Sunday Musings After A Quiet Week

The weather changed this week, and became much nicer. Sunny mornings, warmer temperatures, and a hint of an ‘Indian Summer’. Dry walks with Ollie were a nice bonus.


Ollie started shaking his head yesterday morning, a tell-tale sign of an ear infection starting. Luckily, I still had some antibiotic tablets and ear drops left over from the time when we were told to stop them during a spell when he had been having too many doses. So I started him off on five days of the tablets, with ear-drops in the affected ear. If that doesn’t work, I will have to take him back to the Vet yet again. He is due to have a shampoo and grooming session next Friday, so that should make him feel fresher.


After less than a month in the job, Liz Truss is making a pig’s ear of being the UK Prime Minster. She does not seem to be any better than the buffoon who preceded her, though she is (marginally) less annoying.


Putin seems to be trying to terrify everyone in Europe with threats to explode a ‘tactical’ nuclear device in Ukraine. And because our news media loves to strike fear into the hearts of ordinary people, they are repeating his threat every fifteen minutes on the rolling news channels. They need to look at a map. Russia would endanger its own people, as well as its proxy supporters in Ukraine, and all of its own troops in that country. Not to mention Poland, Belarus, Slovakia, Moldova, Romania, and Hungary. So would Putin really take that chance?

According to the BBC, he certainly would. So now my wife is worried sick about her children and grandchildren.


Otherwise, it has been a remarkably peaceful week, marked only by routine.
I like routine.


Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope you have a peaceful and enjoyable Sunday.


Not Ukraine

When there are photos or videos of civilians and children being bombed and killed in Ukraine, the world is horrified.

‘Horrific’. ‘Inhuman’. ‘Criminal’. ‘War crime’. ‘Unjustified’. Just some of the headlines.

But when Israel attacks Gaza today, bombing civilian targets, killing civilians including children, and terrorising others in their homes, the media is completely silent.

Not a word. Not a single news report so far.

So do Palestinian children not matter? Are they not white enough? Is it because Russia is not bombing them?

Look at the photos, and decide for yourself.

Israel is no better than Russia, but you won’t hear that on the BBC.

Is There Still A War In Ukraine?

Reblogging this from my other blog because I want more people to see it.


I know, silly question.

But if you had been watching all the main news channels here for the past week, you might be forgiven for thinking that Ukraine and Russia had called it quits.

Boris Johnson, lies in parliament, resignation, who wants his job. Big news. Bigger than a war that might escalate across Europe, even become a world war?

Well the mainstream media obviously thinks so. Even the Wimbledon tennis and Women’s football took precedence.

Then the former prime minister of Japan was assassinated.

But they had to cut back from that to the ‘Breaking News’ that Keir Starmer was not going to be charged with any breach of lockdown rules.

Ukraine? Nothing. I sat through a few main bulletins hoping to be told what was going on, but all I got were updates on who was going to stand for election as Conservative leader, then some lightweight stuff…

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Musings On A Chilly Sunday

Since the short ‘False Summer’ recently, the weather has felt more like Autumn again. It is dull and cold this morning, with a promised maximum of 10C. (50F) Hard to imagine June is arriving next week. I doubt I will be needing my new sun hat again for a while.


Although Ukraine continues to ‘drop down’ the news reports here, I read online that the Russians are making progress in South-East Ukraine. The sheer volume of troops and resources at their disposal is finally wearing down Ukrainian resistance. I am beginning to wonder if Zelensky should try to come to some settlement, before his country is quite literally destroyed town by town.


I posted about the school shooting in Texas, then later discovered that the heavily-armed police officers attending and standing around in the car park refused to enter the school because the shooter ‘might fire at them’, or ‘was shooting at them’. That sounds like simple dereliction of duty from where I sit.


I am still not feeeling very insired to post much on my blog. So I appreciate everyone who has read the old posts I have been reblogging.


Ollie is benefiting from the cooler weather. He has a bit more energy, and has also regained a good appetite. He is currently fast asleep next to my desk.


Have a great Sunday. Wherever you live, and whatever you are doing.


Ukraine: Something That Affects Us All

Wherever you live, and whatever you think about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there is one fact that we all need to be aware of.

The world has just 10 weeks’ worth of wheat stockpiled after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted supplies from the “breadbasket of Europe”. The UN has been warned that global wheat inventories have fallen to their lowest level since 2008 as food supplies are rocked by a “one-in-a-generation occurrence”.

Two Levels Of The Ukraine War

An alternative American view of the war in Ukraine. Always worth reading a different opinion from someone who knows his history.

In Saner Thought

Like all war there is more to them than the one sided manure that the media spreads……Ukraine is no different….there at least two levels to this conflict.

If you get your opinion from the MSM then you know that Russia invaded Ukraine….Ukraine is heroically fighting back….and refugees are fleeing and suffering…..and that is about it.  In other words Ukraine–good….Russia–bad.

Back in 2019 I tried to explain what was happening in Ukraine….

But there is more going on than the small amount of information that corporate news is willing to share…..

It has become increasingly clear to the world that there is not one, but two, actually three, distinct levels of conflict embedded in what the world’s media and political leadership deceptively insist of calling the ‘Ukraine War.’ The first level was clearly initiated on February 24, 2022 when Russia launched an aggressive war against Ukraine imperiling its sovereign rights…

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Sunday Musings As The Branches Fall

This weekend has been dominated by the completion of the tree trimming. Two days of work on the largest Oak tree, the one in our back garden. After a late start and early finish yesterday, the contractors were back early this morning, and got busy as soon as they arrived. As I sit typing this, I can hear branches falling at the back, and the men talking as larger sections are lowered down on ropes. Hopefully, this cut should last us for six years. If I am still around in 2028, I won’t be using the same unreliable company, that’s for sure.


The weather has been remarkably good of late. It was announced on the BBC that this has been one of the driest Aprils on record. I am certainly not complaining about that, even if keen gardeners locally are having to use hosepipes to water their gardens. Mud-free dog walking is a joy indeed!


I managed to get Ollie booked in next week for his booster injections at the Vet. But so far, the groomer still has no appointments, so his much-needed bath will have to wait.


Anyone else notice how Ukraine is starting to ‘slip’ down the news? It has come second to whether or not Boris Johnson should resign, and all the wheeling and dealing going on to try to decide who might succeed him. One day this week, Ukraine came third, after the Economics Management Finance conference, and Boris’s antics. There was a better report late one night, speculating that once Putin has a corridor across southern Ukraine, he will move against Moldova next. That country is not in NATO, but it will be interesting to see the world reaction if Russia tries to occupy it.


Prices of petrol and diesel are still at an all-time high here, but at least the panic buying has stopped. To keep those panic buyers happy, there is something else to worry about stocking up on. Sunflower Oil is one of the largest exports from Ukraine, so because of the war there is going to be a European shortage of the stuff. I don’t use it, but no doubt all other oils, including the Olive Oil I do buy, will soon be sold out. After the first announcement on the news, the ‘big three’ supermarkets had to ration sales of it within hours. Nice to know that those panic buyers have got nothing better to do with their lives.


I hope you all have a peaceful and enjoyable Sunday, wherever you are.


Sunday Musings On A Sunny Afternoon

The weather has been very ‘English’ this week. We have had sunshine, heavy showers, hailstorms, normal rain, below freezing temperatures, and now it is 13C and sunny.


Most of you will know by now that although I have still not received my renewed driving licence, I do have written permission from Norfolk Police to drive until it arrives. This meant I was able to do something very normal yesterday, popping out to the supermarket on my own. Not in the least exciting, but nonetheless enjoyable after being ‘grounded’ since the 15th of March. It also means that I can take Ollie to the groomer next week, and Julie doesn’t have to take time off work.


Panic buying and hoarding of petrol and diesel continues unabated in this area. The only petrol staton stil open for business has huge queues snaking around it. As a result, Julie’s car is very low on petrol. Fortunately my car is almost full of diesel, so she can use that when she needs to.


Boris Johnson went to Ukraine yesterday, trying to make himself look like a world leader in time of war. He promised untold millions of pounds in aid to Ukraine, including the supply of anti-ship missiles and armoured vehicles. Let’s hope the intolerable buffoon manages not to go too far, and declare war on Russia.


Not much else has happened worth musing about this week, so I will leave it there, and hope you all had a happy Sunday.

Ukraine: The Historical Timeline

Since the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has rightly become headline news and a major talking point. Before February, it is fair to argue that many people around the world could not have even pointed out the location of that country on a global map, but because of the situation now, it seems clear that almost every country except India, China, and Belarus is on the side of Ukraine. I thought it was time to look at the history, and perhaps put current events in some context. I will use short points to illustrate it.

*Known as Kievan Rus until the 12th century AD, Ukraine later came under control of the Polish/Lithuanian empire from 1569 until 1686. It was then divided, with half ceded to Russia. After 1795, modern day Ukraine was ruled equally between the Austrian Empire and Russia.

*Following the Russian Revolution in 1917, and the long civil war that followed, Ukraine eventually became part of the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, in 1922. In the early 1930s, up to five million people starved to death in Ukraine following a great famine. Some people believe that this was a deliberate act by the central government in Moscow.

*When Germany invaded Ukraine in 1941, Ukrainian nationalists fought against both Germany and the Soviet Union, hoping to achieve independence. Many other Ukrainians collaborated openly with the Nazis, even forming regiments in the Waffen SS, part of the German army. They saw the Germans as liberators from Soviet control. Some joined the pro-German Auxiliary Police, others served willingly as guards in Concentration Camps, including Treblinka. In September 1941, 34,000 Jews were executed in just two days outside Kiev, at the Babi Yar ravine. They were shot by German SS and SD troops, assisted by Ukrainian Auxiliary Police and antsemitic volunteers. Other Ukrainians fought against the Germans by serving in the Soviet Red Army.

*From the end of WW2 until 1991, Ukraine remained as part of the Soviet Union, with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic having some self-government, as well as its own place on the United Nations Security Council. In 1954, Crimea was transferred from central control to become part of the Ukrainian SSR.

*After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, Ukraine declared independence in 1991, with 90% of the voters in the country voting for independence. (Only around 50% in Crimea)

*In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, and pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk declared independence from Ukraine, precipitating a war in the Donbass Region that was ongoing (with some Russian support) until the recent Russian invasion. In 2021, pro-Russian Russian-language TV channels were banned in Ukraine. Also in 2021, NATO announced that Ukraine could become a member if it met certain criteria, but not as long as it was still at war with separatists in the Donbass region, and involved in disputes with Russia over the territory of Crimea.

*The Far Right, Neo-Nazi Azov battalions are militia groups that have fought against separatists in the Donbass Region since 2014. They were formed by Andriy Biletsky, an ultra-nationalist political figure who previously led groups including the openly neo-Nazi Social-National Assembly (SNA), which preached an ideology of racial purity for Ukraine. Allegations against them include the mass murder of Russian-speaking civilians, the forced ‘clearance’ of Russian-speaking communities in the Donbass, and the rapes of hundreds of women. They were formally integrated into the Ukrainian National Guard, in 2014. It is their presence on the battlefield that gave Putin his (albeit flimsy) ‘justification’ for “ridding Ukraine of Nazis”.

Sunday Stuff: On The First Sunday Of April

The weather remains sunny but cold. Beetley escaped the forecast snow, though there was some snowfall as close as two miles south.


It might just be me, but this year seems to be going by very fast. Three months in, fourth month on the calendar, and it still seems to me that Christmas was only a couple of weeks ago.


Ollie has stopped moulting so badly, so I am hoping his new summer coat is fully grown now. He is still rather sluggish on his walks, becoming stiff-legged after less than 90 minutes.


We have our grandson here. He stayed overnight yesterday, and Julie took him to the cinema to see ‘Sonic 2’. He loved it, she dropped off to sleep in the warm dark auditorium. When they got back, we took him for dinner at a local pub, and later this afternoon Julie will drive him home.


Panic buying of petrol and diesel has started again, following climate change protesters blocking some fuel depots. Now all three petrol stations in town are closed, as they have run out of everything. I believe it is high time the fuel retailers imposed a minimum/maximum purchase limit of £50, to stop people constantly topping up car tanks.


Still no news about my driving licence. I contacted my member of parliament by email, and his staff have assured me that he will investigate my case with the DVLA. The small irritations of me not being able to drive are beginning to bite. Julie was asked to work extra hours next Thursday, and would have welcomed the additional salary. However, Ollie has a long-term booking at the groomer for that day, and we are unable to change it. So she has to decline working overtime, as she will have to drive Ollie to Scarning. This also impacted with Ollie’s Vet trip to get his annual booster jabs. We cannot tie in a time when a Vet is available and Julie is around to drive. Now she has to try to change shifts next week so we can arrange to take Ollie to Swaffham.


All of us are feeling the pinch of prices rising on everything. The biggest rises are yet to come, especially on bread and flour, as long as the war in Ukraine continues. Even if it stopped now, Ukraine has been unable to plant wheat, and it is one of the biggest exporters of that staple. I am expecting things to get much worse by late summer, and possibly far worse than that by October, when the utility companies add their second massive increase on gas and electricity prices just before we face the winter months.


I hope you can stay chirpy, and make the most of your Sunday.