Our planet, and how we could lose it.

Global scientists have once again released a report stating that we are destroying the planet.
In fact we are merely rendering it uninhabitable for our species. The planet will simply shrug us off as a temporary parasite.

But, one wonders, what is the point?
On a personal level, nobody to my knowledge has yet come up with an affordable electric car that can reasonably tow a caravan or a horse trailer over any reasonable distance.
Even if they did, what is the comparative climate effect and cost of generating and delivering the electricity, and providing the charging points nationwide?

On a global level, until the USA acknowledges the problem and Russia, China and India, along with a host of smaller  countries, achieve their ambition of catching up with “the West’s” power consumption levels, we are unlikely to make any local effect.

Maybe, having screwed the planet beyond our current abilities, we must either evolve to cope or die out as a species. We won’t be the first to be replaced, even on this planet.

I realise that we are merely the tenants of our environment, and custodians for future generations.  So the best we can hope to do is to limit the impact of the previous 2000 or so generations who had no idea what they were doing.

Anachronisms and organisation

Someone on Channel 5’s “Great British Model Railway Challenge” first episode commented that in the recent film “Dunkirk”, the characters boarded a 1960s train.

Sorry, but that film began to lose me within the first two minutes when our hero walked past an obviously late 20th century building. I think the producers or directors may have been too caught up in the actual location to seek a realistic location.

And today, while clearing up and meticulously filing (yes – I am getting organised) models from my most recent wargame I have “The Cockleshell Heroes” on the TV in the background. A gratuitous and unnecessary* side shot of a German warship clearly bearing a British frigate reference number. Showing the crew wearing German hats a few moments later does not rectify the glaring error.

But while organising my 1:285 and 1:300 scale models I see that I have far too many 1940 Germans representing 1944 types – exactly like most film costume designers.
And I have created Arnhem with British church ruins and Normandy shops. Who am I to criticise?

Incidentally, during a TV advertisement break in the film I was informed that Colgate toothpaste is created by professionals. Well, that’s another worry resolved!

*Gratuitous and unnecessary. Is that tautology? I stand open to correction from fellow pedants.

Arnhem 75th Anniversary.

I am making plans to travel to Arnhem next September for the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden.

My current plan is to camp near Arnhem on a “one man and his dog” basis, from 16th to 23rd September 2019, attending whatever commemorations we can get to and visiting the sites and museums.

But I wonder if any of my blog followers have a similar interest, and would be prepared to share a car and a tent (or even a caravan if finances allow) for a week on a shared cost basis with a curmudgeonly old git and an over-friendly dog.

If interested, please send an e-mail to greywhiskers@me.com with the title Arnhem75, and we can discuss options.

Game of Thrones

While driving around the country yesterday I listened to the first 5 hours of the audiobook “A Song of Ice and Fire”, better known as volume one of “Game of Thrones”.

Today, with a mountain of ironing to process, I watched the beginning of the TV series. I have seen it before, but with the original writing in my head it made much more sense. The production, locations and characters are superb, and as close to the book as one can achieve for an entertaining TV series.

I particularly like the opening sequences (developed as the story progresses) depicting mechanical gearing operation, indicating the background political mechanics, and which is later reflected in the pseudo-mediaeval castle backdrops.

One problem with the audio book is the allocation of British Regional accents to characters, and particularly the lack of consistency. I am not sure that I am in favour of using regional accents to identify characters, even if Westeros has similarities to Britain in its geography. But when a character who speaks with a Lancashire accent for three chapters suddenly becomes Welsh and a scotsman migrates to Yorkshire at the same time I start to question the production values.

Fake news?

Stopping at Cherwell Valley Services (M40) today and walking, nay – rushing, from the car park to the facilities I spotted a situation in a corner that, had I not had more pressing issues, I may have investigated further.

In a dark corner a man, prone, on the ground, with a can of drink, being  photographed by a man with a camera, accompanied by a man with a tablet (IT, not medical) and a large shoulder bag.  As I passed the “drunk” stood up, appeared to check “was that all right” and walked away, apparently completely sober.

I had no further time to watch due to the pressing needs of my bladder, but this looked to me very much like a set-up picture for a so-called news documentary.

A weekend caravanning

We have just spent 5 days at the Blenheim Palace Horse Trials event.

This is Chrissy’s annual “chill-out”, away from work, watching horses and spending money on horsey stuff.

We take the caravan and pay an arm and a leg for “mains” electricity – the one time in the year when we do not have to monitor the battery and gas levels.

I do all the cooking and general housekeeping, including water supply, waste water and other effluent disposal.

The caravan toilet flushing system packed up on day 2, deciding to spread the required water across the washroom floor rather than into the toilet bowl, so we went back to “manual bucket flush” methodology for the weekend and used on-site facilities instead when practicable.

The weather was as usual.  Whatever you decide to wear in the morning is wrong by lunchtime when you are about 3 miles from “home”.

Our campsite organisers set a 1,000,000 steps challenge in aid of the event charity: “Dogs for Good”.  The charity representatives apparently did not know this.  25 campers took part and managed 1,003,500 steps as at 9:00 this morning.  

My personal total equated to around 22 miles walking about over the 4 days of the event, and I had one afternoon asleep!  Sparky, even if on a lead most of the time, probably did 25-30 miles.  He is exhausted, but happy to be home.

Overall, a pleasant weekend, but visitor numbers were well down on previous years, possible because so many “top name” riders were in America at the World Equestrian Games.  Many retailers were in dire straits due to lack of passing trade.

And I do wish that the concurrent attractions of the Royal Berks Show and “Colours” wargame show, both in Newbury, about 30 miles south of Blenheim Palace, would revert to their original dates so that I could enjoy them too.

Annoyed with the internet

Today I tried to register a negative report for a vacuum cleaner that I tried to use to clean the car.

The G-tech cleaner refused to pick up grit from the footwell.  I tried to contact G-tech.  I tried to leave feedback on G-tech’s website.  I tried to use a generic review site.

After several attempts and two password resets I made it to my WordPress blog.  Finally managing to  reset my password to include an expletive directed at WordPress I am able to post this review.

“The G-tech multi is a good machine for stairs, skirtings and other household tasks.  It lacks the power to pick up grit from car footwells”

Finally done- can I go back to cleaning my car now?