DING DONG BELL, BORIS IN THE WELL

Image result for claude francois
[Tris, that’s Claude François, not wee Marky. Munguin]
According to an article in the Independent, Lindsay Hoyle has not selected a motion by Monsieur François, or whatever he is called. .. you know who I mean, the little one who was a fearless warrior in the first world war… or something… Anyway, Hoyle has scuppered his motion to get Big Ben chiming at 11pm on 31 January to celebrate England leaving the EU. I’m not sure why.

Image result for Captain Mainwaring
[I won’t tell you again, Tristan! Munguin]
The clock tower is presently being renovated at enormous cost to the taxpayer (a cost which has already doubled although the job isn’t done yet… wait for Murdo screaming blue murder about things being late and costing too much and incompetent project management, etc, but don’t hold your breath. I fear he’s contracted tonsilitis).

The words ‘bell’ and ‘end’ come to mind.

Image result for mark francois in uniform
That’s better… Jings, what do I pay you for? [Munguin]
But, lest you should be thinking to yourself: No Big Ben, on the greatest day of our lives ever? What is there left to live for?… I can cheer you up by telling you that Nigel Farage is going to throw a party at a cost of £100,000 (Where’s he getting that kind of money?) in Parliament Square (their parliament, incidentally, not ours).

Can you imagine Farage at 11 pm on Brexit day? I mean, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen him sober, but that day of all days, I can only imagine he’ll be totally legless.  Just as well it’s not too close to the Thames otherwise who knows what might happen. [It is quite close to the Thames. Munguin]

Downing Street apparently also has plans for a celebration but have refused to say what they are, presumably because Dominic Cummings hasn’t decided. Maybe Johnson’s going back to Mustique for his early Spring holiday.

I just hope these celebrations don’t involve Dom getting his kit off and dancing around Maypole.

Image result for brexit 50p piece

I trust that the famous, postponed, Brexit 50p pieces will be back on the cards though, except they are now only worth 40p. Will it be second time lucky for this ill-fated loose change?

I hope Prime Minister Cummings is aware that pretty much nothing will change after 11 pm in a few weeks’ time. They will have taken back control of precisely diddly squat.

This may prove to be a bit of an anti-climax for your average racist, and some injured celebrators may be most disappointed, not to say downright cross, to find the odd foreign doctor or nurse still on duty in casualty after they (the racists) have partaken in a spot too much of the old celebratory sherry!

The real hard work, of course, starts on February 1, when they will have 11 months to sort out their special trade deal.

Just when you thought that all the fun had gone out of life…

**********

Afterthought…

Totally unconnected, but a lot of people have been asking about the situation in the Near East and I saw this which explains it pretty succinctly, I think!

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179 thoughts on “DING DONG BELL, BORIS IN THE WELL”

  1. I remember some years ago we were on an open top tour bus in London where the tour guide was an in between gigs actor.
    As we passed Big Ben he rambled on about it being named after the builder Benjamin Hall and it was just as well that it wasn’t named after his brother Richard.
    I got it immediately and burst out laughing which drew some strange looks from the American tourists on board.
    Yup,Big Dick sounds much better than Big Ben.
    As Thatcher said,”Everyone needs a Willie” or a Richard even!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. N0t TOO much off topic I think, because…….
    Speaking of the ringing of bells to commemorate historic events, and of images that get put on 50 cent coins, I’m prompted to publish the history of the American “liberty bell”…….CRACKED as it is because of shoddy English bell making…….even after the second try at casting the thing in London. It was ordered from England by the Pennsylvania colonial assembly in 1751. The first casting cracked when tested, and it was recast. Even the second one never sounded very good as big bells go, but it was deemed good enough to ship to the colonial rubes who paid for it.

    In June, 1753, the bell was hung in the steeple of the Pennsylvania Statehouse in Philadelphia…..now called “Independence Hall,” where American independence was debated and voted, and the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776; and the federal constitution was written and adopted in 1787 (all in the same room.) The bell rang out on the occasion of the first gunfire of the revolution directed at the British army at Lexington and Concord in 1775, and although there is a tradition that it rang out on July 4, 1776 or July 8, 1776, it probably didn’t, but it certainly rang when the constitution was ratified in 1787. It tolled for the deaths of George Washington, John Adams, and Tom Jefferson. It finally irreparably cracked when it was rung for the birthday of George Washington on February 26, 1846. The “Philadelphia Public Ledger” tells the sad story:

    “The old Independence Bell rang its last clear note on Monday last in honor of the birthday of Washington and now hangs in the great city steeple irreparably cracked and dumb. It had been cracked before but was set in order of that day by having the edges of the fracture filed so as not to vibrate against each other … It gave out clear notes and loud, and appeared to be in excellent condition until noon, when it received a sort of compound fracture in a zig-zag direction through one of its sides which put it completely out of tune and left it a mere wreck of what it was.”

    Having made two pilgrimages to Philadelphia to view the greatest icon of American revolutionary history, I can personally attest to the zig zag fracture that extends far into the crown of the bell, above and beyond the drilled and filed old repair job.

    On the reverse of the Benjamin Franklin half dollar (1948-1963):

    The history of the Liberty Bell: (There will be no quiz)

    https://www.ushistory.org/libertybell/timeline.html

    The sound of the bell: (Click on the hypertext)
    First a computer simulation of how the bell once sounded, then one of many historic occasions over the years that it has been bonked with a mallet, and the bonk recorded. This recording was the bell bonking of June 6, 1944, on D-Day. Seven strokes for each of the seven letters in LIBERTY.

    https://www.nps.gov/inde/photosmultimedia-soundofthelibertybell.htm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Big Ben also has a crack in it. By an odd co-incidence Big Ben is also a replacement bell , cos guess what…the original bell for the tower cracked before it was even installed. As you say, Danny, shoddy English bell makers.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Jake……LOL……..I had no idea about the cracking of Big Ben. Wiki says that the same London company that recast Big Ben in 1858…..the Whitechapel Bell Foundry…….is the same company that in 1752 had manufactured the Pennsylvania “State House Bell” (later dubbed “Liberty bell” by pre-Civil War abolitionists.)

        Wiki: “During the Bicentennial [of American independence in 1976], members of the Procrastinators’ Club of America jokingly picketed the Whitechapel Bell Foundry with signs “We got a lemon” and “What about the warranty?” The foundry told the protesters that it would be glad to replace the bell—so long as it was returned in the original packaging.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitechapel_Bell_Foundry

        I was about nine years old the first time I saw the Liberty Bell in its previous pavilion on Independence Mall, at a time when visitors were still allowed to touch the bell. I felt the inside of the drilled-out crack repair, and noticed the continuation of the hairline crack.

        Hairline crack begins at the top of the crack repair, cuts through the word “AND,” and extends all the way to the crown of the bell.

        The Whitechapel Bell Foundry closed in 2017.

        https://www.insidehook.com/article/finance/foundry-behind-liberty-bell-big-ben-close-after-nearly-500-years

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Danny

          Interesting info on the Liberty Bell. However the Whitechapel Bell Foundry has a 500 year history so they must have done something right! I had a tour of the foundry back in the 1970’s. The owner who took us around was an extreme right winger who could not resist imposing his political views on us.

          Although the foundry premises have been vacated they are a listed building and will be preserved. But the name of the company will survive. This is just the latest of a long list of owners.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Dave……Yes, that company had a long history. Wiki says: “The bell was commissioned in 1752 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly from the London firm of Lester and Pack (known subsequently as the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.)

            The bell was recast and had some hard treatment before it finally cracked (again) in 1846. When the British army occupied Philadelphia in 1777, the Continental Congress…….essentially a revolutionary assembly, and a precursor to the federal Congress of today……had to get out of town. They fled across a river, deeper into the Pennsylvania countryside to the west. The bell was taken with them (along with the Declaration of Independence document BTW) in the fear that the Brits would melt it down into munitions. It’s reported to have fallen off the wagon at least once, and got banged around as it was hidden in barns, etc. So it was probably damaged in a way that Whitechapel Foundry cannot be blamed for. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

        1. Seems to me that the clock could be converted to an electronic display with a more accurate digital quartz movement, and Big Ben could be replaced with electronic tones. The money saved could defray the costs of the upcoming multi-year restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster.

          All you would EVER want to know about the Westminster Palace project:

          https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/09/britain-parliament-broken-brexit/597745/

          Liked by 2 people

          1. All makes me want to vomit.

            I’d just let the building disappear into the Thames.

            But seriously, they really need to try to bring the place into the 21sxt century… or, for a start (becasue Brits aren’t that good at change, maybe the 20th century.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. It would be a start.

                But nothing will change. It never does. They will still have the britches and pinches of snuff… velum and top hats.

                If the Lords crumbled into the Thames, it would probably take the Commons with it. The only thing I’d care about was the poor fish and marine creatures… I mean, imagine waking up next to Jacob Rees Mogg.

                Liked by 1 person

                    1. Polyester with faux ermine – no, I can’t see it either. Or horsehair wigs maid out of woven polypropylene fibre, like some carpets. Though it would make the claret stains easier to get rid of, I suppose.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. Faux wash and wear ermine would be a great technological step forward for the nobility of England. 😉

                      Like

                    3. Maybe a little off topic, but about nobility and what not……did you notice that Harry and Meghan are “stepping back” from senior royal duties to spend more time in “North America.” Something about becoming “financially independent.” I suppose this means they’re coming to the States (Land of the Free, Home of the Brave) because….well erm…..hey……..no one is going to spend any serious North American time in Canada or Mexico if they didn’t have to. 😉

                      Maybe the spat between Harry and William is worse than we thought.

                      https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/royals/harry-and-meghan-were-stepping-back-as-senior-royals-will-spend-more-time-in-north-america/ar-BBYKmvF?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=hmlogout

                      Like

                    4. Ha ha ha ha… Does that mean he’s gonna put her back in a tv soap?

                      Well, bye bye Harry. Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on your way out.

                      Next…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. I’m not keen on the idea that I have to fork out money to keep them safe in Canada.

                      I object, that said, to it being done here. (I mean no one forks out money to keep me safe. And what’s Harry got that I don’t, apart from his father’s red hair?)

                      But at least in Kensington or Frogmore, Balmoral or Windsor, the security is being shared with the rest of the scrounging deadbeats.

                      There it will have to be all about him, his son and his wife.

                      Sod that.

                      If the Canadians want them, let them pay.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    6. Sounds like it’ll be a LOT more expensive to live in Canada in they style to which they’re accustomed than to stay in the Windsor family quarters in England. Maybe she’ll be able to cross the border and make it big in a TV series in Hollywood. Then they’ll be so wealthy they can buy and sell the Windsors….LOL.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    7. Long as Harry Hewitt and his Mrs don;t cost me a fortune they can go live on the moon for all I care. Take a load of their idiot relatives with them too

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. As for the Mid east situation, Trumpy has been threatening to attack Iranian cultural sites. His Secretaries of State and Defense have pointed out that would be by definition a war crime and therefore illegal. Trumpy is annoyed about the illegality, but has reluctantly decided to obey the law. (Assassination is apparently legal.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. well it’s all kicking off now. The Iranians have launched rockets at a US base and followed that up with a picture of their flag on twitter. The US have launched jet aircraft, as have the Iranians to patrol their airspace/intercept.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I am pleased to see that Munguin still uses the term Near East (like the French do). I get annoyed when people refer to Syria and Lebanon etc. as the ‘Middle East’. Where, in that view, is the Near East?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dave,
      I’ve wondered about that Mid vs Near East thing too.

      It also confuses me that it’s not obvious where Europe ends and Asia begins. And then there’s Asia Minor. So where is Asia Major?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, Tris is as usual right: Istanbul proper is actually in Europe, the other side of the strait is Asia (minor), Asia Minor being Turkey, basically. The strait there is the Bosphorus, from Ancient Greek bosporos meaning “passage of the cow” – one explanation of it is that Zeus, in his usual way, had been bonking Io, first priestess of Hera and daughter of some god or other – I always thought that for a high-status woman in those times it was a great excuse for having a child outwith the commonly accepted social norms to say it was a god what done the dirty on her. You know, “That horny bugger Zeus appeared to me as a swan and had his wicked way with me, I mean, what’s a girl to do what with him being the King of the Gods and all, even if he pops up in the form of a large specimen of poultry? She can hardly say ‘No’, can she?” A lower-status woman, though, i.e., a normal person, would be laughed out of court, which probably proves something or other.

          Where was I? Oh yes, Hera, Goddess of Marriage and Childbirth, got a bit miffed about her hubby bonking her First Priestess, and so, to prevent his wife taking it out on Io, Zeus changed her into a white heifer so she could escape Hera’s wrath by swimming over to Asia Minor. Thus the passage of the cow. Or so they say.

          When you think about it, the closest equivalent in English would be Oxford. Also, the rumour that Io had two elder brothers who both went by the name Iai is a lie, a calumny and a slander.

          To the south of the Bosphorus, the strait widens out into the Sea of Marmara; south again of that, it narrows into the Dardanelles, which are longer but significantly wider than the Bosphorus. No bridges there. Want to know the Turkish for ferry? It’s “feribot”.

          In Northern Europe, the line between Europe and Asia is the watershed of the Urals; it’s also the line between European Russia and Asian Russia. There’s no significant political boundary there, but there is definitely a geographic one.

          To the south, Europe stops at the Caucasus: the transcaucasian countries, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, are in Asia. The northern borders of Georgia and Azerbaijan run along the crest of the Caucasus, more or less. To the south lie Turkey and Iran, so you might want to put Georgia and Armenia in with Asia Minor and Azerbaijan in Asia proper, or maybe you’d want to put Azerbaijan in the Middle East (or the Near East?) – not that it makes any difference, they’d still be there whatever terminology we used. These details about the former Soviet countries are the sorts of thing you learn as a student of Russian: rather difficult to avoid, really.

          Baku, by the way, the capital of Azerbaijan, lies on the Caspian Sea at 28 metres below mean sea level, making it the lowest capital city in the world. Amsterdam comes a not very close second.

          Over on the other, eastern side of the Caspian Sea, the -stans – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – are called the Central Asian republics by the Russians. You can expect the geographical demarcation line between Europe and Asia, as opposed to the political one, to be somewhat different over there, as you would reckon the geographical line by watershed, most likely.

          That can be a bit difficult when you don’t got a watershed because it’s a desert and you don’t have any rivers or mountains either; then you have to do it by MASL or above some other reference datum. They come down to much the same thing, really, as water doesn’t flow uphill, but it gets a bit difficult too when the place is pretty much flat, as between Kuwait and Iraq – I know that because I was half the team that wrote the records of the Iraq / Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission set up after the first Gulf War. The area is so flat that when the mapping and surveying teams were trying to determine the lowest points – the thalweg – of one of the wadis in question, they came up with some baffling, bewildering, inexplicable and contradictory data – inexplicable until someone realized that the variations in elevation that they were seeing were the tyre tracks of the surveyors’ own jeeps. Yes, that flat.

          As part of the delimitation (determining where the border runs on the mape) and demarcation exercise (putting up markers or laying down buoys), stonking great concrete boundary “monuments” – technical term – were put up along the land border, much larger than is usual. They are painted bright yellow using a special paint that is supposed to resist the sandblasting effect of sandstorms, and stand up to high temperatures and intense sunlight too. The Kuwaitis were so – paranoid or justifiably and understandably fearful – after the first Gulf War and Sadam Hussein was still in power, however, that they went further than just having boundary markers, and dug a great ditch on their side of the border, with a view to stopping tanks getting across, I suppose. That was all very fine and well until they got too close to one of the monuments and the whole thing toppled into their ditch with a tremendous crash… Huge great things. They weigh many, many tons.

          A large part of the problem, actually, was caused by the Brits not mapping the place properly to begin with. As I recall, the Admiralty charts of the waterways were more than a kilometre out of true. No doubt English exceptionalists would claim that everyone else’s maps were wrong: aabody wis oot o step except oor Jock…

          Of the Central Asian republics, Turkmenistan abuts Iran and Afghanistan, Tajikistan has borders with Afghanistan and China – we’re getting well into Silk Road territory already – and then Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have borders with China. Doesn’t matter to me whether you call them Central Asia or part of the Middle East – there’s really not much justification for any of it, just as borders are more and less arbitrary lines on a map, or a formula such as the thalweg or the middle of some river or waterway or wadi.

          As they say in German in such circumstances, Staatsgrenze am Flussmittel – State border in the middle of the river. You used to see that along some parts of the Austrian frontier with Czechoslovakia, which it was when I was last there, and you probably still can even if the physical signs are probably not the same ones any more as back then the spelling was Flußmittel – the Germans last reformed their spelling in 1996 – if you’re interested, see https://archive.is/Tz7eQ, “The German spelling reform”.

          There’s a rather important geographical boundary around that region too: north of it, the rivers flow into the North Sea or the Baltic; to the south of it, they flow into the Black Sea down the Danube. Here’s a map of European catchments / drainage basins, courtesy of Wikipedia: https://archive.is/ODLMD. And here’s a picture from the same article of an outdated sign marking the Rhine-Danube watershed near Weitnau in Germany: https://archive.is/ICZQD.

          That üNN stands for “über Normal Null”, i.e., the above standard zero, a reference datum in the old West German system; it’s now been replaced by NHN, Normalhöhennull, or standard elevation zero. The new system takes variations in the strength of the gravitational field into account, among other things, and it’s part of aligning the various systems used in the European countries. I doubt Englandland will be changing its system anytime soon, though: we have AOD, or Above Ordnance Datum, defined as above Mean Sea Level. (That’s what the “sea level” in MASL (metres above sea level) is, but first you have to agree on what Mean Sea Level is.) Which leads us back to a fundamental problem: sea level is not constant, in fact it’s rising, as everyone ought to know. So what is your average cartographer going to do? Bit of a bummer when your reference datum is now under water. Either that, or you keep changing the reference datum so that all the heights you’ve gone to the trouble of marking on maps and putting signs up for become more and more out of whack with reality. Mountains wear down too, compounding the problem over time.

          I agree with Tris that “Middle East” is a pretty silly term if you don’t have a Near East to the west of it and a Far East to the east of it. Let’s not get started on South Asia, Central Asia and North Asia, shall we? And where are the boundaries between Western Europe and Central Europe and Eastern Europe, and with Southern Europe? The Alps and the Pyrenees for sure; over in the Balkans not quite so easy. As the Viennese say, or they did when I was there so many years ago now, “The Balkans begin at Landstraße” – Landstraße being not just a street but the name of the station in Vienna where the trains from the south came in.

          Oh – “Balkans” is a term derived from Turkish and it means a wooded mountain range, i.e., not high enough for the summits to be above the treeline. It’s the actual geographical name of a range of mountains in Bulgaria, which I did not know before I began checking my facts here; maybe John would care to comment? There’s apparently a couple of other areas / ranges called “balkan” over in the Central Asian republics, where the languages are Turkic, i.e., related to Turkish, just by the way – look up “dialect chain” if you’re interested.

          I think that’s all quite enough for today, don’t you? I for one am getting quite bored with it.

          To all of you who are going to Glasgow on Saturday: I shall be with you in spirit.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. LOL LOL LOL…

            You really are a most interesting dude, Ed.

            I’m was a bit worried to begin with about the passage of the cow, thinking that it might have been referring to my companion, when I took the bus over to Asia, but I see that the naming appeared a few years earlier, which was a relief.

            I suppose that the visiting of god upon virgin ladies was a relatively regular occurrence.

            Wasn’t that what happened to Mary?

            Liked by 4 people

            1. Something like, Tris, something like. Of course, I wasn’t saying anything about that out of consideration for the god-botherers and bible-thumpers among us, who as you know are legion among Munguinites, but now you’ve gone and blown the gaff, not to mentiong letting the cat out of the bag among the pigeons. Tsk, Tris, and thrice Tsk!

              What strange ideas they did have back then. Not to mention being utterly neurotic about sex.

              Liked by 2 people

          2. Ed…..That was a really interesting (and entertaining) read. Geography is genuinely interesting; amazing how dull it seemed in school. 😉

            I even understood the passage of the cow thing, even though I’m not strong on the sex habits of gods and goddesses. I’ve heard that moonlight on the Bosphorus is really something to see……or it could be on the Dardanelles I guess. 😉

            I found a Great Courses course posted on YouTube about Alexander the Great. He spent a lot of time running around the Black Sea at the edge of his world. Those old Soviet republics are hard to keep straight. I suppose it’s just too late to combine Europe and Asia into Eurasia and be done with it.

            As for surveying, it’s come to my attention that the Prime Meridian is NOT necessarily the line that they show tourists at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. (At least as far as GPS satellites are concerned.) THAT Prime Meridian is a few hundred feet out in Greenwich Park.

            https://www.timeanddate.com/geography/prime-meridian-wrong.html

            A video about the Louisiana Purchase and a survey marker in a swamp.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. The original meridian was the Great Pyramid which was covered by a layer of Limestone with its Capstone of Gold. It would have been like a lighthouse in the desert and would have been visible for a long distance.

              We should respect these people and make the pyramid the meridian again. We need to also change the atlas as it is upside down compared to the original version. Isn’t that interesting – Antarctica is at the “Top”of the world.

              Liked by 2 people

                1. The proof of this is that if you stand to the North of Giza and look at the three pyramids you will notice that they mimic the belt in the constellation of Orion. Following Orions belt will take you to the Dog star “Sirius” in the night sky. At the bottom left. The obelisk at Heliopolos mimics Sirius. The only way to make Orion and Sirius reflect the pyramids and the obelisk is to recognise tbat the “Top of the Earth” is the South pole. Ipso facto our maps are upside down.

                  Liked by 2 people

              1. Kangaroo……
                Speaking of Antarctica at the top of the world reminded me of a scene from “The West Wing.” The Organization of Cartographers for Social Equality is promoting the “Peters Projection” (actually it’s called the “Gall-Peters Projection”) to the White House staff.

                Liked by 2 people

          3. I’ve been over the bridge on the river Ural in Atyrau in Kazakhstan. The local interpretation is that is the boundary between Europe and Asia. I can’t remember which side the brewery is on but there is a big hoarding advertising beer with the slogan ‘From Europe with love’, or maybe ‘From Asia with love’.

            Atyrau is also several metres below sea level. I was sure there were strange accoustic effects from the boats on the river. The river, by the way, can flow in both directions (depending on the wind?).

            I think we should give a mention to Lord Byron who swam the Bosphorous. No bridge in those days.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Dave……We don’t have any great swimming poets anymore.
              Sounds like modern advertising makes good use of the Europe-Asia thing. Those “Stan” countries always seem mysterious and romantic to me. Mysterious unfamiliar places in Asia generally I would say. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Wow, that’s funny, Dave.

              A river that runs according to the wind.

              As for Byron, I’m not sure that I fancy swimming the Bosphorus. It didn’t look awfully clean 10 years ago and I’m pretty sure it would have been filthy in his day.

              Liked by 1 person

          4. Wow! We often say that every day’s a schoolday at MNR but this one really was a whole new education. Thank you for that, Ed. Wish I could help you on Bulgarian Balkans but I think you’re already way better informed than I could even hope to be.

            By way of consolation, may I recommend Thomas Pynchon’s novel Mason & Dixon? As a land-survey enthusiast, you’d find it a great read, telling the story of the English surveyors responsible for the famous Mason-Dixon line. You’re probably more than familiar with it already, but if not you have a treat in store. And you don’t need a surveying bent to enjoy it. For me, it ranks as an all-time favourite and I know no about surveying than I do about the ‘logic’ of Scots who oppose independence.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. John…….Who would have imagined that a book about Mason and Dixon would be a real page turner!! I must look up that book.

              I was surprised some time back to learn that the Mason-Dixon line which (with the Ohio River flowing west from Pittsburgh) symbolically separated North from South in the American Civil War, was also known in the UK.

              A survey line that took on historical, cultural, and “musical” significance:

              Liked by 2 people

            2. If you think the Mason Dixon line is interesting then try

              “Who Built the Moon” by Christopher Knight and Alan Butler.

              Its about a Scottish surveyor called Alexander Thom who was born on the same island as Trumps’ mother; they probably knew each other. He was fascinated by the standing stones located near his croft and went on to uncover the facf that all the standing stone circles were built using the same measuring stick; the Megalithic Yard. Download it for, roughly, the price of a coffee and cake on Kindle. I won’t spoil the rest of the story, but it is certainly an eye-opener for anyone who is curious about these things in any way.

              If that doesn’t float your boat I have other facts about ancient megaliths that are mind blowing for anyone with any curiosity at all.

              Liked by 2 people

  5. Tiny Liddle Mark forever calls
    Himself a veteran but him only being in the territorial Army
    Can only brag about it at weekends and bank holidays.

    Cowardly little gobshite

    And he has EU citizenship due to his Italian mother what a
    Hypocrite

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, well many of them seem to have managed that.

      He reminds me a bit of Hyacinth Bucket… Bouquet.

      His second name is spelt without a cedilla, but in the French fashion of not pronouncing the last letter.

      So, if he insists on the French pronunciation, but fails to add the cedilla , surely it should be pronounced..

      FRONKOI

      Italian mother and French sounding father…

      Hmmm. Hardly an Englishman at all.

      Like

    1. Title song of Johnny Cash’s last album! Apocalyptic images from the Book of Revelation are mostly lost on me, and I have doubts about a womanizing, alcoholic, drug addict (Cash) posing as a deeply religious man who (in this case) also invokes theological references to the Book of Revelation.

      On the other hand, what’s not to like about a Johnny Cash song, and what’s TO like about right wing racist evangelicals and Trumpy?

      Liked by 4 people

            1. Tris…..Yep! Pompeo, for all his academic and professional credentials…….first in his class at West Point and graduate of Harvard Law school…….is a religious nut case and right wing Tea Party Republican from Kansas. He had his eye on a vacant US Senate seat in Kansas this year, but is apparently having too much fun being the right wing puppet master behind the idiot Trump. He has announced that he will not run for that Kansas Senate seat. He’s a militaristic war monger who’s been promoting war with Iran as forcefully as John Bolton was, and like all the right wing crazies, is solidly in bed with the right wing Israelis.

              Liked by 1 person

            1. Ed……..I’m always amazed that those people yammer on about the USA being a “Christian” nation. I often point out that in fact we are a secular constitutional republic whose constitution does not mention God even once……and “religion” only for the purpose of forbidding the state establishment thereof.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. LOL… Cameron once told us all Britain was a Christian nation.

                We could have got all technical about it I suppose and said that religion is based on belief, or faith if you will, and a collection of rocks and stones and water, hills and valleys, etc big or small, is quite incapable of holding faith or belief.

                Still, one Sunday just after that I was driving through town around the time that the churches get out… and the streets were pretty much empty, and it occurred to me that Brits tend to practise their Christianity from the comfort of bed.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Tris….There’s lots of American churchgoers I guess, but even here, the percent of people who tell pollsters they go to church is known to be a LOT more people than actually attend services.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Ah yes, Danny… I know. They are a bit like the people who tell the doctor that they only have a glass of wine every third Saturday evening, but who in fact drink a bottle a night.

                    I had a great aunt who did, in fact, go to church every week, and then she insisted on talking about it, but I never once managed to get her talking about the sermon. It was always what Mrs X had been saying about Mrs Y and how shockingly Mr Z treated his elderly mother. Or something pretty mundane about Mrs W wearing the same hat every week.

                    But on some occasions some rare scandal about the infidelities of this one or that.

                    And on one occasion it was the organist who had been looking at inappropriate pictures on his computer and had failed to switch it off when he went to work. His cleaner had inadvertently knocked the mouse when dusting and his inappropriateness had come, quite literally, to light as the poor woman was subjected to some horrific shots…(apparently).

                    Jeez, we got chapter and verse about that one, I can tell you!

                    Liked by 3 people

                  2. Great story Tris! Sounds like your great aunt went to an interesting church and much enjoyed the scandals. She probably considered sitting through the sermons a small price to pay for the entertainment.

                    Liked by 2 people

              2. What I only just found out quite recently that the “In God we trust” motto was not really an affirmation of faith in the almighty ( as I had ignorantly thought) more a very deliberate and pointed rejection of royalty and their quaint self-serving notion of the divine right of kings. As snubs go… impressive .

                Liked by 3 people

                  1. I understand that Harry is making noises that sound like he’s planning to get a job – is he actually qualified to do any job? I know he’s good at partying naked, which is always an asset in a gentleman, in my opinion – can he fly a helicopter, maybe? That would be pretty good if he can. And Meghan is likely to get tons of job offers to come on American sitcoms as a guest Princess or whatever. So I’m sure you don’t need to worry about their futures, Tris, kind-hearted soul as I know you are, underneath all that anti-monarchist bluster!

                    P.S. Pulling your leg a bit there, Tris. Actually, I think it’s a good thing Harry’s rejecting the monstrous edifice of privilege and constitutional flummery and nonsense; I understand Denmark’s crown prince has announced that he intends to be the last person in Denmark to wear a crown. I expect Harry knows about that – they all seem to be related in one way or another, even if not in fact by blood. Harry probably realises too that at some point in the future would be obliged to do a DNA test to prove he’s actually Chuck’s actual bodily son if he expects to continue being a charge on the public purse, and he’s ducking out before that happens.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Ed….Excellent comment!

                      I posted my two cents about the matter before I saw yours. (See below……or maybe above…..wherever this gets posted.)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. I( am a kindly soul, Ed.

                      As it goes, everyone I’ve met so far today seems to think that it’s an excellent idea.

                      I’ve always liked Fred of Denmark. Excellent fellow. I wish ours were more like him.

                      There’s a job going down at the chip shop in Broughty Ferry if Harry wants it.

                      Just being helpful there.

                      Liked by 2 people

                  2. This morning’s front page of the New York Post:

                    Some American TV news programs this morning led with turmoil in the House of Windsor. One showed the hysterical English tabloid headlines about Harry not telling the Queen that he and his (HALF) BLACK AMERICAN wife were resigning from the royal family…..or words to that effect. Now I’m reading that William thinks Harry has mental problems. Meghan is angry at the British press. There are charges of anti-Americanism AND racism. WOW!

                    Far be it from me to say I told the royals so…..LOL…..but I was only half joking when I said that taking an American woman into the royal family meant trouble ahead. Have the royals really forgotten Mrs. Simpson? Modern Americans fawn over the big royal shows the Windsors put on, but I would like to think that the 1776 attitude toward British royalty hasn’t really changed all that much. Whether high minded American republican principles were what motivated Mrs. Simpson and now, Meghan Markle, is another matter of course. 😉

                    Personally I have no sympathy for a wealthy American TV star who decides to take a fling at being a Duchess, and then finds that the royal family are snooty and the British tabloids are invading her “privacy.”

                    Article in the Times….a clever and snarky op-ed in the Washington Post……and Piers Morgan (on “Page Six” of the odious New York Post) is QUITE upset about it:

                    https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2020/01/08/dear-lifetime-hallmark-here-are-15-plot-ideas-your-next-prince-harry-meghan-movies/

                    https://pagesix.com/2020/01/08/piers-morgan-rips-meghan-markle-for-breaking-up-royal-family/

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Ha ha ha ha… Yeah, it’s dominating the news here too… I think I heard the Daily NMail or some such rubbish has 17 pages on it.

                      Jeez. 170 people killed on a crashed plane in Iran and we’re dedicating 17 pages in one paper to some snotty rich laddie and his wife.

                      I’m all for the break up of the family… I just wish they’d get on with it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Tris……I thought that this would be BIG in the media as soon as I saw it come up yesterday on the internet, just a few minutes after Harry and Meghan had posted on Instgram. I guess I saw it about as soon as the Queen did. 😉

                      So as soon as we got up, I turned on the big morning MSNBC news show at 5:00 AM…….and YES……..the LEAD story was Harry and Meghan telling the royals to go screw themselves. The plane crash…….the Iran war…….the impeachment articles that Nancy won’t send to the Senate……..all that came later.

                      Then I looked up the front page of the New York Post, a tabloid famous for outrageous front pages. The MEGXIT cover did not disappoint…….LOL.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Ed……Enjoyed the comedy! Talking about Febreze……an air and fabric freshener…….reminded me of one of the Meghan Markle stories. She reportedly declared that St. George’s Chapel at Windsor smelled musty, and Harry ordered it sprayed before the wedding. That apparently didn’t go over well with the royal retainers. (At least that’s the story.)

                      The New York Post describes itself as the nation’s oldest continuously published daily newspaper. It was founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton, who was one of the founding fathers of the republic…….George Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury (1789-1795) and an artillery officer in the revolutionary army. He was in one of the boats famously crossing the Delaware River with General Washington to attack the British Hessians at Trenton on Christmas night in 1776. (Not sure which boat Alex was in, but George is mocked by modern American school children for standing up in his boat. 😉 )

                      Anyway, the newspaper founded by the guy whose face is on the modern $10 bill, is now a big circulation tabloid…..once owned by Murdoch, now owned by News Corp……which prints outrageous covers and tabloid news stories. The MEGXIT cover is typical……..LOL.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. I recall back in the day when Zsa Zsa Gabor was sentenced to a few weeks in clink for dissing a traffic cop in LA, and at the same time Jim Bakker, the televangelist, was sent down for something like 20 or 30 years for massive fraud. The New York post billboard headline was “Ta Ta, Zsa Zsa, So Long Jim”. Truly inspired.

                      Bakker’s wife Tammy was something else again: the woman wore her makeup as if she’d plastered it on with a trowel, to the point where she looked totally artificial. I don’t think her hair was real either. I wondered how anyone could walk around with their eyelashes positively caked with mascara. A truly improbable sort of person, even without the bible-thumping.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    5. Tris…….OMG OMG…….the link you posted shows the Daily Mail in a terrible tizzy. And poor Piers Morgan appears to be apoplectic. 😉 😉

                      Let me just take a wild guess here and suggest that the Queen is very likely not amused……LOL.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Aye, Danny. The dear old Daily Mail does get in a terrible state about things…

                      It’s probably a reasonable guess to say that , there is an ambulance on standby outside the dear old Mail’s offices waiting for the next heart attack victim.

                      Liz must be totally pis… as you say, ‘not amused’.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    7. LOL ED……..I love “Ta Ta, Zsa Zsa, So Long Jim.” I remember now that you lived for a time in NY City and would be familiar with the NY Post.

                      At the time of her death many years ago, I read about the TV religious scam that Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker had going. I can imagine what fun the NY Post would have had with her.

                      Wiki says that Jim was originally sentenced (by a clearly hostile judge) to a 45 year prison sentence. But that was reduced to 8 years on appeal. He ended up serving about 5 years, and is back in the TV religious scam biz again.
                      Wiki: “He currently hosts The Jim Bakker Show, which focuses on the end time and the Second Coming of Christ while promoting emergency survival products.”

                      As for the NY Post, people love to say how much they hate the big circulation tabloid, while they LOVE the snarky banner headlines and outrageous cover pictures. 🙂

                      Liked by 2 people

                    8. Ahhh, Danny, but does he subscribe to the notion that Trumpy has been sent by God to save Israel?

                      Incidentally, are any of these televangelists straight up and down law abiding people… or are they all as crooked as a dogs hind leg?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    9. Tris……I have no idea what Jim Bakker’s view of Trump as an instrument of God is, but if you’ll send him money, he’ll sell you some “survival products” for the second coming of Jesus. Trumpy may well have something to do with this grand plan of course….LOL.

                      I suppose there may be some sincere evangelical ministers, but I figure they’re probably serving small churches and not getting filthy rich with their own TV show.

                      Peter Popoff appears on our TV a lot. His Miracle Spring Water is now available in a “larger size.” I feel sorry for the lady in the video who miraculously received $4,700 that allowed her to move to New York City. I would feel sorry for anyone moving to New York City of course, but $4,700 would only last a couple of days in the Big Apple. 😉

                      I think that old Pete was in prison a while back, but I’m not really sure. Maybe he was only charged. He’s been around a long time.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Popoff

                      Liked by 2 people

                    10. LOL Tris…….I’ll check with the Reverend Popoff to see if his Miracle Spring Water is available in Scotland, and if your miracle money could be denominated in pound sterling. There’s always the possibility of course that you would have to use it to move to Glasgow……or Edinburgh…….or maybe even London. 😉

                      Liked by 2 people

                    11. LOL….LOL……I’ll contact Harry about it when I see him. (Which seems more likely now than it did a while back. ;-))

                      I sent you a Washington Post article. It looks like Harry was getting stonewalled on this by Charles and the Queen’s staff, and he decided this would get the Palace’s attention. BOY did he ever get their attention apparently! Orders from the Queen to the relevant royal offices to interface with North American governments has been reported.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    12. The funny thing, Danny, as I was just starting to say in my reply to your email, is that although the newspapers and radio (and probably tv) news are just jam packed full of this crap, I’ve not heard anyone talking about it today and it’s not trending on Twitter in Edinburgh.

                      I’m not sure most of us here give a damn.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    13. Tris……It’s encouraging to think that sensible people are not actually consumed by the antics of the House of Windsor. I think that the screaming morning British tabloids are what impressed the American media. Then back to the Trump impeachment and the Mitch and Nancy show. 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    14. Maybe you recall that “Clean for the Queen” nonsense they put on a few years back – everywhere was to be made spick and span for the Queen’s something or otherth jubilee, and various street parties and other events and happenings were planned – in the end, there were none in Scotland. At one point it looked as if there might be an even of some kind in, I think, Elgin, but it too was cancelled when they sold only about half a dozen tickets. So nothing at all happened in Scotland to celebrate that particular jubilee. Which says quite a lot about Scots’ interest in Royal Doings.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    15. Ed…….Well, since Scotland is not especially royal-friendly, I guess Harry and Meghan have probably ruled out Scotland as their retirement home from royal life. 😉

                      You’ll have heard the joke about the Queen wondering why every place she visits smells like fresh paint. Well, before her last state visit to the White House during the DubYa Bush administration, the White House was repainted AND all the flower beds on the grounds were replanted. So yes, she probably smelled fresh paint. 😉

                      Liked by 2 people

                    16. A housing complex for the elderly in Dundee was, a few years ago, destined to be opened by the queen.

                      The day before turf was laid in all the gardens to make it look nice for HM. After she had officially declared the project to be open, and had taken herself an Philip off for lunch, the grass was rolled up and taken away.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    17. Re the Queen not seeing bare earth. Almost as bad as seeing naked commoners, eh, Tris? Definitely not for the eyes of Her Maj. She’s only interested in horseflesh, if you ask me, and even if you don’t.

                      Liked by 2 people

                1. Jake…..That’s very interesting!
                  It’s an interpretation of the USA’s official “national motto” that I’ve not heard (on this side of the Atlantic,) and one that I could support. 😉

                  The more traditional explanation is that “In God We Trust” first appeared on an American coin (the two cent copper coin of 1864) in the depths of the American Civil War, when death and destruction was rampant on an unprecedented scale, accompanied with a revival of traditional religious feelings and observances. The phrase was used unofficially more and more over the years, and then in 1956, it was made the official “national motto” by an act of Congress. That was a product of the national hysteria about “Godless” Soviet Communism that gripped the nation during the Stalinist era and the Cold War with the Soviet Union. It was during that same period (1954 I think) that hysterical religious cold warriors got the words “under God” added to the “Pledge of Allegiance” (to the flag.) I hate the idea of a pledge of allegiance to the flag, and I hate even more that the word “God” is there.

                  Such “God” references are periodically challenged in the courts as being in conflict with the constitutional separation of church and state. But the courts have generally upheld such references, as long as no PARTICULAR God is referred to. No references to a “Christian” God would be constitutionally acceptable.

                  There is always a tension between the secular (“Godless”) American constitution, and the majority of Americans who say they are religious. Therefore politicians will always pander to the religious nut cases ever chance they get. There are lots more religious voters in the USA than there are atheistic voters.

                  Strictly speaking, the only thing the constitution forbids is the “Establishment” of a state-sanctioned religion. However, over the life of the American republic, the courts have generally favored Thomas Jefferson’s concept of “separation of church and state,” and have generally created solid case law that interprets the “Establishment Clause” VERY broadly, in solidly Jeffersonian terms. But the WORD “God” does manage to slip by occasionally. 😉

                  Liked by 1 person

      1. The man in black was flawed he always admitted.
        But his voice was defo not
        With all his faults they were self inflicted and unlike the right wings nut jobs he did want pain inflicted on others

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I think I’m detecting a trend in BoJo the clown’s governing style; don’t be around when awkward questions may be asked or explanations may be required (strategically placed fridges).

    Instead let the minions front everything and always have something more important to attend to, the EU bunfight for the rest of the year is a Godsend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So, there’ll be no triumphal peal from Westminster.
    The famous bells will not be rung.
    It’s a pity in a way, I think,
    because they’d not ring out “Dong!”, but “Dung!”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I see that damn EU woman has
    Questioned the PMs negotiating
    Strategy ? Errr !!

    How very dare she to the King of the World 🌍

    Why one bong from Big Ben and she would be flat on her back .
    Hopefully with Boris not being there well you know what his
    Umm 🤔 proclivities are err !!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, Tris: I’d even go so far as to call it lèse-majesté! After all, The Boris is Her Majesty’s Government incarnate, is he not? Doesn’t he embody England’s sovereignty or something? This offence against our two sovereigns must not go unpunished!

        Tchah. They make me tired, Trump and Johnson. People with personality disorders do that to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Seems to be a bit of a tradition that when the Windsors marry a divorcee from former transatlantic colonies that they step back from royal duties.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yeah… I’d forgotten Eddy the 8th and Mrs Simpson. He kept his royal title and style though.

      Harry should lose the lot. If you want to be ordinary, be ordinary like an ordinary person has to be ordinary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The other thing about Edward VIII (no relation) is that he was an out-and-out fascist. Whether Wallis Simpson shared his ideology or not – and I think she did, they both admired Hitler – she must have been at the very least a right-wing Republican. Not there’s much or even any difference between them and fascists anyway. Danny probably has a better idea than I do.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes. That’s true… although I think some of the rest of the family probably shared his view.

          It’s said that the QM was to the right of Attila the Hun. and then there is the famous photograph of the QM, Liz and David doing a good only Nazi salute.

          And Edward and Simpson meeting up with Adolf…

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Over on WGD just now – https://is.gd/NrlL2i. “There’s been a murrdurr”, i.e., the murder of the devolution settlement. All this feeling furious and outraged is so exhausting – and even though Cassandra predicted that this outrage would come to pass back when the results of Brexit came in. She’s been predicting that the Tory regime at Westminster would try to hamstring, emasculate and strip Holyrood of its powers, or even try to shut it down. By tearing up the devolution settlement, they’re well on their way to doing just that. The Tories would probably like to see Holyrood merge with COSLA…

    So what are we Scots going to do about it? When does the Scottish Government withdraw from any cooperation with a regime that wants to see it gone? Aaargh!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Tories never wanted devolution. Presumably they knew that ever being in charge in Scotland was a dim and VERY distant prospect.

      When it passed in the referendum, I suspect that they saw the opportunity for some nice lucrative jobs in Holyrood and decided to settle in.

      And just look at how long some of them have lasted there….eh Murdo?

      Now for the first time since heaven knows when , they have a Tory government with no qualms about dismantling devolution.

      And, furthermore, if they tie it in with Brexit, none of their hand picked MPs will dare to vote against it.

      Added to which, of course, they will require to overrule any kind of opposition to whatever Trump demands as a Quid Pro Quo fora(probably terrible America First) trade deal.

      Come on Nicola. We need out of this ***t Fest.

      Liked by 2 people

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