Wednesday, 22 April 2009


In London today.
It feels like 1978 all over again.
The Victoria Line was
closed all day - RMT industrial action.

Hugely inconvenient - hope it's open today.
Missed what would have been a lovely, indulgent pre-meeting hour in Tate Britain.
Took overcrowded and sweaty alternative route.
Emerged in Westminster to find wall-to-wall police - some armed - all looking terribly nervous and being elaborately polite and helpful to passers-by.
Of course, as well as the neatly-corralled, high-decibel group of Tamil and other protesters, it was Budget Day.
Perhaps Mr Darling had ordered extra protection, imagining hordes of jobless people, increasingly bewildered and abandoned, descending on Parliament to attack his fantastic & complacent attitude to our economic woes.
To quote Richard Wolf of the Financial Times
"A government that made such large claims for the quality of its economic stewardship hardly deserves to survive such a debacle."
Let us hope, for all our sakes, that they don't.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Ever wanted to try Line Dancing?

Well, Shaftesbury & Villages 50+ Forum gave its members the chance to do just that.

Professionally organised with a VERY patient teacher, we had a great time.

And - it just keeps on getting better doesn't it - IT WAS FREE!!

We welcomed new members, as the evening event brought people who would be at work in the daytime.

To start with, it felt a bit like playing Twister - you forgot which foot was which - but we soon got the hang of the "step behind and rock"etc. and the music was great.

We'll be doing this again - but i'll let you know what my calves feel like tomorrow...


Despite a cold and windy morning, we had a great response to our Pension and Savings National Action Day campaign.
The Town Council had kindly granted permission for us to set up our campaign stall on Park Walk.
As you can see, Apricot was keen to get in on the act, and drew her usual Jack Russell Fan Club!

We were delighted that one of our National MEP Conservative Candidates Don Collier was able to join our band of local volunteers - plying our petitions and clipboards in Shaftesbury.
We had people literally snatching pens out of our hands to sign the petition supporting two key Conservative proposals:

Abolish Income Tax on Savings for Basic Rate Taxpayers

Raise Pensioners' Personal Allowance (Tax Threshold) by £2,000 to £11,490.

All the signatures we collected will give us ammunition to pressure this Government to DO IT NOW.
Because this group of people - savers and pensioners - have been especially hard-hit by the financial crisis, and these people need relief NOW.

It's all very well announcing packages of billions.
But what we need are simple, common-sense practical measures, which are even-handed and fair to all and which can actually DELIVER benefits to the individual.
Huge thanks to our wonderful volunteers who pounded the High Street with clipboards and to the endlessly patient shoppers, visitors and walkers in Shaftesbury who took the time to stop and talk to us.

The petitions will be delivered to Westminster tomorrow, and to Downing Street later on this week. will report anything interesting that emerges.

Monday, 13 April 2009


... and this is what I've been doing instead of Facebooking and blogging.

making not eating, of course...

Monday, 6 April 2009


Very unfunny though.
Yet another shop in Shaftesbury High Street announces a closing down sale.
What will we be left with, come balmier times?
For now, we're simply living in barmy times.
And where are Gordon Brown's billions when you need them?


no turning back now.

We're definitely having a new sink...

That wall looks - somehow - very French.

no offence to our European Partners...


Went to hear Mozart's Requiem (& Bruckner Te Deum, plus Brahms Overture "Tragic") in Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday.
The Brahms; never was the performance of an overture more aptly named. .
I have to say that Salisbury Music Society's virtually consonant-free style suited the Bruckner admirably - sort of endless meandering surges of sound.
And just when you think it's about to end - whoosh! He's off again...
In the (unnecessary) interval I walked round the cathedral and enjoyed seeing the stunning new font.
Tourists obviously think it's some sort of wishing well.
Money - in small denominations - has been thrown in!
Wiltshire's answer to the Trevi Fountain, perhaps.
To say that they butchered the Mozart would be far too polite.
Ripped from "navel to chaps", I fear.
Appalling diction, no perceptible dynamics and rhythmically suspect.
Lets not mention the ensemble... nor the tuning.
But, strangely, I really enjoyed it.
Clapped as enthusiastically as everyone else; possibly to stave off hypothermia.
Those great cathedral vaults under the magnificent ceiling are cold!
Nothing like live performance!