The Winchester

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This topic contains 101 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  nerys 2 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #72916
    winston @winston

    @thane16    I saw the flooding in Brisbane on the news and it is devastating. I hope you and your family are safe and my heart goes out to the families who have lost so much.  Just wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts ,crowded as they are.

    @janetteb  Every henchman has his minions.

    Stay safe

    #72922
    janetteB @janetteb

    Reading today’s news I find myself quoting Peter Capaldi in one of his other famous roles. One word, repeated twice, beginning with f. Shelling a nuclear power station goes beyond insanity. As though the world was not in enough trouble.

    cheers

    Janette

    #72923
    winston @winston

    @janetteb   I have said that and much worse over the last week. I am so angry and frustrated the bad words just pop out. That anger is rivaled by the deep sadness I feel for the people of Ukraine although my tears help no-one.

    Shelling a nuclear power plant is not  the act of a mad man but just a power hungry dictator who doesn’t care how many people die or if he poisons the whole world.  An evil little dictator with plans to destroy the Ukrainians because they wont do what they are told, because they dare to want a true democracy and control over their own future. I have to stop or I will start typing bad language. sorry.

    stay safe

     

     

     

    #72933
    janetteB @janetteb

    Hi all.

    It is very quiet here at the moment, no new posts for four days now and I am hoping that everyone is ok, surviving the virus, flooding, fires, etc and all that and it is just a case of “no news” or too tired or too preoccupied with R.L. matters. (Why I haven’t posted either for the past four days.  😉

    Best wishes to everyone,

    Cheers

    Janette

     

    #72934
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hi @janetteb   I noticed the same – dead quiet. I didn’t post because I was waiting for someone else to break the ice, don’t want it to look like I’m monopolising the place. I’ve got covid omicron, but a mild dose, no worse than a medium cold. In fact Mrs D caught it first, I had it (or maybe it was just a cold?) last week but I kept testing negative, still had to ‘isolate at home’ because Mrs D had tested positive. So we spent the week at arms length from each other. Still way better than being hauled off to a hotel to isolate, as would have been the case with Delta. So then, after a week, our isolation period expired – and I promptly tested positive! So now I’m isolating (still) while Mrs D, who I likely caught it off, doesn’t have to isolate because she’s already had it. There is no justice… 🙂

    However, with our fairly high vaccination rate, omicron does seem to be something the country can ‘live with’ now (as opposed to the previous strategy of keeping Delta out at all costs). Any future variant that was as deadly as Delta and could spread like Omicron would be a disaster.

    As you say, best wishes to everyone here

    #72935
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Um, when I said ‘best wishes to everyone here’ I meant, of course, everyone ‘here’ in this forum.   (I didn’t mean ‘everyone here in NZ’ which would be incredibly selfish.   Not that I don’t wish the rest of NZ well, of course).   Sometimes things don’t sound the way I meant them to sound.   I hate it when that happens.

    #72936
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb

    Just sticking up my hand to confirm my continued existence (not drowning, but waving–to turn the phrase on its head). Life is quiet here on the island. The price of petrol has gone through the roof (not sure if Putin is to blame, but I’ll happily blame him anyway). And not a million miles from the subject of Putin, I was just reading that the British Film Institute will be releasing (for the first time) the 1954 British TV adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984” on DVD with a young Peter Cushing as Winston Smith. It has a great reputation in books on British television, and I have been awaiting this release for some time. I shall be putting aside my pennies for its release next month.

    #72937
    Missy @missy

    Me too.

    I’ve been reading the posts, delighted to find how many of you appreciated Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat.

    I wish they would get on and name the 2022 Doctor.

    Stay safe

    Missy

    #72939
    janetteB @janetteb

    Hi @blenkinsopthebrave. Glad to hear that all is well in the Blenkinsop household. Petrol prices have sky-rocketed here too. We are avoiding driving as much as possible, which, given that we are still waiting on our train to be restored to us and sky-rocketing covid numbers, means not going further than the nearest supermarket.

    I will keep an eye out for that version of nineteen eighty four.

    @missy hi. glad you are well

    Cheers

    Janette

    #72940
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @janetteb  @dentarthurdent et al 

    Just checking in to say that I, too, am still alive and kicking, gradually emerging from my winter dormouse torpor, though I can’t say that I’ve been in a particularly cheerful or optimistic mood, given the current disastrous and distressing state of affairs in eastern Europe.

    As far as possible I’ve been distracting myself with work in the garden, such as I can manage these days – which I’m thankful to say is a great deal more than I was capable of last year. I even got round to washing the car on Tuesday, only for it to rain all day Wednesday, dumping a film of pink Saharan dust over everything. Not conducive to an improvement in my mental outlook 😡

    #72941
    winston @winston

    @janetteb   We are good in the Winston house although we are both distressed over Ukraine and a smidge of real life. I have tried to distract myself with other things but it is impossible.

    Our government is dropping mask mandates on Monday and frankly I find that worrying. We have decided to continue on the way we have been going, like masks and avoiding indoor crowds until we see which way the wind is blowing. Our gas is also very high and we are planning trips to town more carefully so we don’t have to go too often. Food prices are soaring and it is very hard on people with low to mid income to provide good healthy food for themselves and their children. I was going to shrink my veggie patch this summer because it is a lot of work but I think I will fill it and any other spots in the garden with fruit and veg. I can always find a home for any extra I grow.

    We still have snow on the ground but planning my garden gives me some sense of normality. Spring will come.

    Shout out to @missy and @mudlark and @dentarthurdent  and @blenkinsopthebrave  It is nice to know you are all well.

    I also want to say that I hate Putin.

    Stay safe.

    #72956
    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston Your description of “snow on the ground” brings back memories of our garden in Stockholm emerging from the deep carpet of snow, the first crocuses blooming and then all the shoots breaking through the soil. IT was all very magical to us who are used to gardens that are green and wild all year around.

    @mudlark There were photos of the dust storms in Europe. I did not realise it had reached as far as England. Is that unusual? I know that South of France gets Saharan dust storms fairly regularly though I don’t think I have ever seen pics on the news before so these must have been particularly severe.

    I have just watched the new episode of Time Team on youtube and wondering what you, as an archaeologist think of the series in general.

    And now I should be heading out into my garden. We have had a relatively cool, damp summer and the weeds, mostly the dreaded Morning Glory, are running rampant. It is attacking the rose bushes at the moment so if I don’t deal with it soon I will have no garden left. However I have a podcast on gardening to edit and unfortunately that must take precedence.

    cheers

    Janette

     

    #72957
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb We keep seeing news of the disastrous floods on the east coast of Australia. I know you’re halfway across the continent from there, but I hope the capricious weather gods continue to ignore you. And I do hope the floods abate soon.

    Here, we haven’t had any strikingly hot days, but it’s been uniformly warm – it’s 25 degrees right now at 10p.m. – and the water has been consistently warm since the end of November. It’s lost maybe a degree in the last couple of weeks, but still warm enough to swim. (For the first four decades we lived here, I completely ignored our nearest beach (Blockouse Bay) as being mudflats. I’ve recently discovered that it’s just swimmable at high tide, and for the upper half of the high-tide range only (the peak varies by about a metre over a two-week period). That gives three to five feet over the mud flats. And at low tide (only) one can walk along the shore below the cliffs, it’s almost completely deserted because mudflats.
    So, one can always find interesting places near home. And my day is now influenced by the tide tables.

    Your garden’s got Morning Glory, we’ve got moth plant and madeira weed.

    @winston Our government (NZ) is also considering dropping mask mandates and vax ‘passports’. I wish they wouldn’t (even though Mrs D and I have both just had Omicron and – probably because we’re fully vaxxed – it was pretty mild). I can understand why the reasons are now less cogent – omicron is now widespread, a lot less lethal than Delta, and 90% of people are fully vaxxed. But it feels like they’re accommodating the anti-vax ‘freedumb’ nutters. And I also sympathise with those few who, for genuine medical reasons, can’t be vaccinated, and are being put at increased risk by the idiots who could but won’t.

    P.S. While I like Russia, I hope Ukraine wins its war, and the sooner Putin is gone the better it will be for Russia and the rest of the world. However it goes, this won’t end well.

    #72961
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @janetteb

    We don’t get dust storms as such, but occasionally, if there is a dust storm in the Sahara and the wind is in our direction, the fine particles which get lofted into the upper atmosphere get carried here. If it then rains it brings these particles down to leave a fine deposit of pink or orange powder over everything. If it doesn’t rain, then the sky just turns a lurid shade of pink or orange but the dust doesn’t reach ground level.

    As for Time Team, hmm; my feelings are somewhat mixed. The programme has greatly raised the general level of interest in archaeology and has given people a rather more realistic idea of what archaeological excavation really involves than the average documentary on the subject, which is admirable as far as it goes, but there are problems. For a start, the artificial time constraint of three days is a major drawback, even though some prior documentary research and geophysical survey is evidently carried out in advance. True, the majority of excavations in Britain these days are carried out under pressure and to a deadline in advance of commercial development, but a deadline of weeks or months, not days. The result in this case is that corners are cut as regard methods and one of the most important aspects of excavation, which is the recording, isn’t shown at all. In fact I know that little or no recording is done by the team, and this and all the clearing up is left to local archaeologists, who generally have enough on their plates already and are therefore not too happy about that aspect, however useful the information produced.

    One of the first principles drilled into baby archaeologists is that ‘excavation is destruction’. Each site, of however common a type, is unique, and therefore each excavation is like an experiment which cannot be repeated exactly. If the observations of the stratigraphy and the finds are not recorded in meticulous detail in writing, photos, plans, drawn sections and three dimensional potting, then information is lost forever and the results unverifiable. I envy those of today who have the advantage of being able to use computers as aids to recording, and drones for aerial photography, which would have made my job so much easier back in the day (the 1970s and 80s).

    Sometimes when people ask me what I think of the show I acknowledge the positives but add that if I were directing an excavation now I would think twice, on the evidence I had seen, about employing any of the team as diggers.

     

    #72962
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @mudlark I’m an engineer, but I’d come to the same conclusions as you about Time Team (though in my case it was guesswork, rather than actual knowledge). Which is why I generally prefer well-written fiction to ‘reality’ TV, at least the fiction is honest about being non-factual. The most blatant ‘reality’ example is those absurd ‘survival’-type shows (‘alone in the wild’ – so who’s taking the pictures?). Admittedly Time Team is the extreme opposite (better) end of the credibility spectrum from those.

    But I think archaeology is especially vulnerable to the problem of deadlines imposed by the producers. If something gets skipped or short-cutted in some other field, you can always go back and re-do the work, but (as you said) you can’t re-do the excavation.

    I don’t know if Time Team suffers from the dumbing-down-for-the-thickest-viewer which most TV is subject to? I’m a car nut and a railway enthusiast and I generally cringe at the casual misrepresentation of anything remotely technical on TV. Maybe archaeology is sufficiently removed from popular ‘culture’ to be less affected by that. Or (Stonehenge, Druids, King Arthur) maybe not. Your Indiana Jones is my Thomas the Tank Engine.

    #72968
    nerys @nerys

    @mudlark Thank you for your cautionary tale about Time Team. My husband and I have watched the series and, not being archaeologists, we wouldn’t have taken into consideration the points that you make. The flip side is that series like this encourage me to be more aware of local history and the steps needed to preserve its artifacts. One other series we have enjoyed is Digging for Britain. But this features already established archaelogical digs, correct? So I assume that these were not the rushed three-day digs commissioned for Time Team.

    We like a similar Canadian TV series called Wild Archaeology, which ran for two seasons on APTN. I wish it had gone on longer. On a related note, I wrote this story back in 2019. I’m amazed the link is still active, as most of the links to my stories are not. My husband tagged along with me as I accompanied these archaeologists on their investigation, and it was fascinating. We always hoped their work would be featured on Wild Archaeology, but it was not to be.

    #72969
    winston @winston

    @nerys  We could watch TV together and never argue over what to watch. I like Time Team , Wild Archaeology  and Digging for Britain. I know Time Team had problems but I can’t help watching all the programs. Digging for Britain does go to well established digs all over Britain. I also wish that Wild had stayed on longer as it was very interesting to watch Canadian digs.

    I hope spring is showing up down your way! We were getting there but it decided to snow tonight. Still ,it will come some day soon. We are making maple syrup now so a long slow spring is good for sap collecting. more sap more syrup. I boiled some down yesterday and it was yummy but the sugar crash was terrible. Less sampling next time.

    Stay safe.

    #72970
    janetteB @janetteb

    thank you for the feedback @mudlark. I have read complaints about  the three day nature of the digs before. It is always good to know more background and to have an expert view though I will continue to watch and enjoy Time Team. It is a kind of “guilty pleasure”. It transports me to the U.K so is a cheap and instant travel fix and it has made me regret not keeping all the broken china and glass that I have dug out of our back yard. It was all part of the story of this house. (maybe not the pieces that I cut my hands on when gardening however)

    @winston I have tried to catch some of Digging for Britain but only have a few episodes. Home made maple syrup sounds wonderful. WE buy it in little bottles at great expense. I like adding it to banana milkshakes.

    @nerys. That must have been fascinating. I would love to volunteer for a dig. At once stage there was a local group but I don’t think they persisted for long. I think there is a general belief that because Europeans have only been here (in SA) for about 150 years there isn’t any archaeology of interest but that is not so. When I was a child I found part of a grindstone in an outback area of New South Wales. I thought it was wonderful and took it home with me. Nobody realised how wrong that was at the time or how interesting the item was.

    I hope you are all enjoying lovely spring weather soon. We are heading into autumn, always a lovely time of year here. We don’t have the wonderful autumn colours but the countryside is lush and green, a welcome sight and there are butterflies in the garden, and flocks of corellas sweeping over. (And outraging the locals by stripping the trees but the trees recover and the birds were here first.)

    Cheers

    Janette

     

    #72971
    nerys @nerys

    @winston Oh my, homemade maple syrup? How wonderful! Do you sell it, or make it only for your own consumption? My husband made blueberry pancakes this morning, and we had Canadian maple syrup, but not made by us. Still, it’s so much better than the table syrup I grew up on. I thought that was maple syrup, until I finally had real maple syrup. I’ve never gone back. When we go to community breakfasts (something we haven’t been able to do for the past two years, but now they are finally starting up again), we always take our own bottle of maple syrup. We have developed a reputation as maple syrup snobs, LOL!

    Yes, spring is slowly making itself felt here. We have had some gloriously warm days, only to be dragged back down into chillier temperatures. No snow, though. It’s been warm enough that I’ve had laundry drying on the clothesline a few times so far. We had rain earlier today, but now the sun is trying to break through. So fingers crossed that we get a nice afternoon!

    #72974
    winston @winston

    @nerys  I love the smell of laundry that is dried on the line.  I actually put out some blankets today and although a bit cold there was a good breeze and they dried nicely. Getting into bed made with fresh sheets and blankets off the line is one of life’s great comforts.

    We usually make enough syrup to last us a year and to give some to my kids and friends. I guess about 4or 5 liters a season. It takes 40 liters of sap to get 1 liter of syrup.We only have 1 maple tree in our yard so hubby taps some trees on an old country road. I call it guerilla tapping and sapping. We are big on foraging and gently using the food nature gives us here. Maple syrup is definitely one of the sweetest!

    @janetteb   One of my favourite ways to use maple syrup is to pour it over vanilla ice cream. I also use it as a substitute in recipes that call for corn syrup. It is expensive to buy it here too but it does take a lot of time and energy to make it. It is a sweet and sticky spring tradition here.

    Stay safe.

    #72978
    nerys @nerys

    @winston I too love the fresh scent of line-dried laundry. I stopped using scented products years ago, after reading Slow Death by Rubber Duck by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie. They pointed out that, in trying to rid our lives of artificial chemicals, the easiest place to start is to avoid anything with “parfum” on the label. So that’s what I have done, as much as possible. (Now, when I walk through the cleaners/detergents aisle at our store, the impact of all those chemical scents is overwhelming.)

    When using the dryer, I use woolen dryer balls rather than dryer sheets, and my laundry detergent is unscented. So there isn’t much scent to our laundry when it comes out of the dryer, other than the drop of tea tree oil I add. But when they come in off the clothesline? My husband really notices it. My sense of smell is not good, but even I can tell that there is a freshness unlike anything else. Especially since we live along the ocean. I can remember my grandmother, who lived in Homestead, Florida, saying that there was nothing like the smell of laundry right off the line. When my sister, cousins and I stayed there summers, we dreaded the chore of hanging heavy, wet laundry on hot, humid days. But she was right about that amazing scent, and I have carried that memory with me ever since.

    When we bought our house in southeastern Ontario, it came equipped with a clothesline, and we used it. That’s when I rediscovered the joy of hanging laundry on the line. When we first moved to southwestern Nova Scotia and didn’t have a clothesline, I really missed it. The place we subsequently moved to has two clotheslines, so I’m doubly happy!

    Guerilla tapping, I love it! Happy foraging, and kudos to you both for using what your natural environment provides. I have always been amazed at how much sap it takes to make maple syrup. My husband, who has worked in food manufacturing all his adult life, is very cognizant of that fact … and really of what it takes to make anything. He has helped me to be more appreciative, and not take these things for granted the way I so often did before.

    #72980
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb We’re having nice autumn weather too. Here in Auckland this season is often the most settled weather, and still pleasantly warm – 24 deg today (75F), and summer seems to hang on and on (until it will quite suddenly fall off into winter). Mrs D’s dahlia’s, optimistic as always, have put out another scattered crop of flowers. The water’s still warm enough for chicken me to swim. Today I went down to our local beach at Blockhouse Bay, it has a little strip of yellow sand (some of which came, I suspect, from a council truck) which at low tide gives onto acres of mostly firm mudflats, at highest spring tide they have four or five feet of water over them. High tide varies from 3.1 to 4.3 metres, anything over 4 metres is okay. So swimming there is wholly dependent on where in the tidal cycle we are, the time of high tide, and of course the weather. Today was lovely and calm, I drifted around at midday enjoying the peace and quiet in the little bay. Making the most of it while it lasts.

     

    #73157
    janetteB @janetteb

    We put on Dr Who Day of the Doctor tonight but for some reason we are now watching Freddie Mercury singing, We are the Champions instead.  I think a few friends here will understand why as another corrupt right wing government bites the dust.

    Cheers

    A cheery Janette

     

    #73161
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb – Excellent news! A minority government, but that still represents hope. And some justice for Grace Tame.

    #73162
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb     Ah well, congratulations.    And when Freddie’s finished singing,  Day of the Doctor is an excellent upbeat episode for the occasion, I think.

    #73166
    Mudlark @mudlark

    Children are good at joining the dots.

    Today’s Observer/Guardian has a report on an eight year old Ukrainian boy who, with his family, has just been evacuated from their village near Kharkov after living in a basement since the start of the war. He spent much of the time there drawing, and there is a photo of him and one of his drawings – of what are unmistakeably Daleks.

    #73168
    Mudlark @mudlark

    Re. the above. I meant to include a link to the aforementioned report

    #73170
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    So now the secret is out.   That would explain a lot.   What’s the odds that Putin is a Dalek ‘skin job’?

    (Not sure the correct terminology, I borrowed it from Battlestar Galactica)

    #73173
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Thanks for that @mudlark. Incredibly poignant. No child should be subjected to that.

    #73174
    janetteB @janetteb

    @mudlark. I saw the article but did not notice the drawing. Thank you for the link. They are most definitely daleks and yes, Children are very intuitive. Daleks are essentially fascist, Putin is essentially fascist so very apt.  Looking at photos of Ukraine it is hard to imagine how people are enduring that horror.

    cheers

    Janette

    #73201
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb A majority Labor government, and the appalling Barnaby Joyce turfed out as the Head of the Nationals! Amazing times in Oz. I wonder if climate policy might finally move forward.

    #73204
    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave. I expect to see big changes now in Australia. Climate Change is on the agenda and it is pretty clear from that election result that Australians want climate action. “Albo” has long been the choice of the rank and file and more tellingly he is Penny Wong’s choice and endorsed by Julia Gillard so I trust we have a good P.M. at last but he and his team have an awful lot of work to do..

    Cheers

    Janette

    #73211
    winston @winston

    @janetteb   Congrats on your election. I hope good changes are coming for Australia. We vote tomorrow for our Provincial government and Premier. It looks like the Conservative Party will win a majority again according to the polls and we will have to put up with our “Pave paradise and Put up a parking lot” ,anything for a buck, corporation loving, build more highways, Premier Doug Ford for more long years.

    We have become a province of haves and have- nots. The have- nots can’t afford a place to live or decent food but according to the conservatives they just have to work harder, maybe get a third job so you can pay your rent. Poor people can go to food banks if they have to. Meanwhile he will build a multi- billion dollar highway so people going to their cottages don’t get caught in traffic. Pristine wild land as well as peoples property and farms will be confiscated to build this road. Sometimes I feel like we are living in a very sad and bleak Dickens novel, but no, just a very rich province with bad leadership.

    I can only hope that the polls are wrong and I will vote for change but I don’t hold out much hope for this election.

    Go NDP!!!

    stay safe.

    #73212
    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston Your provincial government sounds just like our former federal government. Spent years enriching their best corporate buddies at the cost of the nation and now the new government is left with the huge gaping hole in the economy and of course the right wing media, (it seems that now there is no other kind) will blame it all on this government. Yes unfortunately real like is very like a Dickens novel which is why I love Dickens. He does hold a mirror to the world and the vice, green and corruption he writes about is not unique to Victorian London.

    Fingers crossed that the polls are misleading and you get a better result than expected. I do feel for you. Elections can be so depressing. One sees the harm these governments do to the economy (although the proclaim to be all about the economy), society  and the environment but people are swayed by popular press into accepting their lies. (and the last thing the world needs right now is more highways)

    Cheers

    Janette

     

     

    #73213
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston, I really hope things turn out well for you today, but all the signs are more of Ford and the conservatives (I refuse to acknowledge the ridiculous “progressive” they stick on their name).

    Instead of watching the news, tonight probably calls for some jelly babies and jammy dodgers while watching some uplifting Doctor Who.

    #73214
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston, Damn. My commiserations. But think of it this way; as @janetteb can attest, ultimately the voters will realize what is really important, and vote in favour of the values the Doctor would approve of.

    In spite of everything, I still believe that people believe in the things that really matter. Sometimes it just take longer than it should.

     

    #73215
    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave   @janetteb      “There is no joy in Mudville, Mighty Casey has Struck Out” Sadly but predictably we have 4 or so more years of the  Conservatives. We voted knowing chances were slim even for a minority gov. but we lived in hope. Still it does give me someone to yell at when watching the news. Make that someone else since there are so many people that need yelling at and I am the person for the job. I think the party I voted for will be the opposition but in a majority all they can do is slow down the government, not stop them. Oh well, mustn’t grumble.

    The Doctor usually has a quote to cheer me up so this calls for some serious binge watching probably the 10th Doc and maybe even some 11th because my need is so great.

    Stay safe.

    #73216
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Congratulations @janetteb    Hopefully you will see some real change.

    And my commiserations to @winston.   Stick it out, change will come eventually  (as I used to tell myself when ‘Teflon John’ Key used to keep getting elected…)

    #73217
    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave  Your comment about people believing in what is right, (which for some reason this borrowed laptop won’t let me copy/paste( is so true. I often find that the “Lib or in non Oz speak, Conservative voters generally agree that climate change needs to addressed ,that inequality is bad, that “progress” should be better controlled, that corruption is wrong and, in Australia at least that health care and education should remain free oh and also that big companies should pay tax. Nobody seems to really support what the conservative parties stand for  execpt the super rich handful that benefit from their snatch and grab policies.

    A few years ago we were on a polling booth opposite a young woman handing out how to votes for the Libs who worked in a government school and was saying things to the effect of , Oh they will protect public education and they care about the environment at which point you just feel like shaking your head, throwing up your hands and walking away. If people voted for the issues rather than the political parties who lie and are misrepresented by the Murdoch and cronies media then I think we would be living in a very different world.

    @winston. I am really sorry to hear about the result. I feel your pain. Last week I realised that there has been a weight in my heart for the last nine years. The trouble is that the next election the monsters might well be back. Murdoch media is doing its damnest to ensure that it is so.

    in other news we now have Covid spreading through our house like a bushfire. Our boarder who works in schools tested positive Monday and has been in iso upstairs. Today my S/O got a positive. He’s had a pretty rough day but hopefully this is the worst. I expect to start showing symptoms in a couple of days time. Well the weather is awful so a good week to stay in, keep warm and do lots of reading and writing and watch Dr Who in a laptop in the bedroom.

    cheers

    Janette

     

    #73218
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb   I do hope your new government survives long enough to make some real changes.   At least your ‘right-wing’ politicians mostly want to appear to be in the right, and to want to appear credible.    They give lip service to fairness and equality and even the environment and so can sometimes be shamed into doing the right thing.    The disturbing thing about Trump and his cronies (if I may be political for a moment) was that he just didn’t care what he said, he didn’t care if it was obviously and blatantly a lie – in that respect he was a true psychopath.   You cannot shame people like that into doing the right thing because they truly have no comprehension of right or wrong.

    Sorry to hear you’ve got the covid.    We had it (probably omicron) a couple of months ago.   Oddly enough, I had ‘the flu’, Mrs D returned a positive RAT test, so we both had to isolate for seven days, during which I kept returning clearly negative RAT tests.   The day her covid isolation expired, I returned a positive – so I had to isolate for another seven days while she (having just had the covid and completed her isolation) didn’t have to.   There is no justice!   Not sure what that proved, other than the symptoms of covid are highly erratic.

    As you say, it’s a good time to snuggle up and watch Doctor Who.    With luck (which obviously I wish you) and vaccination (which I assume you have) the symptoms should be no worse than a moderate dose of the flu.   Best of luck!

    #73219
    winston @winston

    @janetteb  Hope everyone has a good recovery. I don’t know how, but the mister and I have escaped so far although others in the family have been ill. We continue to mask up and all the other precautions so…..

    Anyway , lots of fluids and rest and Doctor Who is my go- to if I am ill. Hope it works for you!

    stay safe.

    #73222
    janetteB @janetteb

    I just wrote up a long post and when I hit send i was logged out so it has vanished into the ether. I won’t attempt to repeat it but will try and capture the essentials.

    @dentarthurdent just to clarify my remarks above. IT was not the pollies expressing those views but the voters and supporters. The Libs were so out of touch with the electorate that they think people vote for them because they agree with them which is why they lost so many key seats to independents on issues like environment and corruption. I am hopeful that this signals a shift in the political spectrum here away from the two party dominance. We have a preferential voting system, which gives small parties like The Greens and Independents a chance. (don’t know if N.Z. has the same system. UK and U.S certainly do not. I doubt Canada does either.) Not always an advantage but I think it really paid of in this last Oz election.

    @winston. We are all walking around the house with masks on and using a lot of sanitiser. Ed is now almost well. The S/O is probably on the recovery slope. I am waiting impatiently now for symptoms as I must have it and so would rather just get it over and done with. At least this means we should maintain immunity until we are eligible for the second booster. Also the boys are learning to cook at last.. Second son cooked curry tonight. Youngest will be doing spag through the week.

    I hope you continue to avoid catching it. We knew that we were doomed having so many people in the house and one who is working in schools which are basically germ incubators. At least now we will be less scared, provided that the government continues to provide vaccinations, (which I am certain they will) and provided we don’t get hit with another more deadly variant. My S/O has a chronic cough so we have all worried about him catching it but he seems to be very well which is a big relief to us all.

    Cheers

    Janette

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #73223
    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb Aagh! I know the pain, rage and frustration of the website swallowing my post! What I usually do is type my comments into a text editor (NOT a word processor, I don’t want all sorts of formatting) then copy & paste into the website edit box. As I’m doing now.

    We have propertional representation. I think you have STV? We have MMP. One vote for an electorate MP, one for a party. If a party gets less ‘electorate’ seats than the party vote, its numbers in Parliament are topped up from its published ‘party list’. With the proviso that it must either win one electorate seat or get 5% party votes. This was intended to ensure that crank parties didn’t get in, but it’s too high, it can be a nail-biter and decide the election on whether a minor party gets 4.9% or 5.1%, and it has been known for a major party (i.e. National) to soft-pedal on a safe right-wing seat so its little friend can get in with its 2% and bring in several seats from its list. But that’s a very minor defect compared with the problems of FPP. As a voter I love MMP, no longer am I faced with the worry of vote-splitting (i.e. if I vote green will I split the left vote and let the right-wing candidate in?). And no longer can a major party get elected (in a 2-party setup) with *less* votes than its opposition. Gerrymandering doesn’t work on proportional representation.

    Back in FPP days, there were two parties, Labour and National, nobody else stood a chance. Now we currently have Labour, National, the Greens and ACT (‘Association of Consumers & Taxpayers), it splits up neatly into National-ACT and Labour-Greens, with sometimes a minor party with a couple of seats having the ‘casting vote’ on who forms the government. This is portrayed by opponents of MMP who claim to like ‘strong government’ as being a major defect, but the way I look at it is, ‘funny little party’ can only do that IF the two main blocs are split 50-50, it can’t subvert a massive popular majority like FPP could.

    I fought for MMP 🙂 Back when it was being legislated there were street marches in support (and slanderous TV ads funded by big business against it). I was in a march in support (I very rarely march) and had my umbrella damaged in a scuffle 🙂

    So currently on the left we have the Greens and Labour, on the right we have National and ACT (sorta). In the middle we have the Maori Party at the moment. I say ‘ACT (sorta)’ because they’re kinda odd, a bit libertarian, economically and societally well to the right of National, e.g. they think our gun control has gone too far, BUT their leader David Seymour put up the Choice in Dying bill (which passed – finally – about 50 years behind public opinion on voluntary euthanasia) so while he’s dead wrong on almost everything, I do have to thank him for that. And some decades ago I knocked on the door of a house for some reason, with an ACT campaign bus parked in the drive, and it was answered by a man in a dress with a long string of pearls. And this was in an era when trans-anything was considered extremely suspect. So they’re – a bit strange.

    Re covid, after a year of successfully keeping Delta out, and with most people finally vaccinated, our Government finally called it quits on quarantine with Omicron. So we now have 1172 Covid deaths (total), at least 1100 of those being Omicron. This is obviously the reverse proportion to every other country, which just shows that numbers can be misleading without the background. Omicron is far less lethal than Delta. So we’re still having an epidemic, with mask wearing in schools and shops, they’ve given up ‘contact tracing’ (which worked quite well with Delta and lockdowns), our hospitals are heavily loaded but just coping. If a variant came along which was as deadly as Delta and as infectious as Omicron we would all be in deep doodoo. But vaccinations help enormously.

    But anyway – omicron – you might very well be symptom-less, it’s possible. I had it for a week (probably, unless it was a cold) testing negative the whole time, finally tested positive when I’d recovered. It’s a really capricious and sneaky virus. I hope your experience is mild.

    Cheers

    cr

     

    #73224
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just reading on the UK news that Harold Saxon survived the vote of no-confidence. My commiserations to all.

    #73225
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @jimthefish, @mudlark, @craig, @bluesqueakpip, and all the other UK Whovians I am forgetting, my message above was principally meant for you. For those of us in the rest of the world, he is mainly a buffoon, and a sad reflection of what democracy has come to. Also, most of us are fortunate enough to live in societies without a House of Lords open to all…Russian oligarchs.

    #73226
    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @blenkinsopthebrave

    Sadly, Harold Saxon would be a model of competence, probity and intelligence compared to what we’ve been saddled with….

    #73227
    nerys @nerys

    @winston My sympathies to you on the election result. I read about it and sighed. Not much else one can do.

    I spent nearly the entire month of May in Indiana. My mother’s health took a bad turn, and she passed away. Then several of us had a close exposure to Covid via my sister’s husband, who got a mild case of it. My sister then tested positive, but was asymptomatic, and the rest of us tested negative. So, as these things go, we were very fortunate.

    My mother’s memorial service was wonderful, with lots of beautiful music, just as she would have wanted it. “A mini-concert with a few words” is how Mom’s partner envisioned it. It did my heart good to walk in the sanctuary, before the start of the service, and see all the chairs and music stands up in the choir loft, where Mom spent so many Sundays singing tenor in the choir. She was much loved, and it showed in the turnout by the choir, and also the music director, who gave their all to honor their friendship with her in music.

    I get such comfort from my memories of the service, and also of being there with Mom in the week before she died. It’s something I could not do for my father, because of Covid, so I was especially glad that I could spend this time with my mother before she died. Parts of it were hard, yes. But there were also moments of great beauty, and for that I feel forever grateful.

    #73228
    winston @winston

    @nerys  I am very sorry about your Mother. It was nice that you could be with her and that you had some family with you.  The service sounds lovely and the choir singing for her was a wonderful tribute for a person who loved music and singing. It truly sounds like a beautiful memorial and it will bring you comfort on the sad days.

    I lost my Mom a few years back but I still think of her and “hear her” everyday. She was such an important part of my life that she still guides me through bad times just by thinking of her. I just know what she would say and I am comforted or chastised or told to pull up my socks. She also loved music and played piano for weddings. We had a piano at home and she would play and sing old and new songs. I still remember songs she sang when I was a little girl and sang them to my kids and grandkids. I hope music will be a way to connect to your Mom too.

    Take care

    #73229
    nerys @nerys

    @winston I love the connection you shared with you mother through music! We, too, had a strong connection through music. The piece I requested for the postlude was played as the postlude at my sister’s first wedding (and seems to be a popular choice for weddings … though on the surface it may seem like an unusual choice for a memorial service). It’s a demanding piece for organists, “Toccata” from Organ Symphony No. 5 by Charles-Marie Widor.

    The church’s music director was born in Cambridge, England, and graduated from Cambridge University. When, during our meeting to plan Mom’s service, he suggested that they often end on a triumphant note, that piece immediately flashed through my mind, and I blurted it out. He didn’t bat an eye, and played it beautifully. It truly was a jubilant ending to the service, played on a Fisk pipe organ that my parents had a hand in getting built and installed at the church there.

    My family bonded over music. Some of my clearest memories are of us loving music together. After my sister got married, she moved out west. And then, about a decade later, my sister had returned to the area, but my parents divorced. So, this postlude at my sister’s wedding is the last time I can remember all four of us in our family standing together, united in our love of music. That gives the piece an emotional meaning for me beyond the music, itself.

    Other beautiful pieces sung by the choir included “I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes” by Leo Sowerby and “Gaelic Blessing” by John Rutter. And then there were the hymns. It was hard to pick only three.

    A cellist played a piece close to my mother’s heart: “Sicilienne” by Maria Theresia von Paradis. Note the name; the composer was a woman. That was an argument between my parents. My mother pointed out to my father that there were significant female composers all throughout the history of music. My father insisted that if there had been any, we’d know about them. (I loved my father, but he was frustratingly prone to tunnel vision at times. This was one of them. Surely he knew that history is written by the victors?)

    I could feel my mother’s spirit singing and dancing through it all. So her memorial service is a lovely memory!

    #73230
    janetteB @janetteb

    @nerys really sorry to hear about your Mum. The funeral service sounds lovely. I am glad it was of comfort and that you were able to see your mom. That is so important. Now treasure the memories and be kind to yourself.

    Regards

    Janette

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