Sunday, 18 January 2015

A Bit Of A Rant And Then Normal Retirement Blogging Is Resumed

I haven't  followed up Monday's post about the 273 kidnapped girls for almost a week as I wanted as many as possible to see it and I'm pleased to say that it is my most read blog for some time. Has it had any effect? Well, a few people have commented that they had forgotten about the Nigerian girls and there were a few newspaper mentions this week (not as a result of my blog I hasten to add) but generally the story has gone back to sleep and is probably unlikely to resurface for a couple of months on the anniversary of their abduction.

I suppose it's no surprise that the story has been forgotten with so many more immediate and horrible events happening in the name of "religion" - even the Pope condoned violence this week by saying that  he would punch his pal if he insulted his mother.... er, what was that Jesus said about turning the other cheek?  But the Pope probably only said that to mollify Muslims and protect Christians in dodgy minority situations. Religion eh? It's a strange religion that condones throwing gay people from the top of high buildings, stoning women for adultery, shooting, crucifying or beheading people who don't share the same view, murdering your daughter or sister for shaming your family (perhaps just for wearing a bit of make up), mutilating girls genitalia, jailing women for having the temerity to drive a car, lashing a bloke for writing something on the internet (looks carefully over shoulder), or creating a vicious campaign against someone who (wait for it) was filmed cooking sausages. I'm not just having a go at followers of Islam. There are some (thankfully very few) Christians in the US Bible belt who would probably think some of the foregoing punishments were too soft on the sinners. Rant over -sorry but it's off my chest and you'll be pleased to know that I only wrote a quarter of what I would have liked to say.

So back to the usual retirement stuff. You may have read on earlier blogs how, due to our family in Kent being badly let down, we started to do regular trips to Rochester to help out with some babysitting. We've been doing it for several months now, and, apart from the travelling, have loved every minute of it. We've got to know our granddaughter so well and we're regular faces at the local mums and tots clubs (which should be renamed granddads, nannies, mums and tots). 

But that travelling! This was the scene on the A12 on Tuesday morning. We set of from Framlingham at 5.25 a.m to beat the traffic but at about 8 we hadn't even reached the M25. "What does that sign say?" Marion asked.

Someone clearly had a sense of humour. I feel so sorry for those involved in the two horrific accidents that caused our delay but,at 3.5 hours, this was the longest journey yet. I won't be able to moan about it in three weeks though as a solution to the childcare has been arranged and our weekly visits to UKIP land will finish. We'll both be really, really sad.

But we will have more time to indulge in our favourite pastimes like cinema. We've got a huge list of new and recent movies we want to see and got off to a great start on Thursday with Foxcatcher. It's based on the true story of multi-millionaire John DuPont and his association with Olympic wrestlers Dave and Mark Schultz. It's a strange story about an extremely strange man and Steve Carell's performance as the delusional DuPont is well worthy of the Oscar nomination he has been given for it. The action is slow and ponderous but the characterisation is perfect and we both found the film gripping. Next week we've got a huge choice - American Sniper,Birdman, Big Eyes, Wild, Whiplash and Testament Of Youth. Unless the weather is glorious we should catch a couple of those in matinees.

Last night we went with neighbours to a very good quiz at Thomas Mills' School although our lack of knowledge on current TV celebrities and rugby players left us languishing near to the bottom of the scoreboard. We've also booked half a dozen classes at Fram Leisure next week  which should see us getting back to our pre-Christmas fitness levels.

Before that we'll be lending our support to the Framlingham Residents' Association who are planning a morning of civil obedience tomorrow when planners visit the town to assess some aspects of the plans to build hundreds of new homes on two greenfield sites. I help write the blog for the association and, as I've said on there, I'm not against development per se but there is sensible development and overdevelopment. The plans on the table would wreck the character of the town, are way above a fair share of the local authority's planned requirements and would clog the place with traffic. Please join us in the morning and show your support.