Fotos on Friday

I promised something a bit lighter today, but I found that I couldn’t upload the pics that David or Dani sent.

So, I’m just using some of my own and one of Gerry’s…


There’s a walk alongthe disused Newtyle railway line which I do quite often. A couple have made a great job of their border wall
Rich in colour all through the spring and summer.
And on the opposite side of the track, there are daffodils in the rough banking.
Sparrows and tits sometimes nest in the dry stane dyke.
Fields of Oil Seed Rape coming into bloom. 
Some tiny ponies at the side of the track
They were interested in the fact that Lidl had bargain bags of carrots.
And like a mug that I am, I had bought 4 packets!
The railway bridge over the famous Dighty Burn.
Great farm country.
Ancient bridge (now disused, as you can see) again over the Dighty, presumably originally for horse and carts of the local farmer.
And finally… friendship blossoms, chez Gerry.



…None of it has gone away. We’ve just been distracted by the antics of Mrs May, Alistair Carmichael’s apprentice in the lying department. Whether the photographs are from Iraq or Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya or wherever, the people are still suffering, in many cases as a direct result of us poking our know-all noses into things we know sod all about.

Of course, it makes the British “leadership” (?!?!? I use the word sooooo very loosely) look important and generates a good deal of profit for arms manufacturers, so I suppose you can see why they do it.

Not that it bothers people who live in palaces, mansions and taxpayer-funded homes but THIS is the side effect of them wanting to look big. In my opinion, it makes them look microscopically small. Invisible really, like a poisonous spider bite. Only nastier.

Don’t look if you have a weak stomach or are readily inclined to tears. David sent us some great photos from his holiday in Portugal, and Daniel sent some from his 2-month Masters’ project in Rwanda so there will be a great deal happier things to look at tomorrow.


Real people living these terrible lives. Real children not getting any kind of childhood.

And the supposedly 5th largest country in the world won;t even take some unaccompanied children or disabled people.

Grate Britain.




I just saw this on Twitter. A Conservative supporter is sent a begging letter by Conservative Campaign Headquarters (remember, we used to get them under the name Peregrine).  Anyway, the line before the sign off reads: “We are finalising our election plans now, David…”

But, wait. It was only today that the Conservatives had their debate in parliament and only yesterday that the Cabinet agreed to put it to parliament, or so we are told.

So, how can they possibly be finalising their plans? Surely they couldn’t have planned a general election since yesterday’s announcement and be putting the final touches to it within 24 hours?

Oh, and on the subject of the Tory election campaign, it seems that those being questioned by the police over their involvement in the election fraud from two years ago will be allowed to stand as candidates this time.

I suppose the Tory press will have very little to say about that. Imagine if some other party had tried to pull that stunt?

I love it when the Mail talks dirty.
A riddle rolled up in a mystery inside an enigma: that’s Tess (as opposed to Tass!!!).




Dear Mrs May,

Since you became prime minister of your united kingdom, you have consistently said that you won’t have an election outwith the 5-year cycle that your predecessor introduced in order to discourage political opportunists from having elections when it best suited their party.

You said only the other day that the people were getting behind you in Brexit (although we presume that you meant English people because from where we are sitting in the Kingdom of Scotland, we see no sign of it), so it cannot be that you feel that you have need of endorsement for your Brexit policies despite the, to our eyes, apparent abject failure of most of what you are trying to do.

So we aren’t entirely sure why you are doing this. It may indeed be that very political opportunism which Mr Cameron wished to avoid (with a prod from Mr Clegg). Certainly, Labour is very weak, whether in England under Mr Corbyn, in Scotland under Ms Dugdale and possibly even in Wales under Mr Jones. By going for an election that you calculate you cannot lose, you may hope to extend your tenure of the top job from 4 to 6 years without much trouble from the main opposition party.


Beware, however. No matter how unpopular Labour may be we’re not certain that there are many seats that it can lose. You might say that they are relatively close to ‘core vote’. What’s left now would rather eat their own feet than vote Tory. And, two years down the line from the disastrous coalition, the Liberal Democrats could pick up some of the seats that the Conservative took from them in 2015, particularly seats which are largely pro-EU. Whilst there is a possibility that you might take a Scottish seat or two due to a mixture of Labour’s uselessness and the fact that your tank commanding lady in the sole serious representative of the British Bulldog in its red white and blue splendour. We’d not count on you getting too many, though (remember the rape clause REALLY went down badly here), and it’s not beyond possibility that you will lose Fluffy, his coat being on what we would call a shooglie nail. (Although we dare say that’s a ‘disaster’ you could cope with.)


In any normal circumstances, we’d assume that any government would have taken all of this into consideration before embarking on this ‘brave’ endeavour. But with the government you lead, given your record thus far, one can never be certain that things have been thought of, never mind thought through.

It has been the custom over the last few elections, here in Scotland, in the UK and farther afield, for party leaders to take part in debates on live television in order that the population may find out what it is voting for, directly, if you’ll pardon the expression,  from the horses mouths, as opposed to the glossy wishlist stuck through doors (which, in the majority of cases, make their way from doormat to bin without passing Go, or collection £200 as it were). It’s all very well to say in a leaflet that you are going to do this, that and the next thing, but it is far more interesting to see policies dissected by opposite numbers, don’t you think. Almost entertaining sometimes.


And, of course, that works both ways. You get the chance to question other party leaders’ policies, live in front of the peoples of your united kingdom.

We understand, though, that you have said quite categorically that you will not take part in any tv debates with your opposite numbers.

We can only guess at your reasons for doing this, but we trust you understand that the public will demand that these debates go ahead with or without your participation.

Yours sincerely



PS: You might have had the decency to allow the local elections taking place all over Scotland to be over before you made your announcement. I say you might have, but clearly, you didn’t.

PPS. What will happen to the 30 Tories who are under police investigation in England for cheating with their election expenses? Surely until they are cleared they cannot possibly be candidates in a further election? How can we guarantee that they will not cheat again?


We just saw this corker of a front page:


She’ll KILL off Labour, SMASH rebel Tories and it will be blue MURDER.

Nice measured language, The Sun.



Not the smartest tactician, is she?
Didn’t realise that Better Together’s and pooling and sharing meant sharing beds in hospital…?
You see, we don’t want to be part of this idiotic nonsense called the EU, but we do want them to headquarter their agencies here. Obviously, duh!
And once upon a time, they told us that Spain would be an obstacle to independence.
I guess that that is not too unreasonable.
Very British Scot… Britch… Whatever! We’ll never buy it again. Incidentally, why do Brits find it necessary to put massive UK flags on just about everything in the supermarket from eggs to geraniums?
Like we’ve said, she’s not the best negotiator, is she? Erm, anyone know what she IS good at? Maybe we should leave it to David Da… No, sorry. Momentary aberration. What was I thinking? Let’s leave it to Mickey the Mouse, shall we?
Bless Fluffy. He’s always been easily confused. And all this has just been too much for him.
That’s the deal, guys. Take it or leave it… Oh no, just take it!
Proud flag …why not put it on a whisky bottle, and everything else you can see?
Aye, Amber, you’re going to need more of these visas. Like for doctors, nurses, care assistants, plumbers, shop assistants, builders ad infinitum… I’d get printing visas fast as you can.
So what you are saying is that you’ll hang on to all the powers over Scottish public services so that you can trade them with America for the seriously crap trade deal you’ll get. Sell off our water, and our heath service. You’ll maybe find that hard to do. We probably don;t really want that. We can be thrawn, you know!
England Fans
‘Gibraltar is ours, you Spanish bastards’, they screamed in a drunken frenzy in Madrid before their team lost. You can tell the Brits. They are the drunk, pale, overweight ones. Nice one Leicester. You must be proud. (The Express seemed to think that the police were heavy handed and it was all their fault…well, they were foreign police after all.)
Ha ha ha ha ha …imagine anyone having ANY kind of faith in a Whitehall computer system, The USA companies they usually get to design, supply and instal them must laugh their heads off every time they get a contract that will certainly end up 2 times over budget and no earthly use.


Mrs Easter Bunny’s Message

Mrs May delivered an Easter message to us all today, and jolly grateful we are to get it too.amayyuk

She says that there is a sense of coming together after Brexit. Indeed, the expression she used was “coming together and uniting”… both of them at the same time!!!… So that’s nice, isn’t it? “Our shared values can – and must – bring us together”, she continued, in that schoolmarmish voice she reserves for us plebs, “for at heart, this country is one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future.”

So basically, that was a load of old tosh.

They seriously must think we button up the back. I see absolutely no signs that people are uniting around Brexit, despite a poll that supposedly shows that 55% of Brits favour Brexit. (The pole by Orb (no me neither), was commissioned by the Daily Telegraph.)


And I wonder what these shared values are. Making the poor poorer and the rich richer? Corruption and theft, greed? Sexual perversion? Tacky celebrity status? Poor education, poor health? Selling arms to odious regimes that use them to kill kids? Like every nation, there are, I’m sure, moments in its history of which some people might be proud. But there is a great deal of shame too.

As for the bright future? In the hands of the current set of idiot ministers, I doubt that very much.



But that wasn’t her finished, oh dear no.  She told us about her Christianity. “We should be confident about the role that Christianity has to play in the lives of people in our country. We must continue to ensure that people feel able to speak about their faith, and that absolutely includes their faith in Christ,” she added.

It might serve Mrs May well to remember that not all of us who live here are Christians, and frankly, with the greatest respect to my friends who are Christians, Christianity plays no part whatsoever in my life, and never has  (except when it was rammed down my throat at school). Probably the only part of her speech with which I agreed was that people should feel absolutely free to be able to speak about the part that their faith plays in their lives.


I do think though, that a person who presides over a government which treats the poor so cruelly, and the rich so well, should be very cautious about presenting herself as some sort of salesperson for any religion.

I’m no Bible expert, but having had 10 years of schooling which demanded that Bible studies should be taught daily, I can’t help but wonder what Jesus would say about turning away unaccompanied refugee children, surely one of the greatest shames of this government. Maybe “suffer the little children to come unto me”? Luke 18:16, Matthew 19:14.

What would he have thought about the rape clause; the reduction of benefits paid to those most in need, the torture that sick people have been put through to get their benefits, the people who have died waiting for tribunals, the involvement of the banks in doing people out of their homes, the selling of weapons to regimes which use them to kill children?


And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:24.





Happy Easter everyone.
That goes from me too…
n sand
At this time of the year, beauty is everywhere
I’m just having a shower, seeing as it’s Easter.
Easter Daffodil
Hedgehogs are very fond of Easter Eggs… Can I have one?
n tree creeper
Tree Creeper…different kind of eggs .
n panda
Lazy Panda, eaten too many Easter eggs.
n japan
Japanese Garden. They are spared Easter
N far
Faroes: The lake over the sea. You wouldn’t know which way to roll your egg there.
n blaze
Blaze fae Skye.
That’s what I think of Mrs May and her Easter.
Donkeys like to be included at Easter, ye know.
So do super cute baby bears.
Yeah, well, what is Easter all about anyway? Bunnies, that’s what.
n clova
Glen Clova.
I like the smell of these…
n badger
Can I ‘badger’ you into getting me an egg?
Bluebell wood.
n dundee
Close-Up Of Rabbit Yawning On Field
Well, if that was Easter, it’s over now. So I’m off back to bed. Very tiring being a bunny at Easter, you know. Did we mention it was Easter?




And, if you think this makes him sound like a relatively unpleasant and not particularly forward thinking person, the real horror is the tweet in reply to a terminally ill man who is fighting for the right to be allowed to end his life under medical supervision so that it is  safe, clean and final, and doesn’t cause any additional distress to his family and friends.



There are those who have strong religious feelings about this, which I respect, and I reckon that should be their choice.  No one is forcing them to end their lives. Of course, there is nothing to stop someone taking an overdose, or jumping off a bridge, or in front of a train or whatever, supposing they have the wherewithal and do not involve any other person in their plan.  Suicide is indeed not illegal in Scotland*. But the risks involved in a DIY suicide are horrific and can make a dreadful condition even more intolerable, not to mention the cost to other people.  I suspect that Donald Gatt Esq, (an ex-UKIPPER, I believe) might feel very different if it was him or someone close to him that was involved.

*Suicide directly involving only the deceased person is not by itself a criminal offence under Scots Law and has not been in recent history. However, attempting suicide might be a Breach of the peace if it is not done as a private act; this is routinely reported in the case of persons threatening suicide in areas frequented by the public.  The Suicide Act 1961 applies only to England and Wales but under Scots Law a person who assists a suicide might be charged with murder, culpable homicide, or no offence depending upon the facts of each case. Despite not being a criminal offence, consequential liability upon the person attempting suicide (or if successful, his/her estate) might arise under civil law where e.g. it parallels the civil liabilities recognised in the (English Law) Reeves case…





The Tories have overseen a large number of fairly odious policies designed, so they say, to encourage the workshy back into work. (Some of us might say that when you are lying dying in intensive care, possibly “workshy” is a tad on the harsh side, even coming from a Tory. Indeed, some of us might be tempted to believe that what the Tories were REALLY trying to do was to dismantle the Welfare State that they never much cared for.)

A new rash of cuts in benefits was introduced at the start of the new financial year 2017, among which was a particularly controversial policy which means that to benefit from child tax credits for a third or subsequent child, women must prove that the child was conceived as a result of rape. Not so easy to do if like many cases, for obvious reasons, the violation was not reported to the police. In any case utterly humiliating to have to relive such a vile experience.

Politicians, campaigners and people in the street have condemned the measure as, at best, heartless, at worst downright inhuman.

As Nicola Sturgeon said when talking about it on her recent visit to the USA, the policy is bad and bad enough, but for it to have been introduced by a government led by a woman is nothing short of astounding.

I’m not going to even try to get into what a rape victim must feel like. Relatively few men are raped, and it’s impossible for me, as a guy,  to imagine the horrors and the humiliation.  Suffice to say, for what must be a very small amount of saving when compared with, say, the refurbishments to the Palace of Westminster, it would have been a good idea just not to go there.


OK, so in Scotland, the leaders of the main parties across the board, have condemned out of hand the Westminster policy. All except Ruth Davidson.

Uncharacteristically quiet this week, when normally she would be taking every opportunity to get her face on tv and in the papers in the run-up to the council elections, Ruth eventually issued a statement, via a spokesperson, saying that she supported the UK government’s policy, and that she would write directly  to constituents who had contacted her on the subject.

Cop out, we thought. You’re a party leader, we thought. You need to tell us ALL what your take on this policy is, we thought.

So, today, a new line has been taken both by Ruth and by her deputy, Jackson Carlaw. Obviously, they have had one of these “how the hell do we get out of this mess?” meetings and this was the answer they came up with.

Wait for it…


Yep, it seems that in time-honoured SNP BAAAAAAD fashion, it is all the SNP’s fault. Nicola, they both think, is a hypocrite to blame the Tories for a Tory policy that the Tories introduced (what with the Tories being in Government in London).


Yes, you read that right.

Ruth and Jackson point out that the Scottish government now has the power to mitigate some of the social security policies of the Tory government without permission (and indeed they have done so). If the SNP feel so strongly about not humiliating women who have been raped, they should use these powers.

So, there you are. Problem solved, thanks to the super brains that are Davidson and Carlaw.

I wonder what Ruth thinks the government should cut in order to fund this… or perhaps it would be better if we put the tax up on high earners. There are few funding options open to Scotland. Any Tories reading, how do you feel about this policy? Should Scotland mitigate it and if so, with what?

Pathetic. spends millions mitigating welfare cuts & will continue to do so. We wouldn’t have to if Tories didn’t make callous cuts.