A View From The Greenhouse (ish); The Rise of The Islamist “Talking Head”

Twenty Tickets Please, One Way, To The Land Of Milk And Honey
© Colin Cross, Going Postal 2023

Firstly Postaliers, allow me to apologise for not supplying the usual bi-weekly fix of ramblings and inanities on the 5th of December. Life got in the way a bit, but I’m back (for the foreseeable), which, I’m sure, is something you’ve all been on the edge of your seats, waiting to hear. What with one thing and another I’ve spent very little time in either the greenhouse or the shed, we did lose a couple of sheets of glass but they’re all made good now. As we’ve now entered the festive season and all, I doubt I’ll be doing more than the odd cursory structural inspection, but rest assured, work will begin, in earnest, early in the new year. I’ll bet you can hardly wait…..

If Peaceful Revolution Is Impossible……
© Colin Cross, Going Postal 2023

Extremism continues to grow in the UK, as the appeasement shown by the police (until such time as they’re shamed into action) carries through into the courtroom, where guilty people are now, or so it seems, acquitted because juries have sympathy with the goals of the accused. We all know this isn’t right, but it’s increasingly symptomatic of the “hive mind” the MSM seems determined to inculcate within society. I have an increasingly worrying feeling that it can’t end well. The British are a tolerant, welcoming and generous people, who’re slow to anger, but there’s only so much abuse of said welcome a country can take. Politicians are sitting on their hands (or their hands are too busy counting the ill-gotten), with the Tories marking time and their likely successors proving the old adage about fine words and parsnips on an almost daily basis. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

Galena, Hematite, Amethyst, Ammonite. Excellent
© Colin Cross, Going Postal 2023

Dave (geologist Dave) continues to stimulate conversation at the Tuesday night “beer and bullshit” club by bringing in samples of the minerals, ores and fossils he’s collected during a lifetime of travelling throughout Britain and further afield, to ply his trade. Some samples appear unremarkable at first viewing, but Dave knows not only what they are and where they came from but also an approximation of their generally vast age, the names are evocative too. The sharing of simple pleasures, in an ever more complex world isn’t something to be scoffed at, IMO.

Apocalyptic, But No Apocalypto
© Colin Cross, Going Postal 2023

FILM REVIEW; “Leave The World Behind” is the latest in a growing number of “apocalyptic” scenario “Hollywood” films. The premise is simple. Assemble an ensemble cast, including an Oscar winner or two, a “big name” or two, a “has been” or two and an assortment of odd looking younger people (for diversities sake) and pastiche some random scenes together that the producers think will shock, entertain and promote “change” in equal measure. If you haven’t seen it, don’t bother, it’s crap. The script’s crap, the acting’s crap and clearly being undertaken for the pay cheque and the fact that the electricity stays on full power, whilst civilisation begins its final descent into chaos and ultimate Armageddon, is the daftest and crappiest idea of the lot. Apart from seemingly hundreds of self-drive Teslas collectively losing their AI driven minds and crashing into each other. Kevin Bacon hams it up marvelously, but not quite as marvelously as Ethan Hawke. I’m guessing they knew what a turkey they’d chosen to appear in.

Herdwick Lamb Rump with Cumin Granola
© Colin Cross, Going Postal 2023

Eating out’s a feature of this time of year and you can’t always be certain you’re going to get either value for your money (given how expensive just about everything is) or even what you asked for. Call it what you will, chalk and cheese, polar opposites or even two sides of a different coin, but a couple of weekends ago brought this home to me. On the Friday I went for lunch with sixteen of my camera club friends to The Shepherds Inn at Langwathby. I’d pre-ordered the ham hock terrine and the “boeuf bourgignon”. The setting was convivial, the terrine was more than passable, if a little pricey for the portion size and the glass of Malbec wasn’t half bad. Unfortunately, the beef stew, served in a bowl of thin gravy, with sides of new potatoes, sweet corn and french beans left a great deal to be desired, whatever it was, it wasn’t what I’d expected. You know how it is when you’re in company though, you don’t like to make a fuss, but, along with one or two others in the party, I doubt I’ll be rushing back to spend another £36 on one average course, one well below par course and a glass of red. Fast forward twenty four hours and a long anticipated visit to Gilpin Spice at the Gilpin Hotel near Kendal. Three excellent courses using local produce combined with subtle spicing. Excellent food, great surroundings and good company. Worth every penny of the little bit extra it cost, if I could afford to be a regular, I would be. I know pubs are having to try and claw back lost revenue, but simply putting up prices, without looking to quality and value, isn’t going to work in the long run.

Covid Consequences (Intended or Unintended?)
© Colin Cross, Going Postal 2023

I’ve mentioned before that one of the biggest impacts of “Covid” lock-downs, at least locally, was the virtual dismantling of our domino league. In the greater scheme of things, and to people who take no interest in such trivialities, it won’t really mean anything, but a regular social event which involved as many as 150 people, on a weekly basis throughout the winter and contributed to the ongoing (albeit somewhat already precarious) success of many rural pubs disappeared, almost overnight. Last Tuesday a Christmas knockout event was held, which was attended by 34 people. It’s unlikely now, although there had been a glimmer of hope, that the league will ever be rekindled. It was something of a lifeline for lots of people (some no longer with us) and had been in existence for at least 60 years. My partner and I didn’t get in the prizes, but the winners took home £30 apiece. Small beer, when you think that a Peer of the Realm, amongst heaven knows how many others, managed to make a multi million pound profit from the misery of it all. One wishes the greedy and corrupt liars in our government had the guts to come and talk to the little people about this, or even bring it up at the farce of an inquiry, but they won’t. Thirty million quid, put in trust, could (at a guess) support five or six hundred rural hostelries for a couple of years as they got back on their feet, or it could just be spent on a yacht, moored in a Mediterranean millionaires playground. It’s a funny old world.

Village (Christmas) Life
© Colin Cross, Going Postal 2023

On Saturday evening we had a little sing-song round the pub tree, complete with a visit from Santa with presents of chocolate for the kids, and it was all very civilised. The landlord provided copious amounts of mulled wine and hot chocolate and the man himself, arriving on a “sled” pulled by a quad bike, made everyone smile. The rendition of “Fairy Tale Of New York” was both rousing and poignant and the inability of just about everyone to hold a tune of any description made for much hilarity. It was a pleasant couple of hours of normality, away from worries of the day to day but little rural backwaters like ours are (luckily) seemingly immune from the wider threats we all currently face. We have no need of crash bollards, armed police patrols or warnings to be “super vigilant” should one dare to venture out to similar events in our larger urban conurbations. I’m glad I don’t live in a city. We all know that, sooner rather than later, a frustrated engineer, a misunderstood doctor, an aspiring DJ/footballer or someone with “psychological issues” after being bullied at school will plant a bomb, get behind the wheel of a van with malicious intent, or go on a rampage with a sharp, long bladed knife. When this happens, as it surely will, the growing and increasingly bold ranks of the Islamist “talking head” coterie will take to the airwaves and to social media pages to utter platitudes, make excuses and tell us that, whatever happened, it’s all our fault. We’ll be told to attend vigils and light candles. We’ll be told immigration isn’t a problem (unless you happen to be a far right, knuckle dragging white racist), even should any assailant be drawn from the ranks of the newly arrived. The Djinn is out of the shiny brass lamp and I don’t think it’s going to find its way home any time soon.

Merry Christmas To You All. Stay Safe.

© Colin Cross 2023