Escape to the country.

There is a television program called Escape to the Country which I imagine may have influenced the young 15 year old schoolgirl Shamima Begum to have made the long and arduous journey from her home in Great Britain through Turkey and into Syria.

Image result for shamima begum

One never knows whether a move to the countryside will be beneficial until one has tried the life, especially if one is a town dweller, myself I was lucky and took to it like the proverbial duck to water.

How could this unfortunate young lady envision what was to be in store for her when she embarked on the trip of a lifetime to the idyllic caliphate which the terrorist group ISIS had established in Syria?

All the glossy brochures and publicity videos presented the ideal environment in which to bring up your family in the middle of a war zone, after all what could possibly go wrong?

Suffice to say this unfortunate young child seems to have made yet another unfortunate mistake when some 10 days after arriving in Raqqa she married Yago Riedijk a young Dutch boy who turned out to be a convicted terrorist associated with a group who were planning to bomb a fairground in Arnhem. How unlucky can you be?

The saga continues for during breaks when her terrorist husband was not off fighting they managed to have two children, both it seems who died from sickness and malnutrition and yet this plucky youngster stuck it out to the end.

Finally, when the caliphate was almost totally decimated and down to the last stronghold of Bughuz she fled and took refuge in a refugee camp, where heavily pregnant and now 19 years old she gave birth to her third child.

It was at this point that her story started to be told, “at first it was wonderful,” she said, adding “they don’t have any evidence against me doing anything dangerous.”

“When I went to Syria I was just a housewife, the entire four years I stayed at home, took care of my husband, took care of my kids. I never did anything. I never made propaganda, I never encouraged people to come to Syria.”

She went on to say that she wasn’t even fazed by seeing severed heads in bins, although quite how an innocent housewife was in close proximity to severed heads was not explained.

Her lawyer Tasnime Akunjee has asked that she be allowed to come home to Great Britain to bring up her child as she is no threat and is going out of his way to tone down some of the more controversial comments she has made, for example that the bombing at Manchester Arena where 23 people died could be justified from an Islamic point of view.

She may have a point but I still have a bit of a problem with the image of an innocent housewife putting the rubbish bins out and asking her husband, “do these severed heads go in the black or the recycling bin?”

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My fence versus Mr Trump’s.

I have been rather busy at the moment which is why this post is a little late and not quite in sync with the weather as described in the post, which at the moment could be described as a glorious sunny day.

However my post today concerns the much more windy weather we were experiencing some days ago when I was looking out of the window to see my neighbours fence swaying about in the gusting wind.

My neighbours fence is considerably newer than mine and has been constructed from what appears to be solid oak the like of which would be most useful should we have a flood of Biblical proportions caused by forty days of continuous rain.
The fence in our garden is somewhat less substantial and over the course of years has been mended on numerous occasions but obviously my handy work was not in vane as our fence was as solid as a rock.

Whilst still on the subject of Biblical analogies I am thinking that next doors fence posts were built on foundations made of sand, or at least built on foundations containing insufficient cement.

Which inevitably brings me on to the subject of Mr Trump and his wall which is fast being downgraded into a fence, I believe the Americans are partial to a white picket fence with roses.

The latest I heard on the news was that he was going to spend 5.7 billion to build his fence, which one has to say is a monumental waste of money as most of the drug and I believe people smuggling is done through the checkpoints.

Now far be it from me to suggest that if he were to invest the 5.7 billion in more police and border checks he could eradicate all the smuggling completely and probably have enough change left over to build a small picket fence along the border, complete with roses for good measure.

As some of you may know I have another blog, and this one, both of which I seem to remember I set up myself much to my own amazement, however I have recently been setting up another site which explains my lack of posts recently.

The site I have set up is which is an affiliate marketing page and took ages to even attempt to get it anywhere right, which is why I am asking for your experiences of setting up a new site recently.

It was set up on a WordPress site so should have been easy but when I set up the “products” page which is just like a blog post the toolbar thing which is at the top of both of my blogs was missing and it wanted to keep putting things in boxes, which to me was exceedingly confusing.

Finally I managed to get it to set up the old fashioned version of WordPress but it was still not what I wanted but at least it was something vaguely right so before I lost the will to live completely I settled for what I had.

Perhaps some of you would be kind enough to assist me as you see this site from the other side, so to speak. To me when I write a new post it goes straight to the top of the blog and you can scroll down to see all the previous posts which show up in full, I assume that’s what you see too.

As you can tell I am not a computer whizz kid at all and was wondering if anyone else was experiencing the same problems. Should you feel like responding with your thoughts on the matter please don’t include anything too technical I am a Luddite.

Sorry for veering off topic at the end of this post but I suddenly thought I can’t be the only one confused by what seems to be the new version of WordPress.


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I wrote this after adapting some of my latest children’s book called Tom’s Dad and did so in a great hurry, then I noticed it should be a Valentine story………too late now!


Tom was very proud of his dad especially when it came to school sports day for he knew his dad would enter all the parents events, even if he didn’t win them.
The first event he entered was the pole vault which he attacked at such speed that he shot over the top of the bar and landed some distance away in the long jump pit.
His jump was the longest recorded that day, but as he had landed doing the pole vault the judges felt it wrong to give him a prize.
“I do feel dizzy,” said Tom’s dad, “I wasn’t expecting to fly quite so far, I’ve never done the pole vault before, perhaps I’ll stick to running races from now on.”
At the start of the 100 meters sprint Tom’s dad went off like a rocket and shot into the lead, it looked as if he would win the race but just as he was getting to the finish, his shorts fell down round his ankles and while he stopped to pull them up all the others passed him and finished the race.
“I do feel guilty for not winning,” said Tom’s dad, but his son who was very wise said, “It doesn’t matter dad, we love you whatever you do.”

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Agatha Christie.

I was inspired to write this as a tribute to another blogger I have come across who writes some wonderful posts which are both amusing and educational, her latest was on the subject of a play about Agatha Christie.

Image result for agatha christie

The title of the blogger in question is londonlifewithliz which hopefully you will be able to view by following the links I am putting up.

‘Where is Mrs Christie?’ My thoughts on a play as intriguing as any of the legendary author’s thrillers

I love Agatha Christie stories and was delighted when I had to go to The Isle of Wight recently to find a hotel which I’m sure alleged to be the hotel which Mrs Christie went to when she disappeared, however having read the above article I now find that the hotel Mrs Christie was found at was The Harrowgate Hydro, now called The Old Swan.

Having written about my disappointment with the Ryde Castle Hotel, I am now doubly disappointed and have no idea where I read the hotel was used by Agatha Christie but I know I saw it somewhere, perhaps it is no longer on the hotel website!

All, however is not lost as by a strange quirk of circumstances I have booked a five day trip with Rail Discoveries for my wife and I in June, to go on steam train excursions which is based in Harrowgate. Having read the above article I thought details of the hotel rung a bell and yes, I am delighted to report we shall be staying at The Old Swan Harrowgate. So by sheer chance I shall be staying at the hotel where Agatha Christie stayed when she disappeared, I may get my wife to book in as Mrs Teresa Neele!

Gallery image of this property

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Tell the story #6

I have no idea if I am writing this in the right place or if it will be seen for I have been tagged by pensivity101 to write a story on the image below. Odd that I saw the image before I found I had been tagged and the gem of the story came to my head.

It wasn’t always freezing here, when we first arrived it was a beautiful summers day and strangely enough we were delighted to be here as the truck that brought us here was hell on earth, not fit for cattle let alone that many human beings, for when we started our journey we were human.

We could hear the dogs barking long before they opened the door, soldiers barking orders, blinded by the sun we shuffled along the platform clinging to each other in love as much as fear.

The last time I saw my parents they were disappearing into the shower block and my everlasting memory was a string quartet playing Mozart adagio and fugue in C minor which was quite surreal as it was my fathers favourite piece and one of the first he taught me.

Soon the full horror of this awful place Auschwitz dawned upon us, heads shaved, number tattooed on my arm, the stripped pyjamas and fearful conditions taking the last remnant of dignity.

Then one day the door of the hut swung open and a tall Nazi guard bellowed, “we need a cello player, can anyone in here play the cello?”

I tentatively put my hand up and was dragged out of the hut, I was terrified but what I hadn’t realised in that split second was I had saved my life, I saved my mind by always keeping it outside the wire.

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3TChallenge. Japanese,culture,dance.

I am going to cheat today with the three things challenge and use something I wrote yesterday as a reply to another blog which wrote of their first teenage kiss.

My first teenage kiss.

I have very little knowledge of Japanese culture but I do have a recollection of my first teenage kiss with a girl I met at a dance.

My first thought on trying to remember my first teenage kiss was, I can’t remember but gradually a recollection from the dim and distant past came back to me.

Back in the 60’s it was not common practice to have any form of sexual contact with the opposite sex in your parents house, it was however quite common for young people to go to the pictures, (the movies for any American readers) for such experiences.

One would head for the back row and when the lights went down, one could commence canoodling whilst most of the people were watching the film, obviously the back row would contain a number of other couples who were there for the same reason.

I seem to remember there was a sort of check list which had been passed down from the more experienced boys starting with kissing, then perhaps kissing with tongues and so on.

One would move on down the list with an arm over the shoulder which would then fall onto the girls breast and if it were not removed one progressed to the next step, that of fondling the breast from the outside of her blouse.

Slowly, slowly catchy monkey, the next step that of fondling the breast inside her blouse which of course after much fumbling and hopefully some assistance from the girl eventually meant the brassiere was released and access to the naked breasts was achieved. At this point I think there were many teenagers who must have started to believe that there actually was a God!

Fumbling slowly onward at this point I personally attempted the impossible and slowly slid my hand up the girls skirt where to my utter surprise was met by a pair of stockings which was unusual as by now virtually all girls had gone over to wearing the more modern tights.

I feel my story is coming across as a little impersonal as I keep referring to “the girl,” but the girl had a name which I cannot remember but I’m fairly certain was Jane, so will continue and refer to her as Jane.

As was the way in those days girls and boys were more tightly controlled than is the case today and I found out later that Jane wore the more old fashioned stockings as her mother thought it was more hygienic for her to get some air around her front bottom.

There was an old saying concerning girls and stocking tops which were referred to as giggle tops, the reason being if you got past the stocking tops you were laughing, suffice to say my courage ran out at the stocking tops.

I saw Jane on two or three other dates but our relationship was destined never to last, as I said her mother was very protective and to arrange a date required virtually filling in a number of forms in triplicate for her mother to give permission for the liaison.

It’s a shame as she was a very nice girl and we never progressed as far as having sex, for in those days that sort of thing had to wait until one had a motorcar and one could wait until it was dark and park up in the woods!

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Harry and Edna on the Wireless.

I had the pleasure of appearing on the wonderful Harry and Edna on the Wireless show and I’m rather hoping I can put the details here so you may enjoy their splendid radio show.

In this episode of Harry & Edna on the Wireless the vintage duo are joined by author Lord Joe Wells.

Plus they play tip top gramophone Tunes from the 1930s and 1940s.

So enjoy this hour with Harry & Edna on the Wireless as they take a look at the current British vintage scene.

Harry & Edna on the Wireless is available via FM and Internet radio, Mixcloud internet streaming, Spreaker downloadable podcast and via YouTube.



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