Friday, 19 September 2014

Scotland Rejects Independence - No Vote Wins Referendum

Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom.
No surprise there.

Initially I thought about staying up last night, to wait for the results to be reported in the early hours of this morning. But I was tired, and I had a feeling the 'no' vote would win, so I went to bed.

This morning, bright and early, well, actually it wasn't bright it was dull and foggy, but it was early as we prepared to take the dog out for his morning constitutional, but before we left the house I turned on the TV to see the news headlines, and what I already knew - Scotland had rejected independence.

A record breaking 84.6% turned out at the polling stations.
I guess that's something good at least; people taking an active interest in politics, hoping they can make a difference, a change.

So, that's it, for now, Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom.


It's an odd feeling when you think you know the outcome, the result, of something, and then you find out you were correct, and rather than feeling pleased, you feel down. That's how I felt, when it was confirmed that Scotland are remaining in the United Kingdom.
It's not that I have anything against Scotland in particular, as a country I mean, in fact I am of the opinion that Scotland is the most beautiful country in the World. Or maybe that honour should go to Wales? Either way, I often say that Scotland, and/or Wales are the most beautiful countries, and that's even after spending several years travelling the World where I have seen many beautiful places.
But I digress, so, yeah, Scotland. I don't dislike the country, I simply do not agree with the way the England is treated like a second class citizen.
England always gets the shitty end of the stick.

Scotland receives £1,600 per head more than the English.
That is not fair.
Scotland has free university education for its citizens.
That is not fair.
Scotland gets lots more things for free, that the English do not receive, I'm too lazy to list them all here, but I think you get the jist.
None of this is fair.

But then we do not live in a fair country - unfortunately.

Maybe things are going to change, and not for the worse, but for the better.
Alex Salmond is saying that Westminster must keep the promises it made to Scotland, and be quick about it.
While David Cameron is saying he wants Scottish MP's barred from voting on matters than directly concern England.
That does seem fair.
It is seriously outrageous that currently Scottish MP's vote on things that only concern England. How can that be called democracy?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if David Cameron, or whoever replaces him at Number 10, actually does something for the people, rather than doing things to benefit themselves or big business. They should do something for the people who pay their wages. But will it happen?
I hope so.

Anyway, this was meant to be a brief blog post stating that Scotland voted, they didn't win independence, and they still remain part of the United Kingdom - for now at least.
Ha! Why didn't I just write that? It would have saved me time, and some precious brain cells.
What are your thoughts about Scotland and their referendum for independence?

Cepa Lebrel Reserva 2009 - Wine Review

This wine is another of our buys from Lidl, it cost £5.99.

Mr.R really enjoys Rioja, but I've never been a fan - until now.
Maybe it's age, or maybe my palate appreciates different flavours, but I'm enjoying Rioja a lot more than I ever used to.
This was a particularly enjoyable bottle of Rioja. It was spicy on the nose, with subtle flavours of strawberry, oak, and vanilla. It definitely improved in taste once it had be allowed to breathe for a while.

Cepa Lebrel Reserva 2009. Red wine.

From the bottle label -
Cepa Lebrel wines are the result of years of experience and dedication. Full of character, structure and body, this Reserva has been aged for 36 months, 18 of which took place in oak barrels. We recommend decanting the wine before serving. Once opened, consume within 3 days.

Cepa Lebrel Reserva 2009. Red wine.

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating, so I'll say it again, you can't beat Lidl for reasonably priced, very drinkable wine, and this Rioja is definitely one we'll be purchasing again.
Have you tried Cepa Lebrel Reserva 2009?
Did you like it?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Scotland Decides - Referendum on Independence

There's been lots of news reports in the papers and all over the internet during the last few days, about the referendum in Scotland, and yet today, a day which is possibly the biggest day in British history since WWII, news coverage has been suspiciously quiet.
Maybe the news stations are worried about receiving death threats; if you believe what has been reported over the last week or so, several high profile news reporters and big businesses have been sent threats against themselves and their families.

I know people are still voting, but why aren't there any interviews etc. on the news, politicians spouting nonsense, or well-known pundits voicing their thoughts about Scotland voting for independence?
It all seems very odd to me - the lack of reporting.

So, what will Scotland decide?
The polling stations opened this morning for voting at 7am and will remain open until 10pm this evening.
The results will be revealed in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

I'm not going to write what I want to happen, mainly because I don't want to jinx the result. ;)
But having paid close-ish attention to what Alex Salmond has been saying ever since he first publicly spoke about the Yes No vote, I do think it's all a bit vague. I mean there doesn't seem to be any real fiscal policy, what he's said seems to all be pie in the sky, so if the majority votes yes, it will be interesting to see what happens.

Also 'interesting' is how many famous people and celebrities are speaking out about the referendum in Scotland, it's interesting because most of them don't even live in the UK - or the real World. ;)

I seriously think that we should all get to vote. By we and all, I mean British people. I mean just because us Brits don't reside in Scotland, does not mean we are not going to be affected by this referendum.

David Cameron seems to be losing the plot, more than usual, about Scotland and the possibility of it becoming independent.
I guess that explains why he has said that if they vote 'No' Scotland will be given even more powers.
They already get a say about what we do in England. But England doesn't get to say what they do in Scotland. Hardly seems fair, or democratic, does it?

If you can believe the figures printed in the press, Scotland raises £45 billion a year in taxes, but it receives £62 billion in public spending.
So that's a lovely subsidy of £17 billion, courtesy of the rest of the UK. Not bad eh?

I want to vote. I really do. I think I should be able to vote in something that whether the result is yes, or no, will undoubtedly influence my life for many many years to come.
It just does not seem right, or fair, that the majority of the people in the UK are being denied a vote on whether to break up the United Kingdom, and that is exactly what this referendum is all about.
It may be headlined as Scotland voting to become independent from the rest of the UK, but it doesn't only concern Scotland, it is an important issue for all British people.
And yet, because of the rules about who can and can't vote, the future of United Kingdom will be, in part, decided by the Polish, Lithuanians, Romanians, and thousands of schoolchildren, because they live in Scotland.
This isn't an immigration issue for me, I don't have a problem with people from Poland, Lithuania, or Romania voting. If they live in Scotland, then that seems fair.
I also have no problem with children being allowed to vote, as they are also living in Scotland.
But I do have trouble accepting the fact that the rest of us Brits living in the United Kingdom get absolutely no say in the outcome of the referendum in Scotland.
So much for democracy!

Right, that's just about all I want to say. Well, I could say a lot more, but I think I'll leave it now.
What's your opinion about all of this?
Do you think Scotland should become independent?
Or Should they remain as a part of the United Kindgom?
Do you think it's fair that only people residing in Scotland (registered to vote in Scotland) are allowed to vote?
Or do you think that all British people should be entitled to cast their vote?
I really would love to hear what you think. 

Hardys Stamp, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 - Wine Review

We've had many many bottles of this wine.
It's reasonably priced, always seems to be in stock in our local supermarket, and it's very drinkable.
Hardys Stamp, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 is a fruity, quite well structured wine, enjoyably quaffable.

Hardys Stamp, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

From the label -
Thomas Hardy's pioneering spirit and passion for winemaking spans five generations and is at the heart of our outstanding range of Hardys Wines. 

The Stamp range was inspire by Thomas Hardy and was one of the first wines to be exported from Australia. This range showcases our winemakers' blending skills both from diverse regions and grape varieties to produce outstanding delicious wines. 

A medium-bodied wine rich in mulberry, cherry and plum flavours, with subtle spiced oak characters and a juicy finish - perfect with lamb, beef or mushroom based dishes. 

Hardys Wine seems to be well marketed, and available everywhere.
Have you tried this, Hardys Stamp, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 wine?

Friday, 12 September 2014

Todays News - In Brief

I don't often watch the news on TV, or read the news, either in the newspapers or online, because I think it's all too depressing, but today the sun is shining and I feel good, so I had a look.

Here are a few of the news headlines from today -
although some of these stories are not todays news, they're a day or two old.

  • Ian Paisley, former First Minister of Northern Ireland, died aged 88.
  • Eastenders actor John Bardon died, aged 75.
  • Oscar Pistorius found guilty of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Guilty of manslaughter, not murder. He is free on bail, until sentencing. 
  • Robert Young, former guitarist, of Primal Scream died, aged 49.
  • 60 dogs killed, and many others injured, when Manchester Dogs' Home caught fire in an arson attack. Jason Dyer, 41, and his nephew Dean Rostock, 25, bravely ran into the burning building and rescued 20 dogs. This is a heartbreaking story, but the outpouring of love and generosity from the local people in Manchester, and across England is truly heartwarming. RIP the dogs who died. 

It's not all death...
But it's not exactly good news.......

  • Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said drunks who end up in casualty at hospitals should be charged, and that their treatment should not be paid for by taxpayers. Hmm, interesting considering the amount of tax we pay on alcohol in this country. And personally, I object to the MP's wasting my tax money, not the drunks.
  • Pre-orders for the new iPhone 6 crashed the Apple website.
  • UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, wants the Queen to speak out about Scottish independence. He said she has spoken in favour of the union previously and should do so again now. He reportedly said it 'might be handy' if the Queen voiced her opinion. 

And now for some good news.
Well, about as good as it gets considering the mess us humans seem to be making of the World.......

  • This evening Britain will experience a rare display of the Northern Lights. According to the news, Northern parts of the UK will get to see the impressive natural light display. That's something nice to look forward to, if you happen to be up North, and it's a clear night.

There were a million (almost literally) other stories I could have mentioned, but they're mainly about our inept corrupt politicians, or 'celebrities', neither of which deserve my time or attention.
And more importantly, in these days of prolific social media use, you really can't believe much, if anything, of what is reported.
It is easier than ever to spread inaccurate facts and to report made-up stories and complete nonsense.
It seems as though everyone has an agenda of some sort, whether it's to flog you an amazing new waist trimming yogurt, a miracle wrinkle cream, a car, or to convince you that so-and-so did not cheat on their partner with such-and-such a person, or that the West doesn't give billions of pounds to dictators while our own people are using food banks, or that we in the West don't sell arms to terrorists.......
Grrr, the list of the crap that gets reported as news goes on and on and on.......
So, most of the time there is little point in paying any attention at all to the news.

I wish the news was more positive, or at least had a happy ending.
I'm sure I remember the news being better when I was a child. The newsreader on TV would always end the programme with a lovely story about someone growing a giant marrow, or a Great Dane giving birth to 11 healthy and gorgeous puppies.

I want funny news, and I want funny news because there's no other news to report.
No murders. No rapes. No abuse. No violence. No war. No corruption. No crime. No natural disasters.
Just lots of funny news stories, about giant vegetables, sweet puppies, and love. Lots and lots of lovely stories about love.
I can but dream.......
Do you take much interest in the news? Or like me, do you find it too depressing?
Do you wish for a World where there's only ever good things to report?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Chanel N°5 Bath Gel

I can't remember the last time I had a bath.
Yes, I am a soap dodger, but that's not the reason I can't remember when I last had a lovely warm relaxing bubble bath. The reason for that is because I prefer to shower.
Actually, that's not entirely true, it's more that showering in our current house is easier than having a bath - because the hot tap in the bath is a tricky bugger, and it never seems to stay hot enough for long enough to fill the bath.
Our shower is much better behaved, it's perfect; hot, powerful, and once I'm in there I never want to get out - despite being a soap dodger. ;)

Chanel No5

Anyway, my lack of lounging in a bath of lovely warm bubbly water is why I hadn't opened my bottle of Chanel N°5 bath gel, apart from to smell it, for years. That's only a slight exaggeration.
I love the smell of Chanel N°5, mainly because it always reminds me of my mum. Chanel N°5 is her favourite perfume, and she loves the other products in the range too, including the bath gel.
It's wonderful how breathing in the perfumed scent of this bath gel evokes such good memories of my mum, who always smells very lovely.

Chanel. Bath gel. Bubbles.

Unfortunately, as I've had this bottle of Chanel N°5 bath gel for a long long long time, I'm pretty sure it's gone off, so it's going in the bin - not that there's much left in the bottle, thankfully.
Do you like Chanel N°5?
Do you wear Chanel N°5 perfume?
Or are there other Chanel beauty products that you love?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Buckingham House 1714 - 1st Class Postage Stamp

I'm not a philatelist, but I like stamps.

Buckingham House 1714. Stamp. Mail. Post. Postage. Philately. Philatelist. Building. Architecture.

I received a Thank You card recently, and this was the stamp on the envelope. Nice isn't it?
Are you interested in stamps?
Do you ever notice the stamps on your mail?