Bill Bryson & Phil Holden on the UK honours system

phlhldn.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/im-honoured-bill-bryson-agrees-with-me.html

Phil Holden has the story on his blog site – see link above

Phil’s a mate of mine and Bill Bryson my favourite author. Phil had previously posted about the honours system in the UK and how undeserving rich footballers etc. get awards inappropriately.

He then comes across Bill’s excellent recent book ‘The Road to Little Dribbling’ where we are teased by Bryson about how we give out honours. Bill goes on to say how it works in the USA as well.

Both Phil’s blog and Bill Bryson’s works are well worth reading.

May to be Prime Minister – Excuse me this Brian Rix type farce has gone too far!

I suspect that I am hardly the only person who has watched in utter disbelief the folding farce of British ‘democracy’ in action over recent weeks.

It’s the kind of democracy where the leaders of the Brexit campaign all bugger off almost all at once after they have got what they campaigned for. You could say the leaders have all left the room.

It’s a democracy where we get a new prime minister, in effect, imposed on us. Yes I know it has happened before (Gordon Brown comes to mind) but that does not make repeating the stunt right.

It’s a democracy in utter turmoil since the Brexit vote, where every major party political leader but one (Tim Farron) is either buggering off or is being hacked to death (Jeremy Corbyn) by their own MP’s.

If ever we needed a General Election it must be now. We need a Government with a mandate to deal with the Brexit mess which could take up to 10 years to resolve. We need a Prime Minister we can have even a modicum of faith in who has taken their party through an election campaign and therefore has some legitimacy in the so terribly hard times ahead of us. Oh yes and we need Her Majesty’s Official Opposition to stop it’s own civil war and get on with being an opposition.

Goodness me how did we come to be in the state that we are? This is the kind of situation that Bill Bryson could write an all too funny piece about except that our resident American observer of we British must be almost as stuck for coherent words as we are and the situation is actually beyond farce!

A Walk in the Woods – A great book and a terrible tragedy

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-36389383

A Walk in the Woods is probably Bill Bryson’s best book and of course it was recently turned into a film starring Robert Redford. It’s all about walking the famed Appalachian Trail.

But the story on the BBC web site – -accessible via the link above – really does show what a lonely wilderness this American long distance footpath travels through.

Poor Geraldine Largay, 26 days lost before she sadly died.

Litter – Deyes Lane shops Maghull

Litter around these shops is a problem; a problem caused by those who drop it probably from items they have purchased in the shops.

rsz_photo0971

A suspect that the Council could brush it up twice as often as they do now (if they could afford to do so) and some folks would still treat the pavement as a litter bin.

When you think of all the great work done by volunteers to spruce up Maghull (Maghull in Bloom Volunteers and Maghull Station Volunteers spring to mind) why do some residents volunteer to assist with creating a litter problem.

It reminds me of Bill Bryson’s quote about Liverpool when he wrote his book Notes from a Small Island and he visited the City in its darker days of the 1980’s. He said:-

I took a train to Liverpool. They were having a festival of litter when I arrived. Citizens had taken time off from their busy activities to add crisp packets, empty cigarette boxes and carrier-bags to the otherwise bland and neglected landscape. They fluttered gaily in the bushes and brought colour and texture to pavements and gutters. And to think that elsewhere we stick these objects in rubbish bags.

Animals in Need Melling – A little bird tells me…………….

Still no further forward I am sorry to say with regard to the charity’s fund raising stall in Maghull Square but I hear that a shop had volunteered the space outside its premises on a Saturday for the charity to pitch its fund raising stall. However, I am also told that the managing agents, presumably acting on behalf of the property owners, put a stop to the offer.

Assuming all this is correct, and I stand to be corrected if it is not, it would indicate to me that the shop keepers who are sympathetic to the cause of the charity are finding themselves in a position where they can’t volunteer the space outside their shop to assist the charity.

There must have been more letters in the Aintree and Maghull Champion newspaper about this than any other subject of recent memory. The animal charity has a great many supporters. And this reminds me of Bill Bryson’s excellent book – Notes from a Small Island, which details his trip around the UK from the perspective of an American by birth.

Bill finds himself outside the Ludlow and District Cats Protection League, which intrigued him. Whatever, he wondered, did the people of Ludlow do to their cats that required the setting up of a special protective agency? And he goes on to write that, there is almost nothing, apart perhaps from a touching faith in the reliability of weather forecasts and the universal fondness for jokes involving the word ‘bottom’, that makes me feel more like an outsider in Britain than the nation’s attitude to animals. Did you know that the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was formed sixty years after the founding of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and as an offshoot of it? Did you know that in 1994 Britain voted for a European Union directive requiring statutory rest periods for transported animals, but against statutory rest periods for factory workers?

The British love of animals is very clear, if very odd, to Bill but he sums us up well.