An Englishman's Castle <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Saturday, October 11

Australian Google Search: Jonny Wilkinson skin tight image 

Just looked in the stats for this page and the last search result that caused someone to visit here was from Australia : Google Search: Jonny Wilkinson skin tight image -
I hope the searcher wasn't too disappointed!

Friday, October 10

Devizes - a place of incoherent rage.  

My old friend David Lovibond writes about my local town Devizes in this week's Spectator - Ali and the new baby - Mary Jane Austin - are in there tonight.

"In better days the world left Wiltshire alone. Blighted by neither coastline nor famous hills, the county was merely on the way to somewhere else. In the heart of this fortunate backwater, Devizes was the very archetype of an English market town. There is a castle, a square big enough to have burned at least one Protestant martyr in, and fine curving terraces of Georgian houses paid for by Wiltshire’s fat cornlands.

... But it is only recently that suicidal drunkenness and the ubiquity of hard drugs associated with inner cities have appeared in the town and made street crime and even gang fights commonplace.

The Home Office lists Wiltshire as the second safest county in England, despite an increase of 20 per cent in reported crime over the past eight years. In Devizes, though, police figures show an astonishing 77 per cent growth in crime over the same period. Lawlessness on this scale means discarded hypodermics by the swings and blinged-up youths in fast cars parked nose to tail in the square, windows down and trading. It means an old red bus camped behind the town asylum, open for business and supplying the schizophrenics with the pills to keep them mad. It is shop windows smashed on Saturday nights and the town centre a no-go area every night. It is mini- riots outside the takeaways at closing time, and swirling groups of boozed-up teenagers in broad daylight shouting and threatening anyone who comes near. It is beggars at the cash-dispensers, mugged tourists, burnt-out cars, blizzards of litter, bikes ridden unchecked through pedestrians and the stink of piss in the alleys. It means CCTV cameras at every corner, and never meeting a stranger’s eye. And for me it means that my local, the ancient and once wonderful pub where General Wolfe recruited soldiers for his victorious campaigns in Canada, is frequently infested by redundant cannon fodder; hopeless old-young men gruesomely decorated with purple tattoos, uniformed in combats, woolly hats and ‘hoodies’, braying like donkeys and looking for trouble. It has become a place where extreme violence is only an unwise glance away; a commotion of running feet, flailing fists and a victim staggering, his head a red cap of blood."

And what has caused it?

"Like everywhere else in England, Devizes has lost its homogeneity. The pervasive blight of multiculturalism has, for the young especially, killed off any feeling of a personal relationship with their surroundings. Children at the local comp may have an excellent grasp of England’s pernicious role in the slave trade and know how it felt to be an oppressed Muslim in British India, but they won’t have a clue that Alfred the Great stopped the Viking hordes just down the road, or that the hill they see from their classroom windows is a Civil War battleground. The youths hanging round the fountain, or drifting listlessly from chip shop to pub to street corner, have no sense of ownership of the history that made their town. They have lost the instinct of belonging that their grandparents took for granted; the connection between people and place has been broken. "

I must say David lives in the other side of town to the bit I know, but his rant (go to the site and read it all) illuminates the decline of the England I love.

Homoeopathic heroin 

Just a question - if homoeopathy works why do drug dealers sell the real thing? If diluting dung beetle resin to one part in a trillion makes it more potent think what it could do for the crack dealer - very low raw material costs and when you are busted all you are selling is pure water with the hint of a molecule of dope in a swimming pool amount of water - probably purer than the mains. I looked but couldn't find the answer - Google Search: homoeopathy heroin:

"homoeopathy" or "homeopathy" give the same result but only one spelling is correct to me!

Thursday, October 9

It’s a Girl 

It’s a Girl

Huge page of all the pictures - but I'm so proud I don't give a damn!

Its a Girl! 


After a day of nothing happening, 5:00pm Ali got a few twinges, 5:40 we left for the hospital, 5:50 we arrived, 5:57 we had the most beautiful 6lb 15 1/4 oz girl in our arms - An hour later she was suckilng and mum and baby doing fine.

Two bottles of Wiltshire fizz late all I can say is wow!
Welcome to the world!

Light blogging Alert 

Sat at home today with Willie Nelson playing on the computer feeling mellow, the sun is shining, Wiltshire is beautiful. My little girl had the first night without waking in pain for a week which is great and Ali is out walking round our fields with the dogs to see what happens because her waters burst earlier this morning and she is impatient for the baby to arrive..

I'll keep you up to date when I can.


Wednesday, October 8

Petrol Prices 

Latest news from Oklahoma:

KOTV - The News On Six: "Gasoline prices are again on the rise in Oklahoma.

Self-service unleaded is selling for an average of a $1.36 a gallon statewide, up a penny from Monday."

That is what we pay for a litre in the UK!

Gentlemen's Relish 

Gentlemen's Relish: "There is a question that many of us are asking ourselves these days, and it is this: “What is the Internet and can it be of any use to a gentleman?” The answer generally perceived to be the most accurate is: “Leave the beastly thing alone and your pleasant life of indolence will not be affected in the slightest.” However, if curiosity does get the better of you, it is important that you are aware of the true potential of the Internet. "

Tuesday, October 7

Swiss report on Iraq 

Translated version of

An long article from the Swiss on the situation in Iraq ( lifted from ) - however being the monoglot that I am I have linked to a Google translation - (which runs out half way through) -
Choice excerpts - in Google transalated phrases which add to the flavour:

Contrary to the litanies of the media, the stabilization and the democratization of Iraq are in good way.

It is that Iraq of today, 4 months after the catch of Baghdad, does not resemble the mud pit which is described to us daily. The reports and the dispatches of all the Western press not only describe a reality much more moderate, but also make it possible to acquire an overall picture showing clearly that the coalition is on the good way.

The number of attacks is a good indication of this reality. At the end of June, it reached its top with an average of 25 daily attacks to the weapon with fire and the explosive, and a total of 40 serious incidents, but these figures are gone down again today to respectively 12 and 30. The reduction of the attacks, combined on the constant level of the losses, shows that a reduced number combatants improves its tactics and increases its effectiveness. But of the so low figures, for a country of 24 million inhabitants and vis-a-vis a force of 160' 000 men, indicate especially the absence of any popular resistance. For memory, between 1946 and 1947, the Jews conducted 578 attacks per day in Palestine on the British troops!

(whoops mentioned the Jews as proto-terrorists - that will probably get me blackballed - but I'm only quoting from this article!)

L'explosion de la criminalité surtout à Bagdad l'exige. En juillet dernier, la morgue de la capitale a dénombré 10 fois plus de victimes par balles qu'en juillet 2002, même si les rafales lâchées pour célébrer la mort des deux fils aînés de Saddam Hussein, selon un quotidien de Bagdad, ont à elles seules tué 31 Irakiens et blessé 76 autres. Malgré cela, la violence doit être relativisée : avec 470 morts par armes à feu en un mois pour une population de 5,6 millions d'habitants, Bagdad connaît un niveau de violence comparable à celui de Johannesburg (275 homicides par mois, 3,2 millions d'habitants) et un peu moins de deux fois et demi supérieur à celui de Washington (262 morts en 2002 pour 600'000 habitants).

Translate that bit yourself!


EUobserver: "Seven out of ten German voters would reject the euro if they were given the chance, a new poll has shown.

Only 29 percent of Germans would vote to keep the euro if a vote were held today. In contrast, 70 percent would reject the euro, given the opportunity.

Maybe surprisingly, it is younger Germans that are the most eurosceptic, with 73 percent of 18-24 year olds saying they would reject the euro. "

So there is hope after all - the young Germans are getting over the collective guilt trip of their fathers and are not thinking they have to agree to every and any thing that has the words European Unity written all over it. The EU might have been the answer to yesterday's problems but not tomorrow's.

Hey Yanks - the best sportsman in the world is someone you have never heard of! 

Jonny Wilkinson

As an English Rugby fan I have great hopes for our team in the World Cup which is about to start. And it is a team game, but for my colonial friends I just wanted to bring to their attention Jonny - acknowledged by friend and enemy alike to be at the pinnacle of the toughest game around. And he believes in hard work, modesty and being thoroughly a good bloke - compare and contrast to the hissy Prima Donnas in the soccer world who earn ten times as much.

And this year the new strip is skin tight so the Present Mrs is also happy to sit down and wath the games :)

(Oh and boasting about him being the best is not just because he is English - I also cant praise highly enough Jonah Lomu of NZ who is another great sportsman - his dignity and courage in being robbed of the best years of his playing life by a terrible disease and coming back to the game is what being a sportsman is being about.

Monday, October 6

21C Flatearthers - David Franklin 

From those lovely people at the IEA - Institute of Economic Affairs -
a pdf article about the "flatearther's" belief in the Free NHS.

As always their articles are a worth the read.