Anyone who thinks that education in the UK has not declined over the last three or four decades need only to read social media posts for a few minutes to see the lack of literacy on display.
Of course the flaw in my argument is that they will either be unable to read such posts, or not be able to understand the appalling display of spelling and grammatical errors.
Disgusted of Dorcan
It is just a thought, but I have read that headline many times and recently it was there again, this time the gist was that someone on the platform of my local station had been hit by said train. Continue reading →
The Roman legacy around this part of the world centres on the town of Cirencester on the crossroads of Ermine Street and the Fosse way. As far as Swindon is concerned there are probably not that many people who associate the road called Ermine Street that runs through the Stratton district of the town with the Romans, but its dead straight line ought to be a bit of a giveaway to anyone with a little knowledge.
These days Ermine Street is no longer the main road up to Ciren, it having been by-passed by a dual carriageway to the East of the town back in the 1970s, the A417/419, commonly called the latter. However that road is partially built over a large Roman settlement called Durocornovium that extended across from what is currently the Eastern edge of Swindon through to the village of Wanborough and straddled Ermine Street.
The industrial area of Swindon know as Dorcan is probably named as a corruption of its Roman forerunner. As the town expands Eastwards much more of the old Roman settlement will be built over for housing and it seems that there is little enthusiasm for celebrating its presence. The town’s council appears to almost wish it had never existed rather that try to add that heritage to the better know one as the home of the Great Western Railway.
It seems that the Saxons scavenged must of the stone from Durcornovium when they built their settlement on Swindon hill, where the Old Town is now and away from the flood plain where the Romans had built. It had been a significant industrial centre for the Romans with iron and pottery works amongst others, but all was abandoned when the Romans swanned off back South to warmer climes in the 5th century.
Swindon is far from the boring town that comedians like to take a swipe at. From where I sit now I can see the profile of a Bronze Age hill fort just outside the town and this is one of several such settlements nearby. The Ridgeway path, an ancient path often described as Britain’s oldest road, runs from the ancient stone circle at Avebury across to Ivinghoe in Buckinghamshire and passing just outside of the town. There is a lot of history in these parts and it is a shame that is largely ignored.
I have no problem with Scotland becoming independent; I would rather that they didn’t because I believe in the Union as something that I have grown up with, but if they want to go then fair enough.
What needs to be clear though is the basis of their going. The end of any influence over the government of the rest of the UK and no more money from the rest of the UK being the starting point. Nothing that I have seen from La Sturgeon gives any indication of how Scotland could survive alone and perhaps that is why around half of her constituents seem to be against a split.
The EU have made it clear that they would not admit Scotland as a member so I cannot understand how she seems to cling to that idea. In general she seems to me to be one of those people making a lot of noise about something that she will never have to deliver whilst having enough shreds of populist ideal to keep the votes coming her way.
One of the criticisms of the UK leaving the EU was that those of us who voted to leave did not know what we were voting for and I have never denied that. I knew what I was voting for and was very clear about it, but the obvious dismay of some fellow leave voters when the truth dawned clearly showed that they did not understand (not that the Remain camp ever explained exactly what staying in would mean either). I think that many supporters of Scottish independence do believe that they will get some form of support from the UK after any divorce and that we would not sit by and watch them go bankrupt.
There are those in England who are getting heartily sick of the whingeing from the other UK nations and would happily see Ulster become part of a united Ireland, would recreate Offa’s Dyke and Hadrian’s Wall, possibly with some boundary adjustments, and let them all bugger off. England has its now problems so why keep baling out these troublesome bailiwicks? It should be no surprise that many of those Scots who oppose independence fully understand that they have it good right now because of the handouts from South of the border. Perhaps we should cut off those funds and give La Sturgeon a bit of a hand here?
Personally I believe in the Union and would like to see genuine unity, but time will tell. The Scots have had their generational shot at a referendum and could not get enough support for independence. They should now get on with life.
The Remain camp are still muttering about us leaving the EU and delighting in every glitch. Even where the fault is actually with an EU country they still gleefully post it as a “Brexshit” failing. Yet where are there criticisms of their beloved EU’s performance on Covid issues?
The UK is streets ahead on vaccinations because we did not have to suffer the centralism and bureaucracy that the EU loves, but there is no word from the Remainers about any of this. Rather they main about our government’s performance.
Leaving the EU is not what they wanted and they will never change as long as they wear the blinkers.
This train of thought was kicked off by a friend sharing something on Facebook. Normally I avoid re-sharing such things, but “50+ and no tattoo” struck a chord. At 67 going oil 68 and still unadorned I shared the post.
I did once fancy a tattoo. This was in the early 1970s and with the end of my teenage years knocking on the door I seriously considered some ink. At that time the males in my orbit came into roughly three generations; the lot who had managed to get a bit of time in the forces in the First World War, those, like my Dad, who had done their bit in the second bash and the ones who had done National Service. All had tattoos of some sort and as we rolled up our short sleeves in warmer weather my forearms looked conspicuously bare by comparison (as did the arms of others my age).
There were two problems. Firstly there were not that many tattoo parlours around in those days and the ones that did exist tended to be in less salubrious parts of town. The other was, for me, an aesthetic one in that I did not want a new tattoo, I wanted one that looked nicely weathered in.
The young lady that I was with around that time quite liked the idea of me getting a tattoo, especially if it included some commitment to her. I mentioned this to the other members of my platoon at the next Civil Emergency Core practice and they were horrified. A cleaned up version of their advice was “No way old chap”.
I took that advice and forgot about the whole tattoo thing until the more recent craze for getting inked. Whilst I can accept that there is some artistry around and some tattoos look very good a lot do not; they look bloody awful to my eyes. Fortunately for both of us the Berkshire Belle feels the same way.
From all of those clamouring for more to be done for refugees and for governments to demonstrate humanity there is a marked lack of charity towards anyone who dares to show anything less than full agreement with their views. Continue reading →
You know the sort of thing; social media and my email inbox are full of these screaming headlines: Continue reading →
Why all the fuss over New Year? It’s only another day after all. Continue reading →
As a primary school boy in the late 1950s and early 60s I learnt my times tables, along with the rest of the class, by chanting them or, in the case of one school by singing them. At my last primary school we were taught by the headmaster who used to take off a shoe and beat time. He could also hurl said shoe with venomous accuracy at anyone he felt was faltering keeping the beat going slapping his bare hand on the desk until his shoe was returned by one of us. Continue reading →