Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Three times last week, we made the journey to Crow Point, where Braunton Burrows meet the sea at the Torridge estuary with the wonderful village of Appledore on the opposite shore.
Why three times? Well, apart from being one of our favourite places, it`s also very remote. You can only get to it via a toll road (cars £1.50) which is about two miles long and leads to a small car park. The toll road is maintained by the Braunton Marsh Inspectors, who do a good job of looking after a rich expanse of important natural heritage. But the other reason to go there is that you can walk along the beach right to where it turns a corner and starts to become Saunton sands.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
It seems as if today is indeed one of those days. First, a leak from the bathroom has found its way through the brickwork, down through the floor and has been depositing water into the garage. OK, it can be fixed, but it means the bathroom is out of commission for a day or two.
Then Mrs. Snopper has lost her digital camera, she knows not where and we`ve searched high and low but to no avail. Then we went shopping in Tesco`s who had kindly given us a £5 off voucher but when we got to the checkout, we couldn`t find the voucher.
So, can it get any worse? You bet. I see today that Tony Blair has been nominated as the UK`s official candidate for the Presidency of Europe. No-one asked me what I thought and it seems no-one even considered whether there are more `suitable` candidates. Someone like Joanna Lumley would do nicely - she`d certainly find favour with the Italian vote.
So why Blair? For it seems his candidancy was announced in Strasbourg yesterday by the unelected peeress Baroness Glenys Kinnock rather than even being sanctioned by Parliament, never mind the rest of us. I`m holding on to the slim hope that the Presidency of Europe can`t come into being unless and until all 27 countries sign up to the EU Constitution - sorry, the Lisbon Treaty. On that score, we in the UK have been denied the referendum we were unequivocally promised in Labour`s last manifesto by unelected Prime Minister Gordon Bennett; Ireland have to vote again in October following their first `NO` vote and the Czech Republic still has to ratify it too.
I imagine Ireland are being promised so many concessions if they vote `YES` this time that they will find it hard to resist and as for the Czechs, their Prime Minister might be waivering under the strain of the pressure being heaped upon him. I think the only respite from all this gloom will be to get away for a week in glorious Devon. So that`s what we`ll be doing early on Saturday morning.
When we get back, the bathroom might be useable again, Mrs. Snopper`s camera may have been recovered and I think we`ll do our shopping somewhere else anyway. But I just know that the undemocratic, interfering, grandiose, self-serving farce that is the EU will have carried on doing what it wants to do with our money and the unelected, grandstanding, self-serving poseur that is Tony Blair will have carried on smiling his way from one calamity to the next. Perhaps, after all, Blair and the EU were made for each other. See you in a week or so.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
There`s something very military about the county of Wiltshire. Salisbury Plain, wide open spaces, tank training, gunnery ranges, Devizes, Tidworth Garrison and.....Wootton Bassett. It lies close by to RAF Lyneham where the fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan have arrived all too frequently, to be taken by cortege to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and to await the Coroner.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
The gentleman responsible is Markus Liebherr, pictured right. He may bear an uncanny resemblance to James Bond`s arch enemy, Blofeld, but he is, however, of a more avuncular disposition. A hugely successful billionaire Swiss businessman who is much taken with the city of Southampton and its football club. The Administrator, Mark Fry, yesterday explained why he was so keen on purchasing the club. "Markus Liebherr was attracted to Southampton by a number of qualities which include the club's rich sporting heritage, loyal fan base, first-class stadium and training facilities and the potential for the Saints to regain their rightful place in the higher echelons of English football." I believe Herr Liebherr is also a deeply religious man and was impressed by the fact that Saints originated from the boys club founded at St. Mary`s Church 124 years ago, which is why the club is called `The Saints` and why the stadium is called St. Mary`s.
So, good news at last. But it would be wrong to imagine that we will automatically climb quickly back to the Championship, never mind the Premiership, where we resided for 27 years. Our new owner may have £2.5 billion in the bank which might make him the fourth richest owner in English football but he seems intent on building steadily and sensibly. I`m happy with that. We need to get it right rather than get it soon and above all we need stability and consolidation, along with a healthy dose of patience. And we need to regain our reputation as a family friendly club who conduct themselves with dignity both on and off the field of play, for the age of Dennis Wise and Rupert Lowe is now finally over.
I don`t expect us to turn into Manchester United or Chelsea or Manchester City even if we may have the resources to do so. In fact, I don`t want to be like them with all the excess and distaste that surrounds them. I will be content to have a decent club, run by decent people doing decent things and be content for our rightful place to be found once more. Wherever that turns out to be and however long it takes.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009