The Anonymous Widower

Is Norwich The Most Godless Place In Britain?

The 2011 Census results have started to be published and this report on the BBC, asks if Norwich is the most godless place in Britain.

This surprised me, as I always thought the city had more churches than most conurbations of its size.

But then there are plenty of people from Suffolk, who would suggest reasons for this statistic. Many would not be repeatable.

December 11, 2012 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

A Sikh On Guard At The Palace

This story, of a Sikh in the Scots Guards, who wears a turban instead of a bearskin is reported in the Daily Mail. I think what is extraordinary about this story is not the story itself, but the comments from readers.  Not one is anything but approving and supportive. Something that doesn’t seem to fit the stereotype given to the average reader of that newspaper.

One could also argue that these days, his headgear may be the more ethical.

December 11, 2012 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment

Zopa And Funding Circle Get Government Funding

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Zopa and Funding Circle are going to get tranches of funds to invest from the Government.

I very much applaud this move as although the sums are quite small at ten and twenty million pounds respectively for each, the government’s seal of approval can only help the growth of this form of lending. To put these sums in context, Zopa has lent over a quarter of a billion pounds and currently around thirty million is available to borrowers.

But surely the biggest boost is that with this extra funding, the publicity will drive more credit-worthy borrowers into the arms of Zopa and Funding Circle.

My only worry is a selfish one, that the interest rates available will drop because of the extra funds.

I certainly wouldn’t like to be holding any shares in a traditional bank.

I shall also be watching the return, that I’m getting on my money in Zopa.

December 11, 2012 Posted by | Business, Finance, News | , , , | 1 Comment

Curry With A Kick?

I saw this sign in the window of a restaurant in Upper Street.

Curry With A Kick?

Curry With A Kick?

I wonder if it’s gluten free.

December 11, 2012 Posted by | Food, World | , | Leave a comment

It’s Five Years Today

Today it’s five years since my wife, C, died quietly in her sleep. A lot has happened since, what with the death of our youngest son and my stroke, which necessitated my move from Suffolk to London.

But life in those five years hasn’t been all bad and I’ve experienced some wonderful things. I’ve also just found this in Chambers UK, which is a guide to the best lawyers in the UK.

He works with individuals who are prosecuted on suspicion of funding or having an active part in terrorist groups and conspiracies, and is a vocal critic of the implications of broad legislation and law in this area. He is described as “a great solicitor.”

The person being described is our middle son. C would be immensely proud! Just as I obviously am!

Today is a really bittersweet day!

December 11, 2012 Posted by | World | , , , , | 4 Comments

Whiplash

I don’t drive anymore, as my eyesight deteriorated badly due to a stroke.

I object to all the money that is wasted by the NHS in dealing with so many of these non-existent lawyer-driven whiplash claims.

People should just drive a bit more carefully!

Or use public transport like I do!  The great thing about public transport in many parts of London and especially this one, is staff and fellow passengers often make it a friendly experience. Perhaps, Transport for London, should sell silly hats like this one, in aid of charity!

December 11, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Spam From The NSPCC

I’ve just received a series of spam e-mails from the NSPCC.

That’s the last time, they get any money from me!

I tried to unsubscribe, but all it asked me to do was donate.

December 11, 2012 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , | 2 Comments

Liverpool, Glasgow And Belfast

These three cities in the UK have for centuries had their troubles between Catholics and Protestants.

I grew up in London, which before the Second World War wasn’t without its religious troubles.  But that generally involved anti-Semitism and those on the far right.  My father was a staunch anti-fascist and claimed he was at the Battle of Cable Street. I suspect he was, and I know he used to write Cockney poetry about the war.  Sadly none has srvived although, I can remember a few phrases.

He didn’t like Catholics because of the Pope’s support for Hitler in the War and my mother being of a Huguenot line didn’t like them either. But it was nothing more than the odd barbed comment, when say a new Pope was elected. I don’t think either of my parents ever saw the inside of a church except for the odd wedding.

This lack of religion, probably helped to push me towards being agnostic and of course now, I’m someone, who doesn’t believe in any religion. But that is not to say, I don’t follow the humanist principles of most of the major religions.

Going to Liverpool in the early 1960s, was the first time, I really came across religion in tooth and claw. With the massive Anglican Cathedral and the new Roman Catholic one under construction, I couldn’t avoid the fact, that I was in a city that took its religion seriously. In those days, there were parades by both Catholics and Orangemen. But any trouble had dropped off in the previous few years.  Was it because the people of Liverpool developed healthy interests in music and football? But other factors were also at work inside the Anglican and Catholic churches. Although this pre-dates the partnership between Archbishop Derek Worlock and the Bishop David Sheppard, I think in the 1960s, the people of Liverpool thought they’d had enough of religious rivalries, that got out of hand.

It was then that I met C’s friend, Maureen, who was the daughter of a Presbyterian Minister and missionary from Belfast. Her tales of her home city painted a very different picture of life in Northern Ireland.

It was at that time too, that I had my first experience of Scotland, when I went to Glasgow to see Spurs play against Celtic in the Glasgow Cup. It was the first time, I saw serious football violence, as a Rangers supporter appeared in the non-segregated crowd and was promptly thumped by most of the Celtic fans around me. It’s not to say there wasn’t violence in England at the time, but in matches at Portman Road, White Hart Lane, Anfield and Goodison Park, I’d never experienced any at first hand.

Over the years, I’ve visited Belfast a few times and been rather horrified at all of the flags and religious symbols.  I once went into Shorts factory in Belfast and couldn’t believe the bigoted displays I saw. If I were to put up similar posters and flags on my house attacking any religion, I’d be arrested.

In Glasgow it’s not so open, but read any forum about Rangers and Celtic and you’ll find language you never find on similar forums involving say Spurs and Arsenal or Liverpool and Everton.

I go to Liverpool regularly and even went to see the Olympic torch in the city, where the Archbishop enjoyed the parade with everybody else.

So how come Liverpool has come to terms with its religious divides and in Belfast and to a certain extent, Glasgow, they seem to be getting worse?

December 11, 2012 Posted by | News, Sport, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Cold Out There!

My air-conditioner has an outside temperature gauge.

It's Cold Out There!

It’s Cold Out There!

At least it’s a comfortable eighteen degrees inside.

December 11, 2012 Posted by | News | | 3 Comments

The Prisons Don’t Get Any Better

This story from the BBC shows that in the fifty years since C first got involved with prisons, that the same mistakes are still being made. This is just one extract.

The HM Inspectorate of Prisons found the lack of support for foreign national prisoners “a matter of great concern”.

In one case, it was discovered that a foreign national had been detained for nine years after the date his sentence ended.

This is sheer incompetence and how much as it cost and will cost taxpayers.

December 11, 2012 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment