The Anonymous Widower

How Did We Get Here?

As a 71-year-old, enjoying a comfortable retirement, who voted Remain, I’m watching UK politics from behind the sofa.

There appears to be no statesman or stateswoman to lead us out of this mess.

January 15, 2019 Posted by | World | , | 3 Comments

Economy Energy Customers Moved To Ovo Days After Ninth Bankruptcy In A Year

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on City AM.

These are two paragraphs from the article.

Ovo has already established itself as a so-called supplier of last resort, willing to take on customers of companies which are unable to keep trading.

In November it started serving almost 300,000 customers who were left without an energy supplier when Spark Energy went bankrupt.

Ovo is certainly growing its customer base from bankrupt suppliers and I hope it has got its sums correct and doesn’t overstretch itself.

It must be getting very practised at handling customers worried about their energy supply and costs.

In addition, it is showing itself to be an innovative supplier and is venturing into new markets.

January 12, 2019 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

Packaging That Can’t Be Opened

Two days ago, my kitchen scissors broke.

I suspect, they had been in our kitchen for at least twenty years and had stainless steel blades and red handles.

Usually, I kept them on my kitchen work-top to be handy to open the packaging, that seems to arrive tightly-wrapped around everything you buy.

So I bought a replacement pair in Sainsburys for just two pounds.

But I then had the problem of how to open the packaging, as after all my scissors were broken.

In the end, I used a small hacksaw.

January 11, 2019 Posted by | World | , | 2 Comments

Consequences Of A Successful No-Deal Brexit By The UK

As a Control Engineer, who voted Remain, I do wonder what would happen, if we left with No-Deal and after a year or so, it turned out to be without horrors, because people and companies had created new routes round the problems.

Doing this, is typical human behaviour and especially for the British!

We can all think of times in the past few years, where everybody has pulled together to solve the problems created by a disaster

Would a successful UK., prompt other countries to at least think of leaving the EU?

If it does, could we be seeing the start of the break-up of the EU?

January 7, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Climate Change: The Massive CO2 Emitter You May Not Know About

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first three paragraphs..

Concrete is the most widely used man-made material in existence. It is second only to water as the most-consumed resource on the planet.

But, while cement – the key ingredient in concrete – has shaped much of our built environment, it also has a massive carbon footprint.

Cement is the source of about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to think tank Chatham House.

Read the whole article.

January 2, 2019 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep Your Fingers Crossed And Don’t Anticipate Disaster

This is June Whitfield’s own words at the end of her obituary in The Times today,  after she had been asked for tips on how to remain positive in old age.

I’ll drink to that!

December 31, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Latvia, A Disappearing Nation

Thw title of this post is the same as that of this article on Politico.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Atis Sjanits has an unusual remit for an ambassador. The Latvian diplomat is not responsible for relations with another nation — but with his own country’s diaspora.

Sjanits’ job is to respond to the exodus triggered by Latvia’s accession to the EU. Since joining the bloc, nearly a fifth of the nation has left to work in more affluent EU nations: The U.K., Ireland, Germany.

The article gives population statistics for the three countries in Eastern Europe.

In 2000, Latvia’s population stood at 2.38 million. At the start of this year, it was 1.95 million. No other country has had a more precipitous fall in population — 18.2 percent according to U.N. statistics. Only Latvia’s similarly fast-shriveling neighbor, Lithuania, with a 17.5 percent decrease, and Georgia, with a 17.2 percent drop, come close.

Estonia is not mentioned. So could this be, that their advanced digital economy? I’m no expert, but surely if you have a good Internet, it must open up opportunities.

I could say, that the bright and the innovative have always left the Baltic States, as my great-great-great-grandfather, did around 1800! His reasons were also slightly different, as there was a lack of opportunities for Jews in East Prussia.

The article quotes Atis Sjanits as there will not be enough future soldiers or taxpayers to pay for them.

The EU has big plans for a railway called Rail Baltica to eventually link Helsinki and Warsaw, via the three Baltic States.

The railway is to be built to a high standard.

  • 155 mph running.
  • 25 KVAC electrification.
  • ERTMS signalling.
  • No level crossings.
  • Ability to handle freight trains of 1050 metres.

Vladimir Putin does like the fact that the new railway will be standard gauge rather than Russian.

The main reason is to move freight from road to rail, but I can certainly see tourists using the railway to tour the Baltic.

 

December 31, 2018 Posted by | Transport, World | , , | Leave a comment

The Irony Of Brexit

According to Wikipedia, the third of Newton’s Laws of Motion, states this.

When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.

It doesn’t just apply to mechanics, but to life in general.

If a Government introduces a policy that the electorate don’t like, then the electorate reacts.

We have had marches against the Poll Tax, the War in Iraq and Universal Credit in recent decades.

At least in the UK, protests don’t get as violent as they do in some countries like France.

Over the last few weeks, we have seen a number of illegal immigrants arrive in this country in small boats sailing across the English Channel.

People aren’t stupid and these mainly Iranian nationals, are thinking that after the March 2019, it will be more or less impossible to get into the UK.

So their reaction is to cross the Channel now!

The smugglers react in the obvious way, by buying boats capable of making the journey.

In The Times today, there is an news story about an English smuggler buying a boat from a Frenchman called Pierre.

  • All the legal details are carried out.
  • Money changed hands (probably literally!)
  • The Englishman removed the boat.

The Englishman also said he’d come back later for the trailer, but never did. Surprise Surprise! He wouldn’t need it would he!

We have the irony, that the electorate of the UK voted for Brexit partly to keep foreigners and especially those not like them out of the UK.

But because of the laws of action and reaction, they will actually increase the number of immigrants, as we’re seeing in the Channel.

 

December 29, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | 2 Comments

Iceland Crash: Three British People Including Child Killed

The title of this post is the same as this article on the BBC.

I’ve been to Iceland and thoroughly enjoyed it.

But I did all the exploring in organised tour parties, as I was advised by the tour company, that this was safer. Although, they didn’t know I couldn’t drive!

We went everywhere in large 4×4 vehicles.

So was the party involved in the tragedy in a suitable vehicle?

December 28, 2018 Posted by | Transport, World | , | Leave a comment

I Don’t Wrap Christmas Presents Traditionally!

I don’t give many presents, as I only have three relatives, who I’m in contact with.

These are the presents all lined up on Christmas Day, before taking them to Christmas lunch!

The drawstring bags are bought on-line from The Clever Baggers.

The larger pink ones are just £0.72, which is probably cheaper than traditional wrapping paper.

Putting the presents into a bag and pulling the string is probably a lot easier, especially if you have a gammy hand, as I sometimes do!

They would also be ideal in a family with lots of children, as each could have their own colour.

As I nearly ran out of bags this Christmas, I have just placed an order to replenish my stock.

December 27, 2018 Posted by | World | , | 3 Comments