Monday, 2 March 2015

Liam Fox Says David Cameron Must Guarantee Defence Budget, and Other Various News

Liam Fox, the former defence secretary, has reportedly said that David Cameron will have problems with his fellow tories unless he guarantees a future defence spending budget of 2% of GDP.

Liam Fox voices defence sponding concerns - read more in the Western Daily Press
American should sort out their own country, before interfering in ours

The United States have also reportedly commented on our politics yet again, saying they're not happy with how little the UK is spending on its military forces - or something like that.
Whenever the US starts interfering in our business I tend to groan and ignore the news - hoping they'll bugger-off and leave us to run things how we choose.
Wishful thinking eh?!

US concerned about UK defence cuts - read more on Sky News

Anyway, it's Monday, the start of a new week, and already British politics is frustrating me...........
Foreign Aid, Defence Budget, blah, blah blah...........

I think our government should concern themselves with far more serious and important matters, like that fact that UK citizens are being forced to use food banks and community shops to feed themselves and their families.

It's hard to believe that the UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the World, and that it is the year 2015, when so many people are struggling just to survive.
The government should most definitely not be giving our money away in Foreign Aid, and nor should it be worrying about the defence budget.
If people continue to die from lack of enough food, and other issues associated with poverty, the UK won't need any military protection at all - because they'll be no one left alive to protect.
Yes! People are dying of starvation, in the UK, in 2015! Hard to believe, but sadly it's true.
There are at least 60 suicides currently being investigated where the cause is reported to have been money worries, or more accurately no money.

At least 60 British citizens were so desperate about their living conditions that they killed themselves.
If I hadn't read the news report myself I probably wouldn't have believed it.

How can a country as financially wealthy as Britain have so many people living in poverty?
Or should I say dying in poverty?

David Cameron.  I no artist - clearly.
Doodle of David Cameron

It's when I read these type of news reports that I wonder how our politicians can sleep at night.
But then I realise they probably sleep very well indeed, because the truth is they just don't care.
They don't care that people are starving, homeless, and in need of help.
Want proof? Look no further than the benefits sanctions that they are so keen on.
Just last week I read several articles about people who claim benefits having their benefits sanctions, which is less direct way of saying stopped because they were considered unworthy for various illogical reasons.
One lady couldn't sign-on at the benefit office because she was in hospital. Her benefit money was sanctioned and she fell behind with her rent, and ended up being evicted, so now she's homeless.
Another lady was struggling to feed her children, she had 6 children if I remember correctly, two of them were disabled, which meant the mother was their full-time carer, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Her benefits were suddenly sanctioned because she was unavailable for work, and she too is now facing eviction, with 6 children.

Benefit Sanctions and Suicides - read more in the Guardian 

I don't suppose David Cameron and his cronies are even aware of the existence of people like the ones I've mentioned.
They have absolutely no idea what's going on in Britain. They are so distanced from everyday life.
They live such over-protected lives themselves that it's almost as though they are a completely different species from the average man on the street. 

That's why, every now and then, you'll get a politician taking part in a TV programme, usually on Channel 4, where they 'prove they're just like us' and they'll 'live on £50 a week' or move into a council tower block for a week etc.
But that's the point, they are such complete muppets, thinking that 'living' in a council flat for 7 days on a budget of fifty quid enables them in any way to comprehend what life is really like for people for who that life is a harsh reality.

Seven days after filming commenced and they're back home living in luxury. 
In seven days it's highly unlikely that seriously soul-destroying depression will have gripped them, or that the ill effects of a basic diet will have harmed their health in any noticeable way...........
And that's not to mention the safety aspect, and the stress. Obviously being ever-so-important politicians means that during filming they are always perfectly safe, and not likely to be mugged or stabbed by a smack-head in the lift of the tower block.

I could go on, but I've already wandered off topic from Liam Fox, defence budget, and David Cameron, and I've more or less run out of steam now...........

So, to recap, the government should not be giving our money in foreign 'aid' or upping defence expenditure - not while we have British people suffering.

Ah, just one more thing before I finish -
I literally just read that a third of the Ebola aid money given to Sierra Leone is unaccounted for.
What a shock!
Proof that giving 'aid' to other countries is not what's best for Britain, or anyone else either.
Sierre Leone Ebola Money Missing - read more in the Guardian

When will Britain grow a pair and stop chucking good money after bad?
When will the British government put the people who pay their wages first?
Enough is enough!
Do you get riled-up over British politics?
If so, you're more than welcome to let it all out in the comments. 

Friday, 27 February 2015

Paarl Mountains by Boland Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 - Wine Review

We bought this wine last night from the local Co-op supermarket, and very nice it was too.

Paarl Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Many many moon ago during our first trip travelling around the World we visited South Africa, where among other things we enjoyed lots of South African wine.
This wine comes from the Paarl wine district which is North of Stellenbosch, and Stellenbosch is just one of the really lovely places we stayed during our travels, so it was pleasantly nostalgic for us to drink this wine.

Anyway, less rambling, more thoughts on this particular bottle of wine.
Paarl Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 was a very enjoyable wine indeed.
Mr.R and me thought it offered a great deal for the price, although I can't remember how much it was - haha!
It wouldn't have been expensive, because we don't usually spend over a tenner for a bottle of red, I think this wine may have cost about £6, but don't quote me on it.

Paarl Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Anyway, again, less rambling! More wine review.......
Paarl Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 was an excellent purchase from the Co-op. The wine poured a beautiful deep red colour in the glass, with aromas of black cherries and ripe juicy plums.
On the palate it was seriously rich and fruity with flavours of deliciously ripe dark fruits, spice, and hints of vanilla, with a pleasant amount of tannins and a decent long fruity finish.
This is definitely a wine we'd purchase again.

From the label -
For more than six decades Boland Cellars have been working in the Paarl region, time in which our winemakers have identified many different climatic zones. 
Paarl Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon takes its wonderful complexity from the blending of wines from each zone. 
The style is marked by a Mediterranean climate of warm summers and mild, wet winters. 
The influence of the nearby ocean, wind-protected river valleys and cool mountain slopes all contribute to the diversity of flavour. 
Aromas of blackcurrant fruit, herbs, and soft oak follow through to a well rounded palate. 
Enjoy with juicy red meats such as lamb, venison or beef or with strong cheeses such as goats cheese or mature cheddar. 

Paarl Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

We were enjoying this wine so much that I completely forgot to take a photo of it, and when I finally remembered the bottle was empty - and so were our glasses. Cheers! Hic! Hehe!
Have you tried Paarl Mountains by Boland Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013?
Delicious isn't it?

Guilt Snack For Our Lovely Lurcher - Pigs Ears

The guilt was ours, not the dogs.

We very rarely leave Barley, our lovely Lurcher home alone, it's not often necessary, and it doesn't seem fair to leave him by himself if we don't have to.
But yesterday Mr.R had to accompany me to an appointment, so reluctantly we left Barley on his own.
To say he was unimpressed is a serious understatement, he was a very unhappy boy - poor dog.
Thankfully we were only out for a very short time, and we popped into the local pet shop on our way back to buy him a treat.

Mmm! �� #PigsEars #PigsEar #dogfood #food

I am seriously indecisive about, well, about pretty much everything, so as soon as we entered the pet shop Mr.R pointed the pigs ears out to me, grabbed a bag, paid, and we left.
Job done, and very quickly too.

Treat. #Lurcher #Dog #sighthound #rescuedog #PigsEar #dogfood #dogtreat #food

Barley was beside himself with joy at our return, literally; he was running around all over the place and watching him it was as though we had several Lurchers, not just the one. He was flitting about so fast, he seemed to be in many different places at the same time.
Anyway, once he'd calmed down a little bit he then became particularly interested in what we'd brought back with us - his treat.

Pigs Ear.

Barley obviously approved of our treat choice because he wolfed it down super fast. Burp!
I think it's safe to say he soon forgave us for leaving him on his own.
Do you give your dog pigs ears as a treat?

Internet Breaks, Reading, Beer, and Favourite Quotes

This afternoon, as I was looking through some of my old sketch books, which also have pages and pages of seriously hard to decipher writing in them, I came across this -
I like a good read myself. Nothing too laborious. I don't want to tamper with natural ignorance.


It seemed apt that I read the quote when I did, because as well as flicking through my doodles and scribbled handwriting, I was also reading a book.
Yep, I actually put down my gadgets, went offline, and read a book, with real words - hmm, and pictures.

You see, when I said I was reading a book, what I really meant was I was flicking through the pages, half-heartedly reading the words, of which there weren't many anyway, as I salivated over the pictures.

Salivated? Why?
Well, because the book I was reading was Craft Beer World by Mark Dredge
Well, what can I say, I love beer, and reading anything is still considered a break from messing about online - as least I consider it to be a proper break from the Internet.

Free book. Almost as good as free beer - but not quite. #beer #beerbook #CraftBeerBook
I added a photo of the beer book, to separate the text, as usual I've rambled on and on.......

Anyway, this blog post is not a review of the Craft Beer World book, although I'm sure I will get round to writing one at some time in the future, it is about that quote.
I read it, it tickled me, so I asked Google who said it.

Ah, yes, Google, obviously I had to go back online to find out where this quote originated. Not that you can believe that the information attributing quotes to certain people is 100% correct, but anyway, my search results indicated that this quote is from the 2004 film A Good Woman starring Helen Hunt and Scarlett Johansson.

I like a good read myself. Nothing too laborious. I don't want to tamper with natural ignorance.
I like this quote, what about you -
Do you like it?
What are your favourite quotes?

Thursday, 26 February 2015

'Jihadi John' Reportedly Named as Mohammed Emwazi

I've said it before, but I'll say it again, I try not to read the news or watch the news on TV - it's always so depressing and it's never impartial. Manipulating the masses.......

But today I have seen some news on TV. It's always reported as 'Breaking New's' whether it's being screened now, or 7 hours from now.......
Anyway, todays big news is all about 'Jihadi John' being named as Mohammed Emwazi - reportedly.
He's said to be a British born man in his 20's from West London.

I say reportedly because I don't know if that's true.
Right now, as I type this blog post CAGE director is rambling on and on on the BBC News saying, 'I have known Emwazi since summer 2009.......'
Research Director of CAGE Asim Qureshi is basically saying that the Mohammed Emwazi he met and knew would never hurt anyone, so he's not Jihadi John the baddie.

Before I tuned into the BBC News just now, I wouldn't have known Asim Qureshi if he stood up in my soup, so I'm not exactly sure what I think of him, except to say he is very aggressive, and arrogant.

As for Jihadi John, or Mohammed Emwazi.......
Well, I don't know.......
I don't know what's wrong with everyone.
What is wrong with us? Humans!
Why are we so violent?
Why so much hate?
Why can't we all just live in peace? Please! For the love of God, Allah, Victoria Fecking Beckham - or whoever your 'God' is. Why?

Doodle.  Doodles.
Peace Sign - because I don't own any photos of terrorists to accompany this blog post

Changing the subject, but only very slightly, from ignorant, misguided, evil, terrorists.......
You know when there's one of those doom stories in the news, about how a meteor is about to come dangerously close to earth and possibly wipe us all out, or how global warming will kill us all, or that there's too many people and not enough food.......
Well, you get the gist, we're all doomed.

Well, some days, like today, more specifically right now sitting listening to all this bullshit hypocritical chat on the news about terrorists; like Western governments have never committed acts of terrorism, with everyone being ever-so-careful not to say the wrong thing, namely anything that may upset a Muslim, I truly think that it's exactly what we, humans, deserve - to be wiped off the face of the earth.

I mean, after all, we are parasites.
We spread such hatred, we murder in cold blood, we continually engage in war.......
And what for?
Cynically, I say, for money, power etc.
But I'm not even sure that's true.
Maybe deep down we are all evil and better off dead.

Gloomy opinion eh?
Well, that's why I said, some days....... because most days I truly believe that basically humans are good. Basically we are decent, law abiding citizens who care about each other, and that's how I like it, which is why I try not to let too much news into my life.
The 'news', which I'm sure we all realise is not really ever new, is dangerous, it only takes a minute or so before it drags you down, but that's the way the powers that be want it isn't it, to keep us all scared and inline.

So, I'll ask again, why can't we all just live in peace?
Apart from the fact that governments want and need wars, for various self-serving reasons, why can't we all just relax?

I would truly love to live in a World where we all live in peace.
Where streets, villages, towns, cities, countries, and continents are full of all different types of people, all nationalities, all religions, or non-religions, everything and everyone all living in harmony.
Not segregated, not at war. No hate, only love.

Does that sound like some hippie-dippy clap-trap to you?
Well, shame on you! Shame that people would rather live in a war torn World than admit to wanting to live in a hippie 'love your neighbour' planet.

It could work.
I seriously believe it.
There's no real reason why we can't all live in peace, live and let live as the saying goes.

Imagine, don't worry I'm not going all John Lennon on you.......
Imagine a road where one house is home to Christians, the next house has a Pagan living there, then there's a Jewish family, then a family of agnostics, then Catholic, then Muslim, then atheist....... You get the picture.
I'm not saying I see them being best friends, not necessarily, or spending the holidays together, and having dinner with each other, unless of course they feel like it, but they could all live together without hating.
They could just live their lives, be polite, say 'Hello!' occasionally, or not, may be just a nod of the head, but no trouble, no violence.
Jews living next door to Muslims, living in peace, they don't have to like each other, but they don't have to personally attack or hurt each other either.
I'm not singling out Jews and Muslims, they were the first people who sprang to my mind - I blame the news for that, for manipulating my innocent mind. Ha!

Can you imagine us all living in peace, whatever our beliefs or way of life?
I can imagine how the governments would be very unhappy with that scenario.
If they couldn't continue to turn us against each other, they'd know that it'd be easier for us to rise-up, rise-up against them.......

So, that's me finished. I've run out of steam for now.
As usual I have wandered off of topic slightly, from Jihadi John aka Mohammed Emwazi - reportedly.
Do I feel better for rambling on and on.......?
I'm not sure.
I am sure there will be lots more 'breaking news' about this story over the next few hours, days, weeks.......
What do you think about the 'Breaking News' about Jihadi John, Mohammed Emwazi?
Or about anything I've rambled on about in this blog post?
I'm interested to hear your thoughts. 

Beach Fun With Our Rescue Lurcher

We often take Barley, our Lurcher, to a local beach where he enjoys a good run, which is exactly what we did last week.
That's one thing we like about living in County Durham - we have really lovely beaches on our doorstep.

This blogpost is simply about me posting some of the many photos that I took of our gorgeous boy - with a bit of rambling about our morning on the beach.
As you can see the weather was dull, which is why the last two are photos from another day on a different beach - gotta have some bright sunny shots too.
I'd like to upload the video I shot too, but I can't figure out how to get if from my phone to this blog - oh well, maybe another day. I'll ask Mr.R to show me how to do it, he's the clever one on our family.

Anyway, so, we were off to the beach, but this day we decided to go to a different beach from the one we usually visit, which turned out to be an excellent decision.

Perfection. ��❤️☺️ Last shot for today - I promise. ���� #Lurcher #dog #sighthound #rescuedog #ILoveMyLurcher #beach #sea #rocks #HordenBeach #CountyDurham #England

We'd spoken to a neighbour about this particular beach, he has 6 dogs, Bull Terriers, and he was saying how it's been tarted-up a bit recently. Well, not the beach so much, but the car-park and woods before you get down to the beach.
We'd attempted to take Barley to this beach once before, but the road was seriously flooded so we couldn't get anywhere near. After that, we'd forgotten all about this beach, until the neighbour mentioned it.

Running around all over the beach. Happy boy. ������ #Lurcher #dog #sighthound #rescuedog #ILoveMyLurcher #sea #beach #HordenBeach #CountyDurham #England

Anyway, bright and early one morning last week, all three of us jumped into the car and off we went to the beach.
It's only a few minutes drive from our house, in fact we were going to walk there, but the weather wasn't looking good so we changed our minds and drove. That also turned out to be a good decision, as although it's not far, the walk from the car-park down through the woods to the beach was a little longer than we'd expected.
And on a dull cold day, after running, playing, and generally having lots of fun on the beach, having the car waiting to take us back to the house was much appreciated. I doubt our legs could have carried if we'd had to walk, but I'm sure Barley would disagree as he's always happy for more exercise.

So, we parked up, and enjoyed the walk through the woods down to the beach.
We were not particularly expecting to be able to let Barley off of the lead, we thought there's be other people and dogs on the beach, and as yet Barley is not a fan of recall - despite obedience training and lots of hard work, he still likes to do his own thing.

Sit! Stay! Smile! Nope - he ran at me. ���������� #Lurcher #dog #sighthound #rescuedog #ILoveMyLurcher #beach #sea #HordenBeach #CountyDurham #England

As soon as we got on to the beach we could see it was completely empty, and the sandy part beyond the rocks was much wider and longer than we'd thought it would be.
We let Barley off the lead. He was off! Zooming around all over the beach, a very happy boy.

Mr.R stopped every now and then to take some photos, not that the weather was doing anything to enhance the dark drab colours of the sea and sand.
I also took some photos and shot a bit of video.
But mainly we were playing with Barley, which consisted of me running up and down the beach with Barley running after, and at me, almost knocking me off of my feet on several occasions.

Unfortunately for Barley, because we hadn't expected to be able to let him run free, we hadn't taken his football or tennis balls, or any of his other toys with us - which is why he had to make do with me running about like a loon.
He wasn't bothered though, he was more than happy, running, sniffing, nipping, and generally having a blast to care about absent footballs.

Since we adopted Barley, about a year and a half ago, we have seen him run full-pelt in the local fields, and on the beaches, or so we thought.
This day we saw what full-pelt really was. Barley had been zooming about for ages, and he was quite tired, which meant he'd take the occasional short break and stroll nearer to us. It was after a short minute or so break, that I saw something had caught his attention, and before I had a chance to react he was off.......
He ran so fast, my eyes could hardly keep track of him. What was he running after? A seagull!
Obviously, as seagulls fly, Barley didn't catch it, but he got seriously close to nabbing it before the seagull took off skywards.
Man, watching his run is such a wonderful thing to see, it's breathtaking the speed, his muscles, and then the joy on his face. Absolutely marvelous!

Waiting for me to run with him again - he doesn't realise I'm not quite as fit as he is. ������ #Lurcher #dog #sighthound #rescuedog #sea #beach #HordenBeach #CountyDurham #England

After the seagull incident, we all continued to mooch about on the sand, and as time went on Mr.R and I were getting further apart from each other, which meant Barley was zooming from one of us to the other like a dog possessed.
It was when he'd been running circles around me that he suddenly shot off towards Mr.R. This was also when I spotted a figure with a dog far off in the distance.
Oh dear!
I shouted to Mr.R to call Barley. He did. Barley was obviously temporarily deaf at this point, as he ignored Mr.R and ran full-pelt towards the figure, which I could now see was a man with a Lurcher.

Happy boy. �������� Running from hubby to me - in he blink of an eye.

I started running after Barley, that may not be what the 'experts' recommend, but I know my dog and this was the best thing to do at that time.
Anyway, I was running after Barley calling him, but apparently he couldn't hear my voice either, and Mr.R was calling him too.
He was seriously close to the man with the Lurcher, when suddenly he stopped, literally skidding to a halt.
The man hadn't said anything or done anything, but Barley had stopped, and then he turned around, looked at me and Mr.R and began running back to us. Phew!

I like to think that he had heard us calling him, and was responding to us.
But Mr.R thinks he just changed his mind about wanting to play with the man and his dog.
I'm still convinced I'm correct - Barley and recall are becoming friends. Hehehe!

Whoosh! ���������� #beach #CrimdonBeach #Lurcher #dog #runningdog #sighthound #rescuedog #ILoveMyLurcher #CountyDurham #England

The man we'd seen was obviously hoping to let his dog off the lead too, so we put Barley back on his lead and began a slow walk back to the car. All three of us were exhausted.
Once we'd got off of the sand and up on to the rocks we saw the man had let his Lurcher off lead and was using a whistle to train him to stay, return etc.
Typically when Barley heard the man use his whistle he was all ears, paying keen attention. It's a shame Barley isn't as interested in our whistle - maybe it's not working properly and only humans can hear it. Hahaha!
If you're a human owned by a dog, do you have a beach where you enjoy running, playing, and having fun together?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Durham Brewery Evensong Traditional Ruby Ale - Beer Review

Evensong from The Durham Brewery is one of the beers we purchased when we visited the brewery, and like the other ones we've tasted, it was delicious.

Evensong Ruby Ale pours into the glass a beautiful jewel red colour. It's made with a grist of five different malts, combined with Challenger, Goldings, and Fuggles hops.
The aroma is mouthwateringly fruity, on the palate there are pleasant malty flavours, and it tastes of toffee and dried fruits, with a decent medium bitter finish. 5%.
Evensong is a very good ale indeed.

The Durham Brewery, Evensong, Ruby Ale. Beer. Real ale.

From the label -
Five different malts including crystal and amber make a rich cherry/toffee flavour. Earthy Fuggles and Goldings hops combine in a smooth English character with hints of kiwifruit and toffee.

Food match: Dark meats and strong cheese. Sunday roast.

Gold winner at CAMRA Great British Beer Festival 2005.

Contains water, barley, wheat, hops, and yeast.

Suitable for vegans. 

This ale is bottle-conditioned.
There is live sediment which continues to mature and develop the flavour and character.

Store upright and pour gently to avoid disturbing the sediment.

Natural; not filtered.

Serve at 10 degrees C.
This beer may be lively so have a glass to hand when opening.

The Durham Brewery Ltd,
Unit 5a,
Bowburn North Ind Est,
Durham DH6 5PF.
Have you tried Evensong Traditional Ruby Ale from The Durham Brewery?
Did you like it?