Her Majesty the Queen was subdued on her birthday. So are we all after the film The Towering Inferno became reality at Grenfell Towers. Reality without the hero, without the Hollywood sanitisation protecting us from thinking about slow deaths due to smoke inhalation. The film was clean, vision only. There was no smell of fear, no burning of heat, no difficulty breathing, no choking or coughing. There was no edge of panic in voices and actions. [Read more…] about People First? Some Thoughts on Grenfell Towers
The United Kingdom is a fusion of four old countries that have fought wars together and with others. It has had kings, princes, invaders, usurpers, pretenders, bishops, priests and parliamentarians who have fought among themselves. Going back into archaeological time and pre-history and even in legend there have been conflicts of people and ideas of which we know little. No wonder that the country is littered with old castles, battlefields, abbeys, forts and earthworks. [Read more…] about Ruins, what to Do with ’em?
About 14 years ago, at about the time I retired and began to withdraw from some of my commitments, I wrote down a list of some of the things I would like to see happen during the remainder of my life.
Recently, I found the notes I had written. Here they are, verbatim.
I hoped for: [Read more…] about Agenda of Hopes Dashed
Review of 2016
(not quite a poem)
You gave me Vice-Captaincy,
coffee with friends,
massages, the gym, weight loss.
You gave me a published poem
about a girl in white socks. [Read more…] about Review of 2016 – by Sandra Gordon
We hear a lot about random acts of kindness and how little things can make a big difference to people. With this in mind, whilst shopping in Winchester and Asda today (1 January), I made a point of thanking the shop assistants who served me, for being at work today, a public holiday – a day when I and many others are fortunate to be off work and furthermore expect to find the shops open. [Read more…] about Random Acts of Kindness
I thought I’d finish for this year with some light-hearted seasonal limericks and flash fiction pieces. Hope you enjoy them.
I also hope you had plenty of books (in print or electronically) for Christmas and you are happily working your way through them! [Read more…] about Seasonal Limericks and Flash Fiction
In the past few days I have been walking up and down a few roads (Hursley Road, Winchester Road, Hiltingbury Road, Brownhill Road…), and have noticed quite a few inflatable snowman, reindeer, an amusing upside-down Santa near the chimney, and quite a lot of flashing lights in the walls in our neighbourhood.
For those who are cynical about the trend of Christmas festive decorations, or if you are worry about your road / street has become ‘common’, please just remember that festive decoration is fun. People are happy; their kids are happy; their grandchildren are happy. So, just chillax. [Read more…] about How Do You Celebrate Christmas? My Christmas in Chandler’s Ford
I love Christmas, most of it anyway. I would love to see more goodwill being shown by the Christmas shopping crowds as we all try to buy presents and so on but that’s another story.
Being a Christian, the Christmas story and services have special resonance of course, though I know all would welcome the idea of goodwill to all men being practised by ourselves at all times of year (despite mankind failing on this count miserably so often, just look at the news for the proof, but the goodwill idea is a sound one and we shouldn’t give up on it. I don’t think it’s been given a long enough trial period!). [Read more…] about What I Like (and Dislike) about Christmas
Last weekend the zip on my jacket got stuck and I spent several unsuccessful minutes trying to release it. Eventually, my partner grew frustrated at my display of ineptitude and took the garment from me – well, she is a mum, therefore well qualified and experienced at solving all clothing malfunctions and failures.
No, she couldn’t free the zip either. After a few minutes she gave up and went to do something more interesting and useful (and there are lots of things that are more interesting and useful than freeing a stuck zip). [Read more…] about How Do You Solve Problems?
I spoke with a Sri Lankan Professor called Sunil about who are the Sri Lankans. The guide books say there are Sinhala, Tamils, Burghers, Moors and Veddah. How do you tell which are which? I asked.
“Did you expect Britain to vote for Brexit?” He asked. “And did you expect Donald Trump to be elected President of USA?” I told him “No” on both counts. ” [Read more…] about As Others See Us – Brexit Britain
Someone intending to visit the UK for the first time asked me for some tips on British etiquette. This is what I came up with.
Robert Burns, the famous Scottish poet once wrote A Man’s a Man for a’ That. My advice to you therefore is – be yourself and you will be fine. However, since you ask, I will jot down some thoughts accumulated over a quarter of a century on this island. [Read more…] about British Etiquette: a Survivor’s Guide
You may have noticed in the news media that there was a Presidential election in the USA last week. You may also be vaguely aware that not everyone was happy with the result. Well, here we see an important and valuable lesson about the democratic process:
You don’t always get the result that you want.
Sri Lanka reveals itself more interesting the longer one stays here. We are back here in Kandy to study snake bites and Brenda is teaching and working to improve the library at a poor school.
I decided to research some of the improvements in the country since Independence in 1948 and got involved with some historians. The idea is to link events around the first road ever built in Sri Lanka, their A1 from Colombo to Kandy. Near the start of the road is the temple of Kelaniya. [Read more…] about Buddhist Rituals
November is a month of remembrance.
Remembrance services will be taking place throughout the Borough of Eastleigh on Sunday 13 November 2016.
The Royal British Legion calls on the nation to unite in commemorating Remembrance Sunday at the 2016 Cenotaph Service and Parade in Whitehall on 13 November.
[Read more…] about Remembrance and Thanksgiving
A new coffee shop has opened in Eastleigh town centre.
Now, your reaction to this might be “Bill Bryson was right; Eastleigh needs a new coffee shop like a fish needs a bicycle”.
In a previous post Coffee vs Discount in Eastleigh I pondered the reasons for the consumer demand for expensive coffee. [Read more…] about Too Many Coffee Shops in Eastleigh? Think Again.
I had an eye test appointment last week in Eastleigh. This was the only reason I needed to go to the town centre, but while I was there I visited one of the many coffee shops for refreshment.
As I sipped my Americano I wondered why. Why had I decided to spend over £2 on a coffee that I didn’t really need when I was only a five-minute walk from home where I could have one for nothing. Why is a coffee stop now regularly included in a routine shopping trip? Why do we need so many coffee shops? [Read more…] about Coffee vs Discount in Eastleigh
News of the death of an old acquaintance or colleague reached me last week and raised some uncertainty about whether to go to the funeral or not. “Yes.” I said. “I knew him, once, a long time ago. Sorry to hear that he had a stroke and died.” [Read more…] about It’s Not My Funeral
“Is there anyone out there who can give me a good reason why a lot … not all … of cyclists ride on the road when there is a perfectly good, and expensively made cycle way nearby?
For example, Castle Lane from Chandler’s Ford to Baddesley, Baddesley to Rownhams, Bishopstoke to Eastleigh?”
So asks a recent post on Streetlife, a popular local Social Media site. [Read more…] about Why Don’t Cyclists Use Cycle Lanes?
What do you know about the European Union? Not much, I bet. Yet we are all going to be asked to vote about staying in or leaving.
It will be a decision made of ignorance for what do we know of the EU? Do you know how to contact your representative or even who they are and what problems they may be able to help with? [Read more…] about EU – In or Out?
What is the collective noun for migrants? Horde will not do it seems; swarm, bunch, multitude, gang, flock, there are plenty of words but then there is an army of people who will take offence whatever you say.
The problem is that they are all individuals with the same hopes, fears and desires as you and I. [Read more…] about Migrant Crisis: What’s Your View?