January is over already and here the wind is gale-force. A few 2012 Swan pictures have been ‘edited’ into a page and one is here too. It’ll be April or May before this years cygnets hatch.
That HS2 story is still in the news as pop record maker Pete Waterman, who’s also a train fan, asks why can’t we build the trains here? A perfectly sensible question. Ok Pete, get going, pump some cash in and see how you get on. Mmmm, a little bit ‘longy-termy’ investment-wise isn’t it? Not like a fast-selling CD. And they aren’t sure yet what the track gauge is going to be – standard rail or like the HS1. But already they’re carving-up the countryside, on paper, in anticipation! A more sensible investment would be a van-load of wholesale bog-rolls off-loaded at markets or car-boots surely. And a bale of bog-rolls is always handy for the actual investor – I mean, what good is a spare train wheel in your bathroom? Or a CD?
A quirky bit of news is that a very well-known Charity Shop is having a winge about tax-eva – erm, avoidance by anybody and everybody in the country. Well, surely, Charity begins at home…
On the Inter-Stellar front there is a rumour that Mrs. Merkel has received an application from the planet Zarg, where its inhabitants feed by actually eating the planet, to join the eu.
After five billion years of planetary eating five thousand billion Zargans are now huddled on the remaining two square zombals of Zarg waving Union Jacks.
Sadly, none of them can make a CD, a bog-roll or a HS2 train and they’ve no idea what a bathroom is. Boy, are they in the shite! Even by eu standards!!
Quite nice weather-wise again so the bike-riding is on the cards again very shortly.
HS2 rail-link stories are, by now, just luke-warm, as hot news goes, but there is a snippet (or is that a ‘snipe-et’) or two about the track-route neatly missing land that is home to that nice Mr. Osborne of Chancellor fame. There is a distinct bend around southern Manchester areas that is plain to see. Of course this has nothing to do with Mr. Osborne, but it might be nice, in future years, if folk did as they do on Top Gear; they name a bend, on their test-track, after someone that made it famous – or, indeed, infamous, such as great actor Michael Gambon – a corner on the Top-Gear track is now well known as ‘Gambon Corner’ and later as, simply, ‘Gambon’, after his difficulty getting around it! So, to get back to HS2, the deviation (and I guessed that there would be several yesterday!) may, in time, be known as, ‘The Osborne Curve’.
For those with a bent for things historical, Canute comes to mind.
As those govern-mental try to get us to install water-meters, ‘to keep water costs down’ a tenant has been billed for over £30,000.00p because of a leak. This is crazy to start with but does highlight the possibilities that water-companies can, and do invoke, after folk have agreed to water-meterage. Just make sure you know where your stop-tap is!
Outside, right now, looks good enough to get cycling, but, open the double-glazing an inch and the wind is deafening. It’s okay but it means that for half of the ride you’re doing one mph pushing against it and then, often very suddenly, you’re doing forty mph with the wind behind you! Catch the wind sideways and you can go all over the place. So, ride the bike but be careful!
It’s almost spring-like this morning if a bit misty and, thanks to the Internet, our clothes are clean. Also, thanks to the Internet I can read some ‘news’ without any bother.
And it’s getting interesting on several fronts.
Being in the eu means 29,000,000 poor folk in Bulgaria and Romania will soon be eligible to come here to live – already there is slight panic as this is realised by those govern-mental. The online bloggers have been mentioning this for months.
Councils are ’employing’ ex-Army folk as ‘Litter Police’ to issue spot £80 fines to plebs if they drop litter. This, on the face of it, is great. Don’t litter our streets! But, I have to ask, what happens to the Litter Police company when no one drops any litter again? And, where will the £80 actually come from if a skint Bulgar or Romanian drops a polythene charity-bag in the street? Will there be a ‘Litter-Fine-Benefit’? Just two minor points that the real entrepreneur would address before actually starting such a business. But, don’t let this stop you in the meantime – just get it sorted.
As prophesised the Green Car Congestion Charge Exemption is coming to an end. ‘Green’ cars will have to start paying the London Congestion Charge. There are now that many of them that they are congesting so that’s it. What do you expect? Those govern-mental to drop the charge because all of the cars are ‘green’? Oh no, lucrative taxation is never ‘dropped’. Congestion is nothing to do with ‘green’. It’s a numbers/tarmac/ratio thing!
Already the individual objections to the HS2 rail-link are starting. There’ll be so many that the line – initally envisaged as a 250 mph straight as an arrow track – is marred by umpteen semi-circular deviations that the train will simply have to travel at a nice, steady, 30 mph because of the corners!
Another, so far seemingly minor point, is that many folk are objecting to the train not stopping or even coming close to their particular town or village. So, when all is finished it’ll just be another bus-route, stopping at every lamp-post. Get your passes out everyone, the train’s coming! Eventually.
A dull Monday morning so far but at least the snow etc. has now gone. The new washing-machine is in and works fine and the whole purchase was done easily and quickly on the ‘net. Doing this ‘live’ by traipsing around umpteen shops and stores would have been a costly nightmare involving litres of motor fuel and heaven knows how much in parking-charges. By bus it would have been a full-days hike to check-out a few possible machine purchases. Online, viewing, ordering and paying took minutes, and yes, you do need to buy a computer, its software and a connection to the ‘net, but all that is pennies compared to a live traipse.
Nationally, today, there’s more about the HSR link from London to Birmingham/Manchester/Leeds etc. I can understand one or two folk being pleased at the speed of travel from London to up north – but many of them will have retired, (or worse!) by the time this rail link is fully up and running, and the youngsters now may think the link slow and old-fashioned when it becomes usable. So I can also understand those that are opposed to it for various reasons. The cost is one. Rarely do things govern-mental come-in on budget. That homes and countryside will be destroyed is another. But, some of us remember that a once national rail-system was deemed non-viable by those govern-mental and much of it was ripped-up in the nineteen-sixties. In this area there’s still remnants of this about and now, it seems, we’re going back to it. Well, a very small minority of the UK population will be going back to it – for most of us the link will be something we simply don’t need to use – and, in that case, the term ‘Tax-Increase-Justification’ exercise always comes to mind! It’s an easy option to ‘invest’ in something when you’re using Other People’s Money but if the people that really want this sort of thing had to fully fund it, it wouldn’t get built!
Warmer air and a rainy night last night and this morning much of the snow – and it was four inches deep – has gone. And, later, the new washer is being delivered.
So it’ll be a busy Sunday later getting the new machine up and running.
The weather aspect means that the bike can also, soon, be up and running. Walking is fine but, if ‘photo’s are needed, a bit slow. This year too, it’s hoped that some new old bikes can be tested with a view to geriatric use. The bike on the Father Brown TV series is a cracker – ideal for the real cyclist.
Top Gear TV programme is back next week too and doubtless they’ll test the new super-hyper-sports-car that a company in the Lebanon is knocking-out. They’ll be churning half a dozen of the cars out this year at a nice £2.2million apiece. The car looks like a (white?) Batmobile and does about 250 mph – so, being boot-less, it’s useless for shopping in Radcliffe or car- booting, and there’s nowhere to fit ladder-brackets – so it’s useless for the local entrepreneurial with a bucket and window-leather. So I’ll stick with two wheels and simply earn £2.2million less!
Four to six inches of snow fell in the night so a white start to Saturday. It looks though as it’s already thawing and there are some blue-skies and it’s quite bright. Pictured are our bins this morning.
The washing-machine went belly-up yesterday and the thought of trailing the shops locally for a new one was frightening. Getting one took a few minutes, online, and it’ll (hopefully) be delivered (free) tomorrow. (Sunday) It has been ordered from one of the bigger supermarkets, but whoever, that’s pretty good service anyway. We’re just hoping the delivery lads and/or ladies can get through the bloody snow! But if they can’t that won’t be their fault.
On the economic fiasco we’re more or less back in what’s generally called a ‘recession’ again, something they’re saying is a ‘triple-dip’ one. The bbc, gleefully, is calling it a ‘depression’, to evoke all things 1930 (when most of their programmes were made?) and to get us all to think that the other lot in parliament might just be the best bet. The fact is that none of those govern-mental seem to have a clue anyway so why bother – bankruptcy, among nations at the moment, is a growth industry so sit-back and smile. The recent Cold Weather Payment, if calculated on a weekly basis for the year, almost matches next year’s weekly inflation-linked (?) general pension rise. So with this amount of cash sloshing about in the economy it’s no wonder that, as several of the paid bloggers have (at last) realised, our car industry, what’s left of it, is doing quite well. And, for one pensioner at least, the Winter Heating Allowance will ensure that his clothes are clean, regardless of what our New Washing Machine industry is or isn’t up to.
A dull but clear morning in outer Greater Manchester. Checks reveal that, so far, in our area, one instance of really Arctic weather that will trigger a Cold Weather Payment has occurred – since November! So the odds on actually getting a CWP are something akin to winning the Lottery jackpot. Without the £millions of course.
Not a really funny thought but there it is. For real fun look to the eu. They’re after fining the UK for not complying with some energy regulations – to do with the eu regulating, uniformly, the price of energy or fuel (gas and ‘lecky it sounds like) and the ‘fine’ would be £250,000.00p per day. This is fun enough, but the eu regulation may mean a lowering of our energy prices, much against the wishes of folk govern-mental, in the UK, that charge VAT on every fuel bill. (There’ll be much such pro’ eu propaganda, like this, to make eu sound ‘attractive’ to referendum voters) It’s a ‘small’ story so far but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
As is the story of the Tzar’s gold in Russia. Apparently secret agents have been ‘on the trail’ of this hoard for years and, at today’s values, it could be worth £50,000,000,000.00p in sterling. There is a rumour though that recently a Scottish ex pm found the gold and sold it to Cash Generator for thirty-five quid – but we can at least keep one eye on the story.
There’s still plenty of waffle about Cameron’s in-out speech. (which is mainly waffle anyway as it was written by an ex ice-cream sales-lady.) The speech is a long sound-byte about the UK being in or out of the eu. It detracted folk from the increased borrowing news for December nicely, and it gave the wannabe bloggers something to dissect which they’re now doing ad longitudinum!
Meanwhile the public deficit lingers…
Today’s ‘photo is of one of our small town’s main shopping streets, it was taken a couple of days ago. Cold but little snow.
A nippy morning again here in the north. The picture was taken along Banana Walk – a local footpath that leads to a canal-bridge and/or the local cycling-routes – a couple of days ago.
There’s still plenty of ice along the back-streets so the bike is still shelved – it’s hard, in places, just to walk but main-roads look okay for the car-drivers.
Nationally, there’s little about the ‘cuts’ etc. well, borrowing was well up in December so there haven’t been any again. And that erstwhile pedestrian (?) Mr. Miliband has said, in reply to Mr. Cameron’s in-out referendum speech, that, ‘We don’t want an in-out referendum.’ His fellow party members are gob-smacked because, well, many of them do. Not that being in or out of the eu is, for any of them, important, or that they understand what it’s all about, but saying things that’ll attract public popularity (= votes) is!
Peugeot, the car-maker, have, it transpires, developed an engine that runs on fresh-air. In normal circumstances this would be quite brilliant with folk zooming about at no cost and not really damaging our atmosphere. (There would, probably, be a few atmosphere-huggers about though, just to complain about something!) Sadly the circumstances are far from normal and the atmosphere would inevitably be taxed – per Litre, (?) as motorists filled-up their tanks at Atmosphere Filling Stations. Aliens, on neighbouring planets everywhere, would ensure that their Anti-Earth Tracking Defences – stuff that stops us finding them – were working fully, after they’ve stopped laughing at things Earthily govern-mental. (Folk on the Planet Hoover actually live in a vacuum. Their atmosphere disappeared overnight when their helicopter designers miss-spelled Hovver on a technical drawing!)
Still on the car scene; A Texan car-maker has come up with the Hennessey Venom, a 1244bhp engined super-car that can get to 186mph in 13.63 seconds. This will be great when the Americans figure-out how to get such a car around a corner – they don’t have many. Apparently, too, they must fit slick tyres at all times to this car – fitting something with a tread makes the car stand still while the Earth moves under it!
The picture, of Radcliffe Canal from The Red Bridge was taken yesterday in bright sunshine. It’s just a bit dull today but no more snow. I see that that Nice Mr. Cameron has said we can have an ‘in-out’ referendum on Europe – before 2017 – if he’s still in power. Yawn.
But, if such a thing ever does come-off here’s how the questions will be worded:
“Do you want the UK to leave the eu despite the resulting higher taxation needed to fund the UK outside of Europe?”
“Do you want the UK to stay in the eu despite the higher taxation needed to fund the UK inside Europe?”
Cute eh? But that’ll be the sales-pitch. (With the real cash-values of the skint euro countries, at the moment, a good entrepreneurial Car-Booter, or Market-Trader could buy Europe – but selling it on, at a mark-up, would be tricky. Don’t touch it, even with a Farage Poll!)
Just as an aside, and for a bit of fun, think how much such a referendum will cost – even, say, for the printed vote-sheets. It’s how you really waste cash folks!
On Tuesday, several main-stream wannabe bloggers ‘agreed’ with points I blogged on Monday.
Bright sunshine this morning around Radcliffe but it’s probably cold as the snow is still lying there. A walk is on the cards, but compared to biking, it’s a slow way to get a few photographs. I can do an eight to ten mile circuit of the local sticks in the time it takes to walk about three miles. If the roads are snowed-up that’s faster than a car. Bus journeys won’t compute!
Photograph above is at Radcliffe Wharf, today around one o’clock and looking back toward the Red Bridge a hundred yards around that curve. The sun’s out so there’s a bit of colour in the picture, but the back-streets are still like glass so take care if you’re out walking.