Tag Archive: Exeter

Bridgwater: 5-bed Edwardian Town House For Sale

For Sale: 5 Bedroom town house in Historic Bridgwater, Somerset    SOLD!!

House For Sale

House For Sale - TA6 7DN

On three floors, brick construction.  Located on the west side of Bridgwater, with easy fast access to the town centre.

  • 5 bedrooms
  • 3 reception rooms
  • Full central heating
  • Roof remade to modern standards of lining and insulation
  • Double glazed
  • Triple glazed conservatory area.

Price:

I’m looking at £164k but in the current market, who’s to say? Make an offer.

Cons:

  1. Needs some renovation to the most modern standards
  2. Small garden front and rear
  3. On main road
  4. On street parking (although most people don’t use their garages for parking hereabouts anyway)

Pros:

  • Almost totally complete and original Edwardian (1903) town house with nearly all fittings and fixtures, tiles, original fireplaces (some marble) in every room, inbuilt wardrobes and cupboards, servant’s bell (yes really!). c.f. point 1 above!
  • Minimal garden maintenance. c.f. point 2 above!
  • Sash windows ditched in favour of modern double glazing (visually not so good but a lot less draughty and quieter too)
  • 28kW gas-fired Central Heating (except hall for aesthetics)
  • Huge bedrooms mainly, can easily be converted en-suite with room to spare.
  • Two w.c., one with bath & shower
  • Conservatory-like covered and insulated courtyard.
  • Close to town centre shops & entertainments etc
  • NOT on the flood plain!! (on an old sandstone mound in Bridgwater on the Somerset Levels)
  • New clean & efficient bathroom
  • 2.5 miles from M5 motorway
  • 1 mile from mainline railway station with direct links to London & Edinburgh
  • 5 miles from Quantock Hills (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
  • 5 miles from Bridgwater Bay (see above)
  • 15 miles from Brendon Hills & Exmoor, see above
  • Glastonbury (new age mob) is 25 mins away, Exeter 35 & Bristol is 35-60 mins away, (dependant on time of day and place!)

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Use the Green Stick, Mr Postman!

Workers and ordinary intelligent users of the Post Office Royal Mail system (“the post”), must be very worried by the latest news about the holistic vertically integrated business that was “the post” being further split up and creamed off.

see 50,000 jobs at risk in break-up of Royal Mail or Royal Mail faces call to change

The writing was on the wall when the year 2000 split law (twat Blair) came in.

Previously, if I ordered some goods mail-order, I’d collect at the local sorting office.  After 2000, and increasingly so, if I miss the delivery to my home (as do 90% of people as we’re at work), I have awkward and useless phone calls followed by refusals to redirect and finally, in the case of crap CityLink, a 70 mile round trip to Exeter Airport!

In the last case above, it was to collect an item costing about £30.  I wasted 90mins of my time and 2 gallons of diesel costing  a tenner!

This was all because the mail-order company can save 50p over Royal Mail rates.

Just look at the environmental cost!  It’s absolutely appalling.

I used to deal with Dabs many times, Dabs.com.   I no longer use them.  Why?   Because they were bought out by …BT, formerly part of “the post” and the service is falling badly.   They don’t use Royal Mail to provide the delivery service!  See above for the twisted logic.

Home Delivery Network – former FedEx, White Arrow & Littlewoods business.  Another one creaming away core business from what should be an efficienly run SERVICE. Try phoning and re-arranging…

DHL (sorry, it’s my lot) – stinky unhelpful Taunton office with crap opening times.

Amtrak – dismal and pokey warehouse in Taunton.  Vehicles held together with stick tape.

All the above have long transport distances for collection of things that only recently got delivered no bother at all.  THIS ALL COSTS. The sneaky underhand method at purchase time is that the full cost isn’t shown on a web purchase page.  If Misco said that the true cost of an OEM DVD writer was £16 + VAT + £4 postage + (£10 and over to collect it) + 90mins of your time during the rush-hour traffic after you’ve finished work early to get the time to collect it, I think people would think twice.

The sad thing is that “the post” had until recently a wonderful local network of collection points that most people could walk to… (called post offices!)

The only way the mail can fight back against the blood-suckers is to level the playing field towards a proper environmentally friendly inclusive SERVICE.  Make ALL businesses who want to do the work, legally obliged to take all packages that are handed to them all the way from door-to-door for the cost of a stamp and make them responsible for the full economic cost that the receiver of the package is currently forced to pay.

Currently, drive on the motorway at night and you’ll see a few hundred high artics transporting the high-value cream that used to be “the post”‘s work.  It’s no wonder they can make money.  It’s the cream.

Let them try a proper service where the whole cost to the environment is accounted for.

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I Had that Aspergillus Thing, I think, and Everyone Laughed!

Aspergillus

Aspergillus

Recently in the news is the tale of a man that died from an aspergillus infection. I’m pretty sure I had the same thing about 20 years ago, except when I told people about it, they mostly sort of laughed that I was imagining it.

Wellisford Manor

Wellisford Manor showing the Ha-ha

One of the things I used to do was maintain large gardens. A particular one at Wellisford Manor had large lawns and beech trees, the clippings and dropped leaves of which I used to assemble into a series of large purpose designed compost heaps.

Compost Heap

Compost Heap

Other organic matter went in as well, but the bulk of the volume was the annual harvest of beech leaves and grass cuttings. Each heap was rectangular, encased in a proper box, and had a volume of about 4 cubic metres, say.

Typical Compost Heap on a Winter's Day

Typical Compost Heap on a Winter's Day

One late winter’s day, I turned the heaps and got enveloped in a large white cloud that looked like steam (the heap was hot anyway), but it left a bit of a taste in my mouth and throat and made me cough. The next day I could hardly breathe. I had a huge temperature and chest pains that got worse on day 2 and started being a bit delirious. This lasted for about 2 weeks and I can honestly say that, even though I didn’t feel I was going to die, I’ve never ever felt so ill either before or since. Much worse than flu.

Spore Cloud emanating from Ripe Fungus

Spore Cloud emanating from Ripe Fungus

Afterwards, I guessed it was fungal spores and took steps to take more care in future and have passed on my experience to anyone that may have to do a similar thing.

Beech Buds

Beech Buds

This experience and another one where I got poked in the eye by a needle-sharp beech bud, were life-changing turning points that made me change my plans (which at the time were to dramatically expand my business) because I decided that gardening was too dangerous!
I then moved into transport which led to computing.

Wellisford Inclined Plane

Wellisford Inclined Plane

Wellisford is also notable for the nearby Inclined Plane which was one of the engineering solutions in the plan to make a canal from Bridgwater to Exeter. This was an idea to cut shipping losses for the expanding coal trade from South Wales to London, as they kept bumping into the rugged Cornish coast and the Scilly Isles and sinking. I currently live near the canal in Bridgwater. It never made it to Exeter as Brunel’s railway made it first so that all canal traffic stopped and they ran out of money.

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Law Regarding Measures of State Self-Defense (Leviathan, how come?)

a.k.a. How did the Labour Party come to this?

The present Home Secretary, the former teacher called Jacqui Smith, is desperately trying, at all costs, to implement laws that would allow events such as the law that is title of this post, to easily occur at some future date.

Let’s state my case;

  • I’m (still) a member of the UK Labour Party and have been since the dark days of Michael Foot. He was a very nice, principled man, who I felt sorry for, so one day, while walking down East Reach in Taunton, I popped into the local Labour Party office and asked if they’d like some money from me. The guy fell off his chair. (Membership was at an all-time low and Labour were the pariah’s of Europe ). Since then the Direct Debit system has periodically siphoned a small amount from my personal money stash. In a small way it has helped win elections.
  • If the 42 day lockup that Jaqui is forcing through parliament right now comes to fruition
    • NO MORE CASH LEAVES ME FOR Victoria Street
  • If the Identity Card system is forced through to implementation
    • NO MORE CASH LEAVES ME FOR Victoria Street

But Hey! But if you want to give your money to a party that leaves the way open for Fascists, Communists and Totalitarians of the worst kind to overrun our green and pleasant land, then please click here. The key to the future lies in the past.

Jaqui Smith went to a standard comprehensive school and thence to Oxford. Her college has an original signed copy of Leviathan. It’s an interesting tome, fashioned not long after we chopped off the head of the tyrannical Charles I who thought he was a god and his powers handed down by “god”. I think she’s read it and taken a lot on board. It’s from this book that the phrase

Life in the state of nature is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”

is derived. Well just because something is written down does not mean that it is true! We can aspire to better things.

The gist of the book is that to end civil war, and to ensure strife doesn’t arise, ever, a country needs a strong hard person – a monarch (Hobbes didn’t like democracy). The overall tone is very militaristic, much like loony US republicans like Bush et al and it’s very “if I’m attacked I have an absolute right to blast the person/group/country out of existence” biased.

The thing is, it would be. There’d just been the hideous civil war followed by an equally disastrous “commonwealth” in England. Hobbes was used to full-on aggression and yearned for stability. He also came up with the term “social contract” where your general plebs all release some of their absolute freedoms to do absolutely anything they like in return for the protections and peace under a higher authority.

Anyway, where we are now is that the Labour Government wants to take away all our hard-won liberties of ages (they’ll be “protected” by “safeguards” they say ) so that we don’t get hurt by mad people (they are calling them terrorists.) Despite the tory supposed opposition to this law, all the right-wing loonies must be laughing up their sleeves at this moment.

As an aside, the word “Tory” comes from the Irish abusive word for outlaw, derived from the Latin for ……. TERROR! The Tories thought it was so funny that they took the word to call themselves out of pure upper-class spite…

Jean Charles de MenezesSo far they’ve caught less than a hundred, panicked the nation into xenophobia and shot one person “accidentally”, eight times.

Meanwhile, although our “Military Intelligence” have been watching people for ages (including the London bombers) and the now recent Exeter bomber, they’ve singularly failed to be any good at stopping anyone. There’s precious little hope that they’ll get any better in future, in fact, it makes one wonder if the failures are deliberate to make sure that the populace stay frightened. There have already been news leaks for ALL the “terrorist” events, that each of the suspects had been watched for months – how else could they be caught so quickly?

Since the 28-day rule came in (bad enough!), they’ve arrested hundreds of people and charged about sixteen. Next stop the GULAGs in Shropshire. meanwhile, the real crime continues – like a teenage girl getting killed by a stalker while the police, like Pilate, do nothing.

How Does the Past Relate to all This?

If someone can get someone else locked away on their say-so for an increasingly indeterminant period, we have a police state.

If that person is a policeman, we have a police state.

If it’s against the law to tell anyone that someone has been locked up under these laws, we have a police state.

If the police pick and choose which laws to enforce, we have a police state.

That’s what it’s like now. The powers aren’t used much – but how would we know. If you hadn’t seen your friend for a year and no-one knew where he was, then who could you ask?

Would you dare ask?

The police state is here now. Our freedoms are removed and distractions are invented to hide their true impact. Here, bizarrely, is what Herman Goering had to say about it all to a prison psychologist called Gilbert while in his cell during the Nuremberg trials.

Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. (…) Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

Goering did and said some stupid, horrible things in his life; but this wasn’t one of them. This quote was even used by the longest ever serving US Senator, the former KKK member, Robert Byrd, who since his youth has now had a complete volte-face and used it to try and stop Bush’s war in Iraq.

Law Regarding Measures of State Self-Defense

512px_Reichsparteitagnov1935_1_

This is what happens when political opposition is eliminated

This is what it was like after the Night of the Long Knives, and subsequently. In this period, Hitler got rid of most of his political enemies. He then retrospectively passed the above law to legalise his act and any future ones he did.

The law is very similar in it’s terms and scope to the projected law of Jaqui Smith. It’s a bit like the US Dept of Homeland Security too. It’s final outcome was systematic genocide of peoples and races, World War II, the deaths of tens of millions of people and the invention of the atomic weapon that we still have to live with now. Interestingly, the German population as a whole were broadly in favour of the Law Regarding Measures of State Self-Defence. They were persuaded that the “enemies of the state” had to be expunged. The legal establishment gave in to Hitler’s demands and all the “checks and balances” that Jaqui is fond of quoting disappeared into thin air like a mirage.

There is a direct parallel to this in the US following the twin towers fiasco…the patriot act, dept of homeland security…etc…etc News today is that I can’t go to the US without being fingerprinted! So sorry Arnie – I shan’t be visiting. Fingerprinting isn’t foolproof, especially in the US where people have been executed on wrong fingerprint evidence.

It’s shite. Half the UK can see it’s absolute shite and half seem hypnotised into walking into the abyss of a future dark age. Meanwhile, while these fundamental changes are being instigated, they’ve got the country all het up about teenage drinking as a distraction. Because that’s all it is. Nothing will happen about it.

Bastards.

Nichiren Daishonin, the great Buddhist thinker from 13c Japan, said:

Emperors and kings have their foundation in the state and bring peace and order to the age; ministers and commoners hold possession of their fields and gardens and supply the needs of the world. But if marauders come from other regions to invade the nation, or if revolt breaks out within the domain and people’s lands are seized and plundered, how can there be anything but terror and confusion? If the nation is destroyed and people’s homes are wiped out, then where can one flee for safety? If you care anything about your personal security, you should first of all pray for order and tranquillity throughout the four quarters of the land, should you not? – Nichiren Daishonin: On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land – WND1, page 24

What this does NOT mean is that the country should be militarised up to the teeth and everyone should spend their lives in fear and panic. Our lands have not been seized and plundered – far from it. If some of our current actions lead at some future date to people’s homes and lives being destroyed, it’s the current actions that need to change to avoid future calamities.

These draconian laws will lead to actions that hurt our people, nation and the very fabric of our society. If you care anything for your personal security (and I do), it’s tranquillity we should be aiming for, harmony with our surroundings. That’s what Nichiren means.

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Alistair Campbell – artist & Iggy Connection

In a recent posting of the Crawling Chaos website I mentioned some (potential) ideas for the forthcoming releases and also the work of Alistair Campbell which can be found here and here. Just for fun I’ve taken a few snaps of the picture hanging in my bedroom. I like the ones from acute angles which highlight particular areas of the painting.

The painting is oil on hardboard (I’ve shown pictures that highlight the texture quite well). I gave some money to Alistair and asked him to paint me something that he thought was worth the money. He asked me what to paint so I just said “something I like – you know me – just paint anything”. So that was the result. Personally, I think he short-changed himself. I was thinking it would be something A4 sized-ish. He varnished it at our house in Taunton when we lived there. It was a nice sunny day and he did it outside at the back of the house. I’m very pleased with it and it follows us on our moves. It used to be in the living room but is now above the bed. We’ve had some odd glances at it over the years!

It’s a good subject choice as we were (are) all Iggy fans. I’ve seen the wizened little dude a few times. We went to see him at Exeter University with Alistair and his lot. My daughter Evelyn was only two years old at the time and I had her right at the front in the mosh pit on my shoulders! This was an early introduction for her that seems to have left an imprint as she spends a lot of her time listening to “metal ” in the mosh pit wherever she goes now.

I was thinking of this very time when I was there two years ago on the Men’s Buddhism Course for the Southwest Region of the SGI. I was pondering how to get in touch with Alistair – completely forgetting about google and my I.T. jobs and skills. What a twit.

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