2015 November Roadtrip – Scotland (7) – John O’Groats To Inverness via Aberdeen (Not a classic definition of the direct route)


and there it is

quite the finest collection of photos,

that ever there was
Gather here for certain,

the reason, Because

…. the end …



Leadership hustings and being away

In Germany’s Black Forest for my grandfathers 90th.

Am having issues with moving about for two reasons all of which relate to one event – Tuesday football astro turf..
It did not go well-we lost and I was confronted with something I knew but has cast a kindly eye over… 14 months since last game and even longer since any concerted activity occurred.. It’s been longer since I mustered the capacity to run.

In short we lost and I barley mustered the ability to overcome gravity let alone the opposition an outcome wholly rational but worse than I’d falsely allowed myself to envisage.

As a result I was immobile and throwing myself at things in desperation, this meant sliding and sliding on astro means a certain kind of inideal skin friction/burn, so my right leg now has as adhesive link to my trousers.
Other than that all other parts of my person that showed no immediate negative response to being asked to remain unideally stationary have now opted to seize up (or confess ill found discomfort at movements) most belatedly.

My 90 year old grandfather whose birthday I’m in Germany to celebrate cuts a far more nimble figure than I.
Good for him perhaps and yes but beyond that surley an opportunity if ever there were one.

Lake Black Forest Titisee Black Forst Titisee Germany Black Forest Black Forest House Chalet Titsee Black Forst Shore Black Forest Titsee Black Forst Town Black Forest Germany Zurich Limmat City TV Greek Crisis

Right now a kick about has been arranged for Monday and a recovery time of 5 days is looking precarious let alone the knowledge of what’s to greet me out there on the turf.

It’s cold the water in the black forest lake where we’re staying, motivated by incontrovertible proof, at least and I hope not, in the immediate term, I’d made the effort to partake in some minimal swimming – it was so not warm.

Meanwhile the topic of trident and nuclear weapons went and popped up at the Labour Party leadership candidate hustings had remained in some guise within the subsequent thoughts.
Regardless of your view the answers coming back seemed largely designed to appear like real leadership candidates and in no way deal with the query – reflecting back on this retrospectively it became odder that we should be deemed to be looking for irrationality or dishonesty in our leaders because one or the other was all but certainly at play.
Military spokespeople have often enough distanced themselves from trident for us to know by now it’s a political tool not a military one. Talk of an unstable world while true seems a given, while specific mention of religion utilising extremist groups in this context is little short of ridiculous. As if any military leaders are wondering into the MoD with s plan for dealing with these groups by dispatching the irradiating all incinerating solution of an atomic bomb.
Perhaps it has a relationship to some international obligations or to our presence on some important international groups but then, just say so.

What adds to the mix is that not one of them would ever make the argument that domestic weapon inflation is any way to make anyone more secure. The idea of giving guns to our police to protect against knives, then bigger guns to protect against smaller guns is an argument that was lost to all who believe in the rule of law, some time ago.
Within an international society then how does it serve a long term security interest to have ownership of things such as these, tethered like a golden key to exclusive international clubs, building a political rational for others to pursue them.. Investing in mutually assured distraction in the name of safety, whatever the short term nuisance ultimate surely that’s a nonsense, but it is the position of the responsible statesman. To profess a moral principled position to pursue s belief is not befitting of a countries CEO, yet there ought surely to be more to public leadership than the short term pragmatism that is sought in the pursuit of profit within private enterprise.

Itv decided to followup the uneventful but quietly interesting hustings with an all but entirely fictitious story about audience backlashes and candidate booing. There had been so little ranker between anyone present that it seemed they had opted to invent the narrative. This was a surprise as I somewhat naively had held the view that by and large media coverage was factual if perhaps bias rather than founded upon the need to regale and entertain the readership with fanciful works of fiction. The place had been full of TV cameras so I looked for the supporting footage of what I’d missed, it was understandably absent.
No dragons were harmed in the making of this leadership hustings.

Right about now – back in the Black Forest everyone’s wondered off the few meters back into the town to circulate amongst the shops. Half asleep lazy and never shop inclined I stayed behind in a bemused state with half an eye to spending the last hour back by the lakeside, I even left the hotel momentarily before heading back for those ‘just in case’ swimming trunks and towel. Though on leaving I was distracted one more time by the idea of the pool, there’s one here somewhere, there are signs to it…. Surely with less hostile temperatures to contend with and as yet not even visited .. So it was to there I go, and on the patio outside it that I now mooch about – life should be spent in the pursuit of activities and then resting from the effort of those activities.

I have done no activities beside mildly over indulging in breakfast time and it would appear am most eager to rest up after it.

I am here though for the pool… Remember the pool … Oh the effort, the sun is out and the lieing down so restful like – wondrous mooching and it’s easy sink hole ways .. Of your arse boy … You can do it

Amsterdam – stag reflections

Amsterdam is a much nicer place than I’d settled on visualising based on the somewhat mixed reviews is heard it given. There are some unconventional aspects which are well known, the widely available lower category (UK) drugs, the legalised prostitution and the utter preoccupation with related fields of entertainment that appears to have had. The first of these ensures the wide spread nasal affliction of a not to pleasant smell but seems answerable for little more. The second really rather just lays some things out there in a stark way which presents matters just as they are, people in shop windows. Personally I dislike each. I see no merit beyond pain relief in drugs while with the other I am unsure exactly which party the whole thing debases more. Personal judgements aside however they are both things people seem to find a way to do, here and at home, so I wonder what the merit is of driving them underground, putting them in the hands of criminals and out of the hands of any sensible controls. A point of conversation was the clear gender divide, no men were in the windows, which may have come across as odder but objectively why should it. I suspect if left to guess what this says about the two genders the conclusion would not be a hugely divers one. Amsterdam was really very nice, older unconventional buildings, trams in Zurich familiar white and blue, the mesh of canals with their dubious Thames quality water, manic cyclists with unfashionable clumpy old bikes. It had much to recommend and little to nothing that revealed itself over a long weekend to act as cause for reservations. The stag do was not enjoyable. The end was it finest hour for me – though somewhat more importantly I think Oscar seemed largely to enjoy it. If I feared for a 10 on horrorometer and hoped for a 2 it was probably a 6. It could have been a whole lot worse, but I couldn’t quite wait for it to end none the less. The group were not a very familiar one and a few of them were really about as palatable as cucumbers with an olive dip, cucumbers that were becoming bacterial food as the weekend proceeded. The funniest part was Oscar in an inflatable costume of the males genitals wondering into a condom shop to request something suitable, they didn’t take it in particularly good humour and he left, to be stopped unbelievable frequently in the street with requests for photos. It was not long before scare reticence turned to enthusiastic solicitation at this celebrity status, that came as quite a surprise to all. His royal wave impressions, especially when passing through the city on open canal boat lacked motion and became more lofty, far more akin to a returning fuehrer penis than the British monarch on tour. It was a joke that worked brilliantly, better surely than anyone could have of had right to expect. So well received by passers by and so also by Oscar himself. But not a joke that could keep giving, some wouldn’t have it and insisted that all time be dedicated to wearing the suit, they were gratingly tedious, purial and socially bizarre people, I spent ever more time wishing they wouldn’t, generally. The one thing we never got round to doing was hiring one those booth for an hour and getting Oscar and his suit to stand with full elimination within. That maybe have been the finest moment of all but it never was – it was no more advanced but it had that element of originality and interesting, what would the passers by do. For my part I had been swiftly ruined by the first night, too long with its 5:30am end and too drink heavy-I am no longer accustomed or capable of processing that impact & was even more knackered than the drained shuffling in the weeks leading up to it. This did not help with the stride into which one might attempt to take things. One thing I could not fathom, tradition of not (I don’t know) surely you decide things for yourself and those set on victimisation and general humiliation are not the diligent upholders of traditional, pureists but rather small people in pursuit of an excuse to legitimise their own perculiars.. Judgemental-perhaps..  Everything I had to just get on with it was nowhere near enough, consciously overextending my willingness to compromise by a long long way, this after all is all about someone else, I belonged here about as well as a puffer fish would upon the moon.. Meanwhile the ridiculous simpletons never did ‘just wouldn’t’ anything but.. By the time Monday arrived I felt compelled to head off, my ability to absorb any more of this in the name of ‘oscars stag’ quite eroded. I packed up, milled about briefly and took my opportunity to head off, it was not polite or properly done it was as much as I had left in the tank. I wanted to see Amsterdam and no one had moved more than a couple of hundred meters from the hostel, I wasn’t going to wait and see, I couldn’t bring myself to it, petulant perhaps but having listened to the verbal equivalent of ‘I know a song that will get on you nerves, get on your nerves’ for 60 hours, it had. In none news it’s quite flat and relatively easy to explore by foot. My sense it was a nice place to be seemed further confirmed by the unplanned zig zag meander about which followed. In summary – learning from the weekend: Amsterdam very good, confirmations: stag does not desirable to attend There are great wits out there, their attendance is basically welcome their absence leaves to much opportunity for entirely other sorts

General election: 2015

There is at key election times, it seems an unhealthy bias among much of the media. The bias isn’t purely one way or the other but it’s present.

The scrutiny applied to the chancer currently inadvertently to be found residing in number 10 is almost entirely absent. It could be perhaps that a man unable to win the last election with every fair wind in his favour is a man for whom expectation are so low as to not warrant undue highlighting.

As a person hoping he will reside their no longer come the election this is rather frustrating. Opposition parties ought not need to resort to negative campaigning in circumstances such as these. A PM who hired and stuck by a man subsequently imprisoned as his top adviser, a man who has overseen collusion with big business, further expenses scandals and who has demonstrated such a profound lack of credibility and judgement that the media seen to be adverse to mentioning it.  The Conservatives are doing nothing wrong because this is what they are and they never apologise for it, so they cant be guilty.  This though may be a bias perspective.

More generally, the problem though lies in the other parties and the profoundly uninspiring offering they too hold up. In all my life I have never witnessed an election where the electorate seems largely to take the view, which one is the least bad option. It’s not inspiring stuff.

Yet as with the banking crisis it is the electorate who did much to create this situation and who will deny all (not even recognise) accountability. It is their right but how is it to improve when recognition of the underlying issues is so scarce.

People don’t want politicians to admit they don’t know – for example.. the media shock at such an answer .. and yet for most people that I know, there are things which they don’t immediately know and other things that even after much thoughtful musing remain unclear.

The public want to have high levels of public service but a tax regime that impacts not on their personal incomes along with debt control. They want resolution of the property market issues but retain an expectation to each and all own property.
In short they desire different outcomes but are resolutely disinclined to change behaviours, disposing of all personal responsibility onto a government that can only truly alter anything progressive meaningful or long lasting, through the collective will (actions and support) of the people.

That said people have also seemed in need of something into which they can invest their belief and at this time we have politicians more inclined to follow the public whim rather that to harness and seek to lead it toward something. It’s not wholly new for sure but the extent, the level, even party members struggle to support their leaders.

The cheap seats are always so enticing, immediate self interest & disowning responsibility – blaming others: immigrants, bankers, politicians, unions … Most of whom medley fulfill the circumstances imposed upon them, as most people find themselves doing.

While we could do with a better public to drive out better politicians it seems more likely that the numbers may through out a better politician, one who is handily much more than purely a reflection of what we deserve.
Veering about with tax cuts that ruined education, health & transport followed by the need for hasty and rushed repairs, with the wastage and debts that gifts us.
You probably can have something links the country the majority want but it takes many parliamentary terms to achieve it, more than a democratically elected leader will likely see out. We can mph wait for an Attlee to materialise once more to lead us, in his time the people fuelled by the injustices of that time laid large before then by unforgiving wars, now starved of local tragedy we have to want it for others and perhaps for ourselves & that seems far harder.

It is incumbent upon us all to pick a destination it is not matter for outsourcing.. And with that the hypocritical cheery is laid upon the cake.

Poltical Leaders Miliband Clegg Cameron Cartoon

– unless of course you believe in personal interest, survival of the fittest – independence not interdependence in which case let’s have one of those too. A real one, the cheap seats have just as much right to representation.

And once more with added bias:

Cameron NHS Cartoon

Tatcher Miner Burial Cartoon

Toad of Toad Hall UKIP Cameron Cartoon

Nick Clegg Puppet Pinocchio

Hunt NHS Fool

Cameron T-Shirt Selection

Miliband Policy Hole Cartoon

UKIP Cameron Snake Cartoon

UKIP Immigrant Distraction Cartoon