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What, more British Politics?


Sorry, y’all — I had a fridge emergency tonight. We’ve been quietly nurturing an iceberg at the back of the box (apparently!) that finally grew to engulf the drain plug. tl;dr I had to clean and defrost the fridge in a hurry tonight. We didnae lose any American bacon, though, so that’s okay (so precious and hard to get).

So today’s big political WTF moment — Boris Johnson, our next Prime Minister, dropped out of the race today. Rumor has it, he was knifed by his buddy and fellow-Brexiteer, Micheal Gove. For those who don’t follow British politics, that’s dude on the right knifed by dude on the left.

You can read the Telegraph’s take here, which is where I pinched the photo. There’s something more to this one, though, I feel sure. It’s not the same magnitude as if Hillary! suddenly dropped out without explanation, but it’s the same kind of hell no this doesn’t make sense.

Not that I was a fan of Boris — I warn’t — but it’s just too weird. Some kind of dirt on him, I suspect. There’s plenty, I’m told.

Now the odds-on favorite to get the job is Theresa May, a dreadful woman. Anti-Brexit, soft on immigration. She’s been a terrible Home Secretary and she’ll be a worse PM. The grass roots hate her — but her fellow MPs love her, and that’s all it takes.

The exact opposite of what’s going on with Labour, where the party members love Corbyn but his fellow MPs think he’s a disaster.

What the hell, British politics?

June 30, 2016 — 10:42 pm
Comments: 15

Could be worse


Ah, there they are. We hadn’t seen the swan fambly for a while, but here they are Sunday. Sorry about the distracting vegetation, but it’s only because Unkle B has a fancy-pants camera that he got any pictures at all: he had to raise it over his head and tilt the backscreen down so he could see what he was aiming at.

I know what you’re thinking; there were nine. Maybe there still are; it was awfully hard to count without being able to see beaks. But there are eight for sure, and that’s pretty good around here.

Foxes. Badgers. Stoats. That one stinking mink.

My cousin called me from the States tonight to ask what the heck is going on over here. I suppose it’s being reported that gangs of Hitler youth are roaming the streets beating up brown people. Or something. That’s The Narrative and they’re sticking to it — most of the papers, the pundits, even the police.

Whether there’s been a real rise in racial conflicts, I have no idea. They say calls to the police abuse hotlines are way up, but most of the actual reports seem to be Rudeness in the First Degree or Really Hurtful T-Shirt Slogans.

Exit question: if your thesis is that most English people find it terribly, terribly hard to get along with non-English people, is by-god we’re going to force them to really the most workable long-term solution?

June 29, 2016 — 10:10 pm
Comments: 9

Did I mention the tractor show?


Yes, this is a regularly used airfield. There’s a wonk in it halfway down that tossed the little planes back up in the air on landing. I’m amazed there wasn’t a bird strike, as clouds of gulls ascended every time a plane went over.

Well, of course I’m going to give it to you in color. Bonus cloud shot. Those skies! All images courtesy A. Badger.

So Corbyn is hanging in there, despite losing the no confidence vote 172 to 40. More than 50 people in his cabinet have resigned.

He was elected leader by a large majority of party members — sixty percent, I think — and he’s insisting that has more legitimacy than a vote by MPs. Which may accurately reflect the current populist mood of the electorate.

Orrrr…it may be that he’s hanging on until the Chilcot Report is published next week. He’s vowed to use his position as party leader to push for prosecution of Blair for war crimes, if anything in the report will back it up. Many of the MPs voting to oust him are, at the least, Blair sympathizers if not actual Blairites.

Wheels within wheels, eh?

June 28, 2016 — 7:40 pm
Comments: 9

I’m a little teapot


Saturday we went to an airshow. Well, no. Not an airshow, really. A small country show at a little airfield way out in the boonies. We ran ahead of a terrible storm the whole way getting there, paid our £5 to get in, just started a wander round and the heavens opened. I mean, pissing down with rain.

Uncle B and I got separated and I was zipped into a tent with a man selling WWII memorabilia. I passed over the spiffy Nazi dress dagger in favor of this teapot. It celebrates Victory over Hitlerism and it’s chipped so I probably overpaid, but it seemed like a thing I had to buy right then.

The media here is still losing their freaking minds over Brexit. Ditto the political classes. I don’t think there’s any way they can roll it back without facing a wall of torches and pitchforks, but they’re going to give it the old college try.

In and among the wailing and gnashing of teeth, there are some good articles, too. Like this one from the Spectator. I particularly like calling the opposition Remainders. Remainiacs sounds ooo scary and dangerous and powerful. Remainders sound like leftovers.

In the end, the rain stopped (for a while) and some planes got up. In the half hour before the heavens opened again, Uncle B got some spectacular shots of prop planes against enormous banks of cloud. And then it rained again.

I love heavy weather. Just as well, really.

June 27, 2016 — 9:28 pm
Comments: 15




Holy shit.


I’m sure all this schadenfreude can’t be good for me. My social media has been glorious today. The leading Remainiac warcries seem to be:

Old people shouldn’t have the vote because they don’t have to live with the consequences for very long.

Ordinary people shouldn’t have the vote, or at least important issues shouldn’t be decided by a popular referendum.

People who voted Leave didn’t really know what they are doing and regret the decision already. If we had a do-over this afternoon, the vote would be totally different.

All the educated people voted to remain. Stupid Leavers are only now doing Google searches of “What is the EU?”

And, of course, every variation of white people suck and are racists.

I am seriously proud of the British people for this vote. Sticking with the status quo is always the easiest and safest course (sometimes even the wisest). They’ve had had a firehose of scary claims trained on them for weeks. All the cool people begged them to vote Remain. And still they took this step into the unknown.

And, yes, my boss looked like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle this morning.

June 24, 2016 — 7:24 am
Comments: 47

Axed and answered


Feast your eyes, ladies and gentlemen. This is what ‘above average’ looks like.

Above. Average.

Nigel Farage has just come on teevee to say he thinks Remain will win by a few points. That’s been the consensus all week, but to hear Nige say it is depressing.

It solves nothing. The margin is likely to be slim, and all the passion was for Leave. In other words, half of this country is likely to wake up very pissed off at the other half tomorrow. Including a majority of the people who 23andme would call ‘the English’.

This will not end well, and it certainly will not end tomorrow.

Hm. Time to go practice more axe throwing, I think.

June 23, 2016 — 9:27 pm
Comments: 16

It is finished.


Well, there you go. Migrated.

The deal was, I had two separate web hosting accounts. I started the blog on BlueHost and, when they hit a rough patch performance-wise, I opened another web hosting account at Hosting Matters to see if it was any better. It was, but I had pre-paid BlueHost for something like five years in advance.

When that expired, the procrastination began.

Anyway, it’s all with Hosting Matters now (except a few of my domain registrations) and excellent customer service they have, too. Mucho recommendo.

And no, I don’t have a bunch of fascinating websites out there (I should say, a bunch of OTHER fascinating websites). I’ve got a few bits I host for other people, and some domain names I registered and didn’t ever do much with.

The picture is from one of the fêtes this weekend. It was in aid of their local Bonfire Society, hence the scary ladies. Every local society has a costume, like Mardi Gras krewes. Trust me, this shit looks spookier by the light of burning stuff.

We enjoyed this one very much, but there’s not much to report.

Oh, I got lit up on warm beer and entered the axe-throwing competition. I didn’t win, but the moderator said I was “slightly above average”, which I regard as V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!

So, back in business. The only thing that got lost in transition is, I saw a real live weasel cross the road on Midsummer’s Day!

June 22, 2016 — 8:44 pm
Comments: 12

Twilight zone…

In case you missed the conversation, the blog is currently being migrated to another host. Because it’s been in the same place so long and I’ve been less than tidy in my workspace, the process is a little…messy. Anything I post (and any comment you make) during the transition is likely to be lost, so zero effort for tonight. I’ll ‘splain the particulars when it’s done.

June 20, 2016 — 10:11 pm
Comments: 11

I love these


Victorian mugshots from Gloustershire, dug up by Ancestry. Lots of these have gone online in the last few y ears, and I just love them.

This was in the Mail today, so you’ve probably seen it. (There are times I think the Mail is more widely read in the US than the UK. Certainly more frequently linked).

Dude top left looks like Magnifico the Magician, shatterin’ mirrors with his mind.

Have a good weekend, folks! We have another couple days of fêtes to come, so hopefully stories to tell.

The blog is moving hosts over the weekend. If it goes down, do not be alarmed.

June 17, 2016 — 9:11 pm
Comments: 16

Happy Sussex Day!



Don’t worry. Nobody here ever heard of it, either. I’ve had a good time today wishing people a Happy Sussex Day and getting that ‘dog hears hypersonic whistle’ look.

Well, the Sussex Police did post a lovely video, though I have no idea why they chose All Things Bright and Beautiful instead of the unofficial county song, Sussex by the Sea.

Go on, give it a listen. It’s a cheery march and a catchy tune. Brass bands play it at some of the fêtes and festivals (the ones that have brass bands).

I heard it played at a funeral once.

Sussex Day was invented in 2007 to celebrate the awesomness that is Sussex. Among the suggested celebrations, reading aloud the Sussex charter:

For all the people of the ancient kingdom of Sussex!
Let it be known: the 16 June of each and every year shall be known as Sussex Day.
Sussex day shall be celebrated according to the rites and traditions of Sussex.
Let it be known all the people of Sussex shall be responsible for the maintenance of those boundaries that join to those of our neighbours.
Let it be known all the people of Sussex shall be responsible for all the environs within those boundaries.
Let it be known, the people of Sussex shall recognise the inshore waters that lie inside a line drawn from Beachy Head, and extending to Selsey Bill as being, the Bay of Sussex.
Let it be known, the people of Sussex will undertake responsibility for the general well being of our neighbours.
Let it be known the people of Sussex shall be guardians of our wildlife.
Let it be known the people of Sussex will, through custom support all local business.
Finally, let it be known, as guardians of Sussex, we all know Sussex is Sussex … and Sussex won’t be druv!
In God we trust.
God Save the Queen!

We Wunt Be Druv — I love that — is the unoffical motto of Sussex. It doesn’t appear in print until the early 20th C, though it was described as a favorite motto. It probably originates in the Weald of Sussex, where also originated the two major revolts of the Middle Ages: Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, under Wat Tyler, and 1450 under Jack Cade.


The county flower is the round-headed rampion. I have never seen one; it’s a weird-looking thing. I think Dr Seuss had a hand in the design.

The crest and flag of the county feature six martlets, which is the heraldic version of either a swallow or a house martin. Ehhh…technically, it’s an emblem, not a coat of arms, as arms can only be granted to an administrative body (not a whole county) and Sussex hasn’t had a united one since the Domesday Book.

The martlet also appears on the arms of the fourth son of a noble family, as the martlet has no feet (only feathers) and so cannot land, and the fourth son hasn’t any land either. That doesn’t have anything to do with Sussex, I just thought it was a fun heraldic pun.

The 16th of June was chosen because it is the feast of Richard of Chichester (1197–1253), patron saint of Sussex. His shrine was once regarded as a place of miracles, almost as popular as the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury, but mad King Henry VIII ordered it plundered.

We’re going to celebrate Sussex Day by playing a boules match against those rotten stinking foreign bastards, The Next Village Over. See you tomorrow.

June 16, 2016 — 8:00 pm
Comments: 12