Apr 29, 2007

My Dad and Fishing.

I was thinking of my Dad the other day. I think the only real person I have grieved over and then not very long. I had said all I had to say too him long before his death. I had no regrets. I spoke to him on the phone the night before he died, he was well into his 80s and was recovering from a stomach cancer operation. He died from a massive heart attack the following day. He was a tough old bugger, he had an operation for cancer of the throat 20 years before, a couple of minor heart attacks and had nursed my mother through the many years of Parkinson's disease and her decent into senility.

I wont say that his death was unexpected it wasn't, it was just that I had not expected it then. When I talked too him on the phone we had talked about him coming over to see us and stay with my family in Holland. He reasoned that he would be fit and well enough to take the plane in a couple of weeks. I was looking forward to seeing him and so was my son who always referred to him as Granddad England. I think that my first reaction when my brother phoned the following day to tell me that “t'ld lad” had died in the night, was shit why couldn't he have waited a few more weeks, a very selfish reaction, but he would have understood why. Then I started crying and in a few minutes it was all over. The hardest part was telling my son that Granddad England would not be coming to see him and would never be coming to see him. I think doing that made me realize that not only him but myself would never see him again. That I think was the end of my real grieving process.

I think that what got me thinking about my Dad was when I was moving his beautiful split cane fishing rod, to do some cleaning. I had wanted to do some fishing, I think I was about 10, I asked him if I could borrow his rod. “Nay lad, but I'll mek thee one”. was his reply. True to his word he did, and very professional one it was. It was not long after the war and he went to the local army and navy store and bought a 7 foot whip aerial for a few coppers from the fishing shop he bought me a cheap reel, line, float, weights and hooks and a set of eyes for lashing on the aerial, plus a couple of ferrels for holding on the reel. It took him about a week and I watched him lash the eyes to the aerial and varnish it cut a piece off the end of an old broom stick sand it down and smooth it he drilled a hole in one end and fixed in the aerial, a coat of linseed oil made the wood shine and a coat of varnish sealed it. It was a dam good rod. I have bought other rods over the years, but they never felt the same. He showed me how to tie on the floats and the hooks and made a hook disgorger out of a nail.

My first fishing expedition was on a Saturday morning, I remember that well. The best time for fishing is always in the morning he told me. We got everything ready the night before and he got me up at six o'clock to see me off. I carried my supplies in an old khaki gas mask satchel, a bottle of cold tea, sandwiches wrapped up in newspaper, worms in a jam jar, fishing tackle in a tin box, and a bone for my dog who went everywhere with me. He was right you know, early morning is the best time to go fishing. I don't think that I was ever a born fisherman, but I certainly was born to go fishing. I was never really bothered if I caught anything, but I certainly enjoyed those early morning fishing trips. Watching the watery sun coming up and driving the mist off the top of the pool listening to the dawn chorus or the booming note of the Bittern that seems to come from everywhere at once. I had a favorite spot tucked in under the bank of the pool. I later took Binoculars with me and I saw over the years most of what English wild life has to offer. Badgers stoats weasels foxes and I can name at a glance most birds. I never caught many fish. I think in all the year I went fishing I never caught one over a pound. I can still see him waving me off in the breaking dawn and going back into the house to catch a few more hours sleep. Thank you Dad.

Apr 18, 2007

Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi tells the truth

It is not very often that I agree with a muslim, especially an Imman. I lived and worked for several years in Quatar in the mid 70s, where he comes from and I know what he is talking about. Quatar was just gearing up to spend the extra Billions of Dollars it received after the price hike. Fancy building projects were in the pipeline. I had been hired along with a few other Englishmen to build and run an automatic concrete block factory. The firm by the way was Arabic and the Boss of all people was called Ali Bin Ali. I have to admit he was a decent fellow and I never had any trouble with him what so every, he was always polite and paid my wages into my bank ever week with out fail. Building the plant was not really a problem, the problems came when we had to get people to work there. A certain percentage had to by law be locals. I smile now when I think about it, to cut a long story short one of us went to India and hired the necessary people and two translator because they all spoke different languages. Thank God I have a sense of humour otherwise I don't think I would have survived, the next six months, well that is another story, for another day. The point I am trying to make is that not one employee at the plant was Quatarian. When the oil runs out it will be back to driving camels and diving for pearls. Anyway enjoy.

We use trains and planes, but they are not our trains or planes. The (Westerners) manufacture them and export them to us. True, we can buy the most magnificent things in the world, products for our homes and for ourselves. Our people can buy the most luxurious cars, Rolls-Royce or Mercedes 500 or 700, models S, M, and L with all the luxuries. We own them, but we don't manufacture them. We don't even produce a single nail in any of these cars. Others do this for us.

The income of the entire Arab world, including the oil-producing countries, does not reach the that of a European country, such as Spain. Spain – let alone Germany, France, Britain, or Italy. Just Spain, which is at the bottom of the list of industrial countries... The income of the entire Arab world does not reach it. How come? Because we don't work, and if we do work, we don't do it professionally.

They conducted a survey of the average time that a government employee spends working in a certain Arab country. The average was 27 minutes a day. 27 minutes! The rest of the time he drinks coffee, reads newspapers, and goes on errands here and there. Only a small number of people work. The rest do not.

In the mid 1970s I went to Germany. We arrived during in the morning. I asked the guy who took me from the airport to the convention hall… As I was passing through the empty streets, I asked him how come the streets were not busy, like in our countries. He said: "People are at work." After 7 p.m. he took me back to the hotel, and the streets were empty. I said to him: "What's going on, the streets are empty again." He said: people are back home from work, and they are exhausted. All they want is to eat their dinner, watch the news, and then go to bed, because early next morning they have to wake up for hard work. They commute more than an hour to work and back, and spend an hour at lunch. They work non-stop.

We are a nation that doesn't work. How can we develop if we don't work? When we do work, we don't do it professionally. We keep saying "Don't worry, later, later…" Islam teaches us to do things professionally. Doing things professionally is a religious duty. The Prophet said that Allah ordered to excel in everything. He imposed excellence and professionalism. Professionalism must be followed in everything. "If you kill, do it properly, and if you slaughter, do it properly." Even when killing, you must do well.

Unfortunately, we do not excel in either military or civil industries. We import everything from needles to missiles. This is our nation. We still haven't manufactured an engine in our Arab countries. We assemble parts, but have no manufacturing industries. India has manufactured a car, and even a plane, while we still go around in circles like a bull in who turns a grinding mill or a water weal until it reaches exactly where it started.

How come the Zionist gang has managed to be superior to us, despite being so few? It has become superior through knowledge, through technology, and through strength. It ahs become superior to us through work. We had the desert before our eyes but we didn't do anything with it. When they took over, they turned it into a green oasis. How can a nation that does not work progress? How can it grow?

Swedish Police on Patrol

I remember as a young boy a different form of policing. The local policeman cycled round the village on an old sit up and beg bicycle, with his cape fastened on his handlebars. He never even carried his truncheon in the special inside pocket in his trousers. He had time for everybody knew everybody and had the finger on the pulse of the village. I don't think he even arrested anybody, a quick word into the ear of any offender or potential offender was enough to stop any budding crime.

My Dad said to me one day “ The policeman said he saw you stealing apples out an orchard yesterday is that true?” and so ended my budding criminal carrier. How could he have seen me, he couldn't have done, I had seen him riding out of the village minutes before. It was only later when I used to drink with that good and decent human being in his main office, the local pub, that I worked out how the system worked. Somebody would walk into the bar, get his attention, and the pair of them would disappear into the corridor for a bit of privacy. He would be back in a few minutes and the conversation would be taken up where it left off. Perhaps later somebody else would walk in and join us and he would quiet casually say, can I have a word with you in private and off they would wander. Here was the main hub of his communications. Somebody had seen me climbing over Grundy Graham's orchard fence, reported me to the policeman, who after appraising the situation decided the best course of action, would be to have a quiet word in my Dad's ear the next time he saw him. The result was that crime was virtually non existent.

Now of cause the population is not so homogeneous, with non of our shared values, and the police have retreated from the streets into there ivory towers, where they seem to do nothing more than collect statistics, organize public relations campaigns, and try and carry out the edicts passed down by the petty fuhrers in the Home office. I think now only one in 40 policemen are available for street patrol. Is it any wonder that crime is exploding.

I visited the village of my youth a couple of years ago when I was last in England. I was talking to our local vicar when the patrol car arrived to take her statement about a burglary in the church. It had taken them two hours to answer the call. They were decent hard working coppers, but I got the surprise of my life when they got out of the police car. They were wearing utility belts that would have put Batman to shame, American style night sticks and Handcuffs prominently on display, and I don't know what else. I rather impertinently asked one of the coppers if with all that equipment at there disposable couldn't Scottie have just beamed them down. He smiled and said he wished he could have done, but there was only a couple of patrol cars in this rural area to look after about 30 villages, two hours delay wasn't such a bad delay after all.

What has this to do with this photo of a Swedish policeman on patrol, well everything really. It seems that all the law enforcement agencies in all of the western countries have retreated from enforcing the law and protecting the citizen and his rights, to protecting there own rights. It is a sad reflection on our society, when a policeman has to draw his gun when on patrol, and it is only one step down from firing it, and two steps down from the military taking over his job. If action is not taken, and taken quickly the future looks black for my children and grandchildren

Apr 16, 2007

The Baron makes Friends

It seems that the Danes have affectionately taken the good Baron to heart, here is a quick summary of the Baron's visit, posted on Steen's Blogg. I hope that Steen will forgive me for any loss of nuances in the translation. VENI. VIDI. VICI. Are three words that immediately spring to mind.

Denmark has in Baron Bodissy from the Gates of Vienna in the USA a great and unusual friend. After three days with this buzzing poly-historian and hibernated hippie, one becomes a little confused by his enthusiasm and love of the land, it cannot be true that we are so wonderful? His passions are etymology and Bach, but his is just as at home in the history of art, migration, India, China, Afghanistan, and Islam, as in Shakespeare's sonnets and Wilfred Owen's poems, besides being a political carnivore, and a civilized human being. During all of his visit to Copenhagen he has frenziedly practiced his newly acquired Danish, very impressive.
There will undoubtedly come more out of the meeting, but I am now forced to post The Baron's tale to the gathered Danes Norwegians Swedes and English. Baron Bodissy, Denmark's foremost visitor is getting ready to conquer Jutland. Thank you for coming, Baron, it was our pleasure, don't let 40 years go by before your next visit.