Archive for January, 2014

Cappuccino at Harris + Hoole

January 31, 2014
cappuccino and banana flapjack cum granola bar

cappuccino and banana flapjack cum granola bar

No cookies!

I had a strange banana flapjack cum granola bar. Very moist, I assume made with bananas, as opposed to dried banana chips.

Hectic downstairs, very noisy upstairs.

I asked, and the girl who last week had her dog, said wifi very good.

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Signed copies 50 Shades of Crap

January 31, 2014
signed copies 50 Shades of Crap

signed copies 50 Shades of Crap

I have never known any book hit the shelves of the charity shops as fast as 50 Shades of Crap.

Why would anyone go to the trouble of getting signed copies?

Whoever they they were, they obviously could not get shot of quick enough. Maybe they found were worthless.

Now sitting in an Oxfam Bookshop. And guess what, no takers.

The worth of reading a book is inversely proportional to the hype.

Why read 50 Shades of Crap, when you can read Eleven Minutes?

Afternoon in Guildford

January 31, 2014
Guildford - River Wey

Guildford – River Wey

A cold, wet, miserable afternoon in Guildford. It was cold and wet even before the rain came down, then it got worse.

The River Wey was running high, a few inches higher than last week. The heavy rain all afternoon, with more forecast over the weekend, is not going to help.

WHSmith, have Kobo Touch on offer £30, I think it was originally around £90, but unfortunately no information as discontinued.

Kobo e-readers are better than Kindle.

Excellent lunch in the Guildford Institute.

Library in Guildford Institute had Manuscript Found in Accra on display, and elsewhere where Paulo Coelho books shelved, Brida on display. They have good librarians in the Guildford Institute, all volunteers, more is the pity they are not given a decent budget. What can you buy with £25? It is a joke

Oxfam Bookshop, signed copies of 50 Shades of Crap. No takers.

Cappuccino in Harris + Hoole, very hectic downstairs, noisy upstairs.

Agatha Christie books

Agatha Christie books

Synchronicity: Previous day, discussing Agatha Christie, her life and books. On display in Oxfam shop, a collection of her books. Also, which I picked up, The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari, with a comment by Paulo Coelho on the front cover. Also had been discussing, Paulo Coelho. Discussion was with storyteller and scribe Steph Bradley. Her recently published Following Dreams, is a must read.

Vamos fugir

January 30, 2014

Live performance of Vamos fugir, Let’s Run Away, by Brazilian singer songwriter Gilberto Gil.

Music, mayhem and magic. When Brazilian singer songwriter Gilberto Gil enticed us to Vamos Fugir (Let’s Run Away) he can surely only have meant back to roots, back to nature, back to ourselves, and to the naïve English girl Brazil gave all of that.

Serendipity: Vamos fugir is referred to by Steph Bradley in Following Dreams.

Wettest January since records began

January 30, 2014
Somerset Levels

Somerset Levels

January 2014 is not yet over, but we are already seeing it as the wettest January for the south of England in a century.

January is usually dry and cold.

Parts of the south of England, have seen double the average January rainfall.

There has been heavy rain all week, and more heavy rain is forecast for the weekend.

We have to accept that areas like the Somerset Levels have to be allowed to flood and more effort made to retain water upstream, in upland areas. We have to in the long term not only re-afforest our upland areas, but also rewild these areas.

We are seeing a phenomena knowns as Global Weirding, Global Warming and Climate Chaos kicking in, extremes of weather across the world

  • England and Wales — very wet winter, heavy rainfall, ground saturated, floods
  • USA and Canada — polar vortex, extremely cold, sub-zero temperatures
  • Australia — extreme heat, forest fires, temperatures in excess of 40C

The farmers who are complaining their land is flooded in the Somerset Levels, and yes, we can understand their complaint and sympathise, have to accept that they have to change their farming practises to work with land that regularly floods. Not listen to the so-called experts, cited on the front page of the Daily Mail (Wednesday 29 January 2014), if only the rivers had been dredged.

If we dredge rivers, we simply send water faster downstream.

Why are rivers becoming silted? Because valuable topsoil is being washed off the fields into the rivers due to bad land use practices.

Corrupt councils, officials and councillors in the pocket of developers, have been allowing development to take place on flood plains.

In hilly areas, we have sheep and deer overgrazing, compacting what little soil there is. In other areas, heather is burnt to suit grouse.

The net result is, heavy rain, runs off the land, off the hills, into the rivers causing flooding downstream.

A simple calculation would show, dredge the rivers flowing through the Somerset Levels calculate the additional flow, calculate the amount of water flooding the Somerset Levels, and the Levels would still have flooded.

UK rainfall

UK rainfall

She and I

January 30, 2014
She and I

She and I

She and I by Susie Ro and Ayla.

A well produced album, two wonderful female voices in harmony, plus guitar, keyboard and percussion.

Far better production than most Big Record labels seem capable of.

Very powerful Skin and Bones.

An incredible album.

Highly recommended.

Serendipity: Steph Bradley plays Silver City from She and I by Susie Ro and Ayla in The Gateway of the World.

The Gateway of the World

January 30, 2014

WynnAlice had a dream, she was to spend six moons walking from village to town, town to village, telling stories, collecting stories, these stories to be collected in a great book of thirteen chapters as thirteen moons in the year, the great book of only thirteen copies, to be known as Tales of Our Times.

The epic journey continues … through the lands of Ancient Wessex, made famous through the tales of the great storyteller Thomas Hardy and King Alfred who burnt the cakes, and pilgrims who walked to the great cathedral city of Canterbury to visit the tomb of Thomas a Becket, a holy man executed by three knights.

Davos 2014: The arrogance of the elite hits a new high

January 29, 2014

It was recently revealed that the 85 richest people now own as much as the poorest half of the world combined. Statements from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos suggest that the arrogance of the economic elite grows as quickly as their wealth.

Last week Davos turned into a global “Parasite Street” as representatives of the increasingly rich economic elite met in a lush Swiss ski resort wrapped in security and media hype. The annual World Economic Forum once again saw a group, consisting predominantly of rich old men, plotting the next steps of global exploitation.

Parasite Street WEF Davos

Parasite Street WEF Davos

With their newly published Global Risk Report, the WEF readily hand out advice on everything from global poverty to social media. The report provides an interesting insight into the growing arrogance of the economic elite.

According to the WEF, one major ‘risk’ of 2014 is rising economic inequality. A bit of a cocky statement considering the overlap between the richest people in the world and the membership of the WEF. To put it bluntly, it is the 1 % telling the 99 % to be more equal.

Likewise, the report (commissioned by some of the world’s biggest polluters) features a warning about spiralling climate change: “Is it possible that we have already passed a point of no return and that Earth’s atmosphere is tipping rapidly into an inhospitable state?”. Maybe it is even more telling that this warning is put in the same section as the threat of adverse psychological impacts from a possible encounter with alien life forms.

Another main risk this year is supposedly ‘digital wildfires’ spreading panic on social media: “While the benefits of our hyperconnected communication systems are undisputed, they could potentially enable the viral spread of information that is intentionally or unintentionally misleading or provocative.” If nothing else it shows a lot about their view of us – the ‘common’ people – as digital savages that need to be pacified and controlled (unlike multinational businesses…).

It’s hard not to wonder what kind of misinformation and panic they are referring to. The Arab Spring? Or student protests? As we are bombarded with increasing amounts of corporate lies (such as how Unilever creates a bright future for our children) it seems nothing less than extreme for the world’s top businesses to lecture the general population on what to share online.

To me the WEF of 2014 has confirmed one thing: In this age of austerity, where we are all told to tighten our belts, the rich do not only get richer – they also get more arrogant.

Published by WDM.

The more wealth the rich accrue, the greater their arrogance they have the right to accrue more wealth.

At Davos we had Bill Gates, the richest man on the planet, railing against the minimum wage.

We have had the rich squealing at the thought of having to pay in the UK 50p tax.

Edward Snowden talks to German TV

January 29, 2014

Edward Snowden talking to Germany’s NDR who he chose to make his first television interview since he blew the whistle on NSA’s global dragnet and illegal surveillance. The 30-minute interview was made in strict secrecy in an unspecified location in Russia, where Snowden is currently living under temporary asylum.

At the beginning of the interview, Edward Snowden talks of seeking Russian police protection, because of threats to kill him by the military-security-industrial complex in the US.

If we contract security and intelligence out to private companies, we run two risks: the first is they inflate the value of the intelligence for their own profit, the second is that they use the intelligence for their own commercial gain.

Lunch at Café Mila

January 28, 2014
tempting spread of delicious cakes

tempting spread of delicious cakes

Having had to detour to Guildford to pick up a couple of books, waited in the cold for a bus to Godalming, then on arrival in Godalming, raining, I arrived early afternoon, my cold returned, and not really feeling like anything, hence, did not enjoy my lunch at Café Mila.

Starter Tuscan bean soup, followed by falafel, pita bread and salad, followed by carrot cake and a cup of tea.

I was interested to learn, people bring their surplus produce from gardens and allotments, and barter for a cup of coffee. I think a great idea.

A few suggestions:

The strong opposition to converting Wey Inn to a Tesco, shows there is a strong sense of local community to tap into. Contact the little corner shop next to the Wey Inn.