule inside—ay, mightier than my own.
"Honour and Wit, fore-damned they sit, to each his Priest and Whore;
"Nay, scarce I dare myself go there, and you they'd torture sore.
"Ye are neither spirit nor spirk," he said; "ye are neither book nor brute—
"Go, get ye back to the flesh again for the sake of Man's repute.
"I'm all o'er-sib to Adam's breed that I should mock your pain,
"But look that ye win to a worthier sin ere ye come back again.
"Get hence, the hearse is at your door—the grim black stallions wait—
"They bear your clay to place to-day. Speed, lest ye come too late!
"Go back to Earth with lip unsealed—go back with open eye,
"And carry my word to the Sons of Men or ever ye come to die:
"That the sin they do by two and two they must pay for one by one,
"And . . . the God you took from a printed book be with you, Tomlinson!"

Good Friday walk round the block and an omen in the gutter

Went for a circular walk on Friday - about 60 minutes in all - should have been quicker as it wasn't very far but I am grossly unfit.
The inadvertent picture of my shadow appears to indicate a rather nasty prognosis à la Omen to my nether regions.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Forget dark matter

If I were to give you some data on an inside leg measurement and various other figures and angles taken from the drawing below then you would probably be able to come up quite easily with the conclusion that what you are dealing with is a pair of trousers. It would be easy because thats the perspective that we have on trousers.

However as I was seated
this morning I observed my trousers in a heap around my ankles and it occurred to me that the measurements and angles of the same pair of trousers but collapsed and seen from the top would make it no easy thing for some one to identify a pair of strides from the mathematical data only. Suppose that data of this type was the latest data on background radiation in the universe fresh in from Hubble. I imagined the best scientific brains being totally stumped by the mysterious figures and what it could mean for cosmology. Then somewhere, perhaps in an observatory high up in the Andes, a spectacled geek pouring over a computer print out of the data, his jaw dropped exclaims in wonder. "My God - its a pair of trousers!"

Friday, April 06, 2007

Ish programmes’ Schlafly

I like maths but Im not very good at it.
This is my favourite computer programme of any kind and it was written in 1992 by Roger Schlafly and is free to download at;
With this programme you input an equation and it solves it! Brilliant indeed it occurs to me that this would be one of the very, very few times you could legitimately use the word awesome – well maybe you couldn’t but I could because I do , maybe in my ignorance, wonder at its power.
Yesterday for example a client had £10,230 and wanted to invest it for as long as it took to reach £12,500 with an interest rate of 5%.
Now I know you can do this easily with Excel but it is so boring with a spreadsheet.
With this programme you type in your equation and it solves the equation. So you need to construct an equation first. In this case 10230 X 1.05^x = 12500. When you type it in you get the result, 4.107 years. Which equals 4 years and 39 days.

He also has a very nice collection of quotations too including this one from CS Lewis;

‘Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.’

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Christmas Notes

I am making a note here in case I forget of a few ideas I have had for the next party.
Every year we have a parish Christmas party in the village hall. Since there is only one village hall but two villages Llyswen (Breconshire) and Boughrood(Radnorshire) , divided by the Wye, the village that holds the second party often finds it taking place well into January. I cant help thinking when its our turn for the late Christmas party that seeing Santa Claus , when he turns up, is a bit like answering a knock on the door to find that a relative who had been staying with you for two weeks but left at last for home that morning had turned up again in the afternoon having missed the train.


Get a load of plastic bags from Morrisons.
Two teams of men against the clock strive to open as many bags as they can.
When they’ve finished doing that the plastic bags can be left there in a big heap for the children to play with.

We give someone a pram and a walkman or whatever you call them these days and he has to push the pram in time with the music. Everyone else guesses the music playing from his ridiculous movements. It is in order to shout contemptuous remarks at him while this is going on because the ear plugs and the music means he wont hear it and get upset.

As we go into the hall we could each draw a random card . All those people who draw the right card would have to keep it to themselves. Then just as the tea is about to end the music would start playing and the chosen ones in sequence would have to sing a few lines from ‘Perfect Day’. For the rest of us the excitement is in anticipating where the next humiliating contribution is coming from. On second thoughts might need to ‘seed’ the random cards to achieve maximum audience interest.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

D Side

I bought a box of used seaside postcards. These two were the most subtle. I wont pretend I didnt laugh though.