Monday, 30 March 2015

Parliament Has Been Officially Dissolved After David Cameron Visits The Queen - General Election 2015

This is it!
Today is the official start of the General Election 2015.
At midday the Prime Minister David Cameron visited Buckingham Palace to see her Majesty the Queen to formally dissolve parliament.

The meeting of the Queen and David Cameron today, is absolute nonsense, it's simply an outdated tradition - and yet more proof of how out-of-touch those in power are with the general public of Britain.

Queenie Doodle

If I was a fly-on-the-wall during the brief meeting between the Queen and David Cameron I reckon this is roughly what I'd have overheard...........
David Cameron - ''Dear Queenie, 
I've had a good-run screwing over your peasants.
And if I'm re-elected, I'm certain you will be pleased to know that I will continue the noble tradition of 'the rich screwing the poor'.
I am going to make drastic benefits cuts, that take £12 Billion away from the poor and disadvantaged, but don't worry, rest assured, the biggest benefit scrounger in Britain will get to keep all of their benefits, and receive even more. So, yes, your family will continue to live in the lap of luxury, at the tax-payers expense - while the proles continue to struggle to survive, and are forced to use food banks - unless of course they die, which as we know has been happening; with suicides due to money worries increasing since the Tory party has been in power. So, that would save even more money, as there would be less scroungers to pay for.''

How do I think the Queen would respond to what David Cameron has told her?
Well, I doubt she would say much at all, because she cares even less about her people than the government does.

I wonder how many hard-working people will vote for the Tory party at the General Election 2015?
By hard-working, I mean the average person in the UK.
The regular man-on-the-street, or woman, the majority of 'us'. The people with 'normal' lives, living in their 'normal' houses, with their 2.5 children, struggling to pay their mortgages, stressed at the ever-increasing price of food and bills, angry about the fact our government gives away £14,933 billions in foreign aid (to corrupt countries, where the money does not help those most in need), worrying about the education their children are receiving at their state schools, and concerned about the reported failings of the NHS...........
I wonder how many of the 'average people' in the UK will vote Tory?
I wonder because it mystifies me , do they fully understand what they're voting for?
If any of the average people in the UK who can relate to any of the points I made above, realises that when David Cameron says he will make £12 Billion in benefits cuts, that those cuts may very well affect them - detrimentally.
David Cameron says he'll save £12 Billion by making further cuts in benefits, but he doesn't bother to mention that half of the people who are claiming benefits are employed. They are not, as the Daily Mail etc. would have you believe, lazy feckers who sit around watching Jeremy Kyle all day, and don't want to work.
Half of the people who claim benefits in the UK are employed. The reason they are forced to claim benefits is because of short-term contracts (which aren't worth the paper they are written on) and the fact that there's no fixed minimum wage.
So, I wonder if those people who are employed, but have to claim benefits, such as 'Tax Credits' realise that when the Tory party slag-off benefits claimants' - they are referring to them too?

I watched the Daily Politics on BBC earlier today, despite knowing that it raises my blood pressure - mainly due to the fact that the presenters, Jo Coburn and Andrew Neil are blatantly biased in their views about Tory and Labour (I think they should be impartial in their professional and public life), and yet again I ended-up ranting at the TV.
I find the whole political system in Britain so very frustrating.
For example -
We don't have proportional representation. We should have proportional representation.
Why haven't we got proportional representation? Because they don't want us to have it, that's why.
There was a referendum on proportional representation in 2011 - but apparently it was so deliberately made so complicated that people voted against it - or at least that's what the media reported.

The Tory party, by which I mean David Cameron keeps saying how well Britain is doing; there are more people with jobs; today he said that unemployment is the lowest it's ever been - which would be great if it was true. It's not true.
And even if it were, that wouldn't take into account the numbers of 'hidden unemployment' you know the people who are not counted as unemployed by the government because they need to skew the figures to make it appear as though they (the politicians) are doing a good job.

I also wonder how many people in Britain actually realise that people are seriously struggling to survive?
Do Mr and Mrs Average know that we have food-banks? Do they care? Or are they in so much financial trouble themselves that they can't afford to care?

David Cameron.  I no artist - clearly.

David Cameron also said today that things are going to plan...........
That we're paying off our debt.
That the economy is healthier - thanks to the work of the Conservative government.
It's all lies!
We are not paying off our debt we are borrowing more and more money, none of which appears to be used to help those in most need.
But the government obviously doesn't care about that, and why should they?
I mean, They're alright Jack!
They receive a decent wage, expenses, bonuses, good food and wine at ridiculously low prices in the House of Commons Bars and Restaurants, and they are protected from all that is wrong with this country.
They literally and quite obviously have absolutely no idea what life is like for the average person living in Britain today.

As usual I have wandered slightly off topic, and rambled on longer than I intended, so I think I'll end this blog post here...........
Except to say, you can read more about the 2015 General Election in the links below -
Tory claims about Labour's tax claims 'unfounded' - The Guardian
Ed Miliband gets into another row with business - The Independant
David Cameron attacks Ed Miliband in Downing Street speech - The Telegraph 
I want to 'see job through' says Cameron - BBC News
Ed Miliband wooes bosses with warning over EU exit risk - Financial Times  

The 2015 General Election will take place on Thursday the 7th of May.
According to the current opinion polls Britain is on course for a hung parliament.
A HUNG PARLIAMENT! Just as we had in 2010, which resulted in a coalition government of the Conservatives, lead by David Cameron and........... who? Oh yeah, Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats.
So, for the past five years the UK has been governed by a government that the public didn't elect, didn't vote for.
And sadly, it looks looks like once again we will be governed by another unelected Prime Minister - for the next five years - and if that doesn't prove just how archaic and ridiculous our political system is - then I don't know what does.
Hahaha! It would be funny - if it wasn't all so seriously outrageous.
And on that note.......
Do you intend to vote in the 2015 General Election?
Are you claiming any benefits?
Are you worried about your income being reduced by a further £12 Billion in benefit cuts?
Or are you blessed, independently wealthy, and living a life most people can only fantasise about? By which I mean you have the keys to Number 10 or Buckingham Palace etc.
So, which party will get your vote?
The Conservative Party?
The Labour Party?
The Liberal Democrats?
Or what about The Monster Raving Loony Party?
Or Al Murray, aka The Pub Landlord?

Friday, 27 March 2015

1994 Imperial Pale Stout, 20th Anniversary Brew, The Durham Brewery - Beer Review

One good thing about living in County Durham is that The Durham Brewery is a short drive from our house. Hehe!
We popped in to the brewery a while ago, and purchased a few of their beers, one of which was the 1994 Imperial Pale Stout, 20th Anniversary Brew - it was seriously good.
This white stout is 10.2% so the alcohol hits you from the very first sip, then comes the lovely hoppy flavour followed by pepper and fruit.
Mr.R and me shared the bottle we'd bought, and it didn't last long, it was so good we found it hard not to quaff it at speed.
Once we emptied the bottle we both said we wished we had another bottle - or two.
It was a really delicious and moorish beer, and one we would most definitely love to drink again.

Seriously good pale stout. ������ #blog #blogger #blogging © #TheDurhamBrewery #DurhamBrewery #ImperialPaleStout #PaleStout #Stout #RealAle #ale #1994ImperialPaleStout

From the bottle -
A celebration of 1994
20th Anniversary Brew

Peachy aroma, full-bodied bitterness packed full of Columbus hops with a spicy kick of pink peppercorns. 
750ml 10.2% ABV

Ingredients:- Malted barley, hops, yeast, wheat, pink peppercorns and orange peel.
Allergy advice:- Contains gluten 

Maximum units as recommended by UK Chief Medical Officer:-
Men 3-4 units per day.
Women 2-3 units per day.
This bottle contains 7.7 UK Units

Cheers! Strong, and lovely. ������ #blog #blogger #blogging © #TheDurhamBrewery #PaleStout #Stout #realale #ale #beer #bottleconditioned

The Durham Brewery,
Unit 6a,
Co Durham,
DH6 5PF.
Have you tried any of the beers from The Durham Brewery?
Have you had a bottle of 1994 Imperial Pale Stout, 20th Anniversary Brew?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Be Still - Rumi Quote

Be still. The soul has been given its own ears to hear things the mind does not understand.
- Rumi

I like this quote by Rumi.
And I like being by the sea.

So good to feel the sun on our skin. �� #beach #sand #sun #clouds #sky #CrimdonBeach #CountyDurham #England #noedit #nofilter

I shot this photo last week, when all three of us; me, Mr.R and Barley our Lurcher were having fun on one of our local beaches.
Bring by the sea always raises my spirits.
It was really good to get some exercise, breathe in the fresh sea air, and to feel the sun on our skin.
What do you do to lift your spirits?
Do you like Rumi?

Friday, 20 March 2015

Solar Eclipse 2015 - County Durham, England

This morning, me, Mr.R and Barley, our Lurcher decided to pop out for a short walk by the sea in the hopes of seeing the solar eclipse.
Well, I say we decided, but in truth Barley didn't voice an opinion about watching the solar eclipse, he was just happy to be going out for a walk. Hehe!

Anyway, we'd arranged to meet a friend and one of his dogs, a beautiful Bull Terrier, overlooking the sea by our house.

The three of us, me, Mr.R and Barley arrived at about 9:10am, our friend arrived a few minutes later. The solar eclipse was to occur at about 9:30am.
When we walked up to the pit cage (a monument for the closed down coal mine) there were a few other people waiting and watching the sky.
We'd chosen this place as it's the closest high point to out house, and as it's open countryside overlooking the sea, it seemed like a good place to view the solar event.

Very cloudy here, but the Universe blessed us with a small gap in the clouds. ������ #eclipse #SolarEclipse #sun #moon #clouds #sky #CountyDurham #England
Solar Eclipse 2015 - County Durham

Anyway, as I said there were a few other people there too; a couple of blokes with cameras set up on tripods, and a lady with her two dogs.
Me and Mr.R stood chatting to the lady, and our friend as we all waited, hoping the clouds would clear enough for us to get a glimpse of the solar eclipse.

Thankfully the Universe answered me; I'd been standing asking for a good view of the sun, and the clouds parted, leaving a small gap through which we saw the sun, and a decent amount of the actual solar eclipse.

The last time Mr.R and me experienced a total solar eclipse was when we lived in London and we were standing in Trafalgar Square watching it. I think it was August 1999, but as my memory is not good, I may be incorrect. Amnyway, it was a surreal moment, as everything stopped, even the birds were silent, and as the day darkened, there was an eerie atmosphere - but in a good way. It was a wonderful experience.

Very cloudy here, but the Universe blessed us with a small gap in the clouds. ������ #eclipse #SolarEclipse #sun #moon #sunrays #sea #seaview #countryside #NorthSea #clouds #sky #CountyDurham #England
Solar Eclipse 2015, sunrays on the sea - County Durham

Anyway, today the solar eclipse was a lot more than we were expecting simply because the sky was almost all clouds, so we didn't really think we'd be able to see anything.
But the Universe blessed us and we did get to see the spectacle in the sky.
As the weather was so very cloudy we didn't have such a good view as some areas of the UK and it didn't go particularly dark at all, but we were happy that we'd decided to go out to see the solar eclipse.

Unusually for me, as I always take hundreds of photos of everything, I didn't take any photos of the solar eclipse, not a single shot.
Why? Because I was too engrossed in talking to the lady with her two dogs. Ha! Typical me, a compulsive chatterbox.

When I'd first see the two men with the tripods I thought to myself that I'd take their photo later, because they were in silhouette, sitting inside the pit cage monument. It would have been a good shot, but as I didn't take the photo, you'll just have to take my word for how good it would have been. Hehe!

Solar Eclipse 2015, short video - County Durham

Thankfully Mr.R is the strong silent type, so he wasn't chatting, and he shot lots of photos and some video too - which I've borrowed for this blog post.
The video is silent, Mr.R had to strip the sound off - it was full of me, the lady with two dogs, and our friend all chatting. Hahaha!

I messed about with the two photos I borrowed from Mr.R, but if you want to see more photos and video here's a couple of links to todays newspapers -
Solar eclipse 2015: highlights - The Telegraph
'Breathtaking' solar eclipse witnessed by millions - BBC News
Did you see the solar eclipse today?
Did you make a special outing to see it, or were you lucky enough to see it from wherever you were?

Graves de Vayres Bordeaux, Chateau le Tertre 2012 - Wine Review

We drank this wine, Graves de Vayres Bordeaux, Chateau le Tertre 2012, one evening last week.
I intended to write a wine review blog post about it the following day, but as usual I didn't get round to it, but despite my bad memory I do remember that I liked this wine.

Chateau le Tertre 2012  Bordeaux

The wine poured a beautiful ruby jewel colour in the glass.
On the nose were ripe red and black fruits, plums, a little touch of spice, and vanilla.
On the palate Chateau le Tertre 2012 had a strong earthy flavour, with graphite, black cherries, raspberries, juicy plums, tobacco, mocha, and vanilla.
Graves de Vayres Bordeaux, Chateau le Tertre 2012. 13.5%vol
Have you tried Graves de Vayres Bordeaux, Chateau le Tertre 2012?
Did you like it?
Would you buy it again?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Beach Fun With Our Lurcher, And His Friend, A Bull Terrier

Yesterday morning, Mr.R, Barley, our lovely Lurcher, and me, all went to one of our local beaches.

We'd arranged to meet a friend there, who brought one of his dogs with him, a gorgeous Bull Terrier called Mandy.

Happy boy. ����☺️ #Lurcher #dog #sighthound #rescuedog #beach #sea #CrimdonBeach #CountyDurham #England

The weather was dull, but that didn't stop me taking lots of photos of Barley and Mandy.
I couldn't resist, I am obsessed with our gorgeous boy Barley, and Mandy is a sweet girl.

Mandy! ���� #BullTerrier #dog #beach #sea #CrimdonBeach #CountyDurham #England

Unfortunately, because the sky was all clouds, and everything was so dull, the shots I took yesterday are not as punchy as they could have been, but I like them - despite the lack of sunshine.
And because neither Barley or Mandy were still for more than a nano-second it wasn't easy to actually get any shots of them at all, so I'm happy with what I did manage to snap. If any part of them was actually in the frame I was pleased. Hehehe!

Legs. ��������⚽️ #BullTerrier #beach #CrimdonBeach #CountyDurham #England

All five of us, three adults, and two excited dogs, had a really good time walking along the beach for a couple of hours.
By the time we'd all walked back to the cars we were feeling quite exhausted, but in a good way.
I love being by the sea, breathing in all the salty fresh air, and getting some extra exercise.
My right thigh felt particularly tired after I'd spent most of my time, when I wasn't taking photos of Barley and Mandy, kicking the football for the dogs to chase.

Friends. ������ #BullTerrier #Lurcher #dog #sighthound #rescuedog #beach #CrimdonBeach #CountyDurham #England

I'm no David Beckham, but I think the dogs appreciated my footballing skills, as they continued to run off after the football every time I kicked it. Bringing the ball back to me seemed to be asking too much from Barley and Mandy. So not only did I get to kick the ball for them, I also had to run and retrieve it, so I could kick it again. Hahaha!
They did bring the ball back to me sometimes, just not every time.
And it wasn't long before Mandy proved just how sharp her teeth are - the football didn't stand a chance. Ha!
But even after the ball was punctured, and full of seawater and sand, I still managed to kick it for them to chase.

Come on human, kick the ball! ����⚽️ #BullTerrier #Lurcher #dog #beach #sea #CrimdonBeach #CountyDurham #England #ILoveMyLurcher

We'd also taken a tennis ball for Barley and Mandy to run after, but that also suffered a fatal puncture wound. Hehe!
Burst balls, aching legs, fresh sea air, lots of exercise, and two very happy dogs - a perfect morning.
Does your dog loves playing fetch?
Do they bring the ball back to every time?
And how long do your footballs or tennis balls survive?

Friday, 13 March 2015

Don Pelayo Tempranillo Garnacha Reserva 2008 - Wine Review

It's always a good time for a glass bottle of wine!

A couple of days ago we enjoyed a bottle of Don Pelayo Tempranillo Garnacha Reserva 2008.

Don Pelayo Tempranillo Garnacha Reserva 2008. £6.98 reduced to £4.37 at Asda. ��

Mr.R purchased this wine from Asda, it was reduced from £6.98 to £4.37.
Tempranillo, Monastrell. 11.5% vol.

Don Pelayo Tempranillo Garnacha Reserva 2008. £6.98 reduced to £4.37 at Asda.

This wine pours a rich deep cherry colour in the glass.
The aroma was of ripe fruits and oak.
On the palate we tasted raspberries, chocolate, a hint a spice, subtle vanilla, oak, and it was pleasantly smooth wine.
For under a fiver, it was a decent red.
Have you tasted Don Pelayo Tempranillo Garnacha Reserva 2008?
What did you think about this wine?