Who Won the Week (16 May 2021)

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.


I’ll warn you, this is quite a long post, but maybe you’d like to ponder the rights and wrongs of this situation?

Last Tuesday, an inquest into an event called the Ballymurphy Massacre, which occurred during The Troubles of Northern Ireland, found that none of the victims had done anything which would have justified their shooting.

It doesn’t sound much, does it? Innocent? But these victims, who were all civilians, were hitherto dismissed as Irish Republican Army (IRA) gunmen. So to their families, it was a big deal, to have their names cleared.

Continue reading “Who Won the Week (16 May 2021)”

Who Won the Week (9 May 2021)

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.


In the UK, we had local elections this week. In every nation of the UK, the incumbents did well, which is unusual as elections go. The real effect of the COVID vaccine.

One area which raised an eyebrow was in Scotland, where the Scottish National Party did well. So they won my week. And I wish them well because they are a left wing party, which fits more closely to my own politics, although the fit isn’t exact.

As the name suggests, these people are indeed nationalists. Front and centre of their policies is to withdraw from the UK. To make the UK just the K, I suppose.

Continue reading “Who Won the Week (9 May 2021)”

FPQ (5 May 2021) – the Serious Side

Fandango’s Provocative Question this week was a bunch of questions, and I already responded with a spoofy response here. But there was one question in the pack which, I think, deserved a serious answer, and having read several answers over the last few days, nobody gave it.

4. Apples or oranges?

The serious answer to this is, I’m afraid, nothing to do with personal taste. If people answer according to personal taste, that just highlights why the world is in the state it is in.

The real answer to this question surrounds water consumption. And in most of our climates, an orange consumes much more water, as it grows, than an apple. Apples grow in climates where there is generally water around anyway, they make use of natural irrigation. Oranges, generally, require artificial irrigation. And therefore all the infrastructure required to make irrigation possible. Not to mention all that fresh water that must be pumped in from someplace else.

Take these things into account and the answer is a no-brainer. In the UK and Ireland anyhow.

I’m sure there are exceptions. I’m sure, if someone gets their apples flown in from another continent, that makes a difference to their footprint.

M&S, here, used to get their Red Delicious apples flown from the USA to the UK. They might still do this, for all I know – check the origin when you are next in. In my book, anybody who flies a basic, domestic foodstuff so far, does not give a stuff about the environment, just about getting their hands on your cash. *Not* to buy something is the easiest decision we can make.

This is the general case.

So please, if you have never considered water when you have made your choice, you should be. It is a choice you are already making, whether you are aware of it or not.

Who Won the Week (2 May 2021)

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.


I have a nice, benign (and short!) story this week. The world has a new longest pedestrian suspension bridge after this one opened to span a gorge in Portugal:

Continue reading “Who Won the Week (2 May 2021)”

Who Won the Week (25 April 2021)

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.


I have a win-fest this week. Without a shadow of a doubt, my winners are:

  • Simon Bramwell
  • Ian Bray
  • Jane Augsburger
  • Senan Clifford
  • David Lambert
  • James “Sid” Saunders
Continue reading “Who Won the Week (25 April 2021)”

The Earth Dies, Screaming

When I started this, it was going to be a response to today’s FOWC. But I could feel the poem going away from that as I came up with this, instead. Having decided that this was standalone, I then deliberately dropped the prompt reference, which by then felt contrived anyhow.

When some more of our rubbish is thrown,
Mother Ocean lets out a small groan,
As we saturate, devastate,
Her sanctity violate,
Overcome by our testosterone.

I need to hit the reset button in my brain but will try to come up with a decent prompt response later.

The Land of Milk and Honey

Since some years, I have been corresponding with a relative in Australia by email.

When we started lockdown, it was apparent that things were very different between us. When I talked about lockdown, I was talking about not going out for a month on end, or relying on online grocery deliveries to stay stocked. She meant things like social distancing when she was going for a coffee or a haircut.

And that’s not really surprising. The number of COVID cases here, even in just the few square miles of our village, is comparable with the number of cases in her entire state.

But funny, today, she talked about christmas lights, of all things. She said that the whole of her street was bedecked in lights, that even they had made an effort, and that one guy had really gone to town.

We’re not talking about indoor decorations which you might hang on your tree, or in the windowframe, here. These are heavy-duty, outside lights, that you might drape over your house or garden.

It’s very different to here. I mean, you can buy those lights if you want, you can spend money powering them, but people tend not to. I think people here are generally aware that lights equate to avoidable power consumption, and most of us therefore abstain. Maybe we have “environment” drummed into us here, and that happens less in Australia? Dunno. Never been there, so I can’t really make a comparison.

So, I just wondered – we are all from different necks of the woods on here, so what tends to happen where you live?

Song Lyric Sunday (31 May 2020) – Spices

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of termination (my selection). This week, he gives us the theme of spices.

It was a gift when I saw today’s prompt.

Being from Liverpool, I grew up with The Beatles, and greatly admired John Lennon’s voice. And when his elder son, Julian, started recording, everybody was blown away by how alike they sounded, so I was pretty much a fan by default. Even today’s choice has hints of Strawberry Fields about it.

Julian doesn’t have anywhere near the commercial appeal that his father had, but nevertheless he has come out with some blinding tracks over the years, including this one from 1991. Let that date hang there for a moment, because if you follow the lyrics, the song addresses issues of both the environment and poverty. So, how long have they been around as issues? Forever. You can judge for yourselves, for all the rhetoric, how much has actually changed.

This song was written by Julian Lennon in collaboration with Mark and Leslie Spiro. I couldn’t find much about Leslie, but Mark is certainly an established musician/songwriter – the tracks of which he has been a part have sold more than 100 million copies. Saltwater originally reached #6 in the UK chart, #1 in Australia. You might have heard of it more recently than 1991, after a 25th anniversary version was re-released in 2016.

We are a rock revolving
Around a golden sun
We are a billion children
Rolled into one
So when I hear about
The hole in the sky
Saltwater wells in my eyes

We climb the highest mountain
We’ll make the desert bloom
We’re so ingenious
We can walk on the moon
But when I hear of how
The forests have died
Saltwater wells in my eyes

I have lived for love
But now that’s not enough
For the world I love is dying
(And now I’m crying)
And time is not a friend
(No friend of mine)
As friends we’re out of time
And it’s slowly passing by
Right before our eyes

We light the deepest ocean
Send photographs of Mars
We’re so enchanted by
How clever we are
Why should one baby
Feel so hungry she cries
Saltwater wells in my eyes

I have lived for love
But now that’s not enough
For the world I love is dying
(And now I’m crying)
And time is not a friend
(No friend of mine)
As friends we’re out of time
And it’s slowly passing by
Right before our eyes

We are a rock revolving
Around a golden sun
We are a billion children
Rolled into one
What will I think of me
The day that I die
Saltwater wells in my eyes
Saltwater wells in my eyes

Julian Lennon, Mark Spiro, Leslie Spiro