Thursday, September 19, 2019

Up to Paço de Calheiros

More on that even more receded holiday in May! The next day's walk was a very gently affair, we arrived at the final manor house around lunchtime. If you do this spend more time in Ponte de Lima - where by the way the lamp posts play brass band music at you - I think this was set off by motion detectors and they seemed to be still activating late into the evening, if you're allergic to brass band music walk down the middle of the road!

Outside our room in Paço de Calheiros

A slightly ascending route and we ended up in a wonderful room for 2 nights in the manor house - the picture is a view from the terrace outside the room. Extensive grounds and the house is worth the look around. There were quite a few groups for the evening meal in a grand dining room!

Mutterings - Sep 19

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Guest :: Account
  2. Intimidate :: Overbearing
  3. Flavor :: Vanilla
  4. Suspicious :: Glare
  5. Contaminate :: Pollute
  6. Bordering :: (on the ) absurd
  7. Language :: Watch (your)
  8. Corrupt :: Government
  9. Satisfy :: Wine bottle
  10. Monthly :: Pay cheque

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Mutterings - Sep 15

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Ring :: Wagner
  2. Chess :: Gambit
  3. Fulfilled :: Accomplished
  4. Drawing :: Still-life
  5. Favor :: Grace
  6. Proof :: QED
  7. Million :: Bonus
  8. Pad :: Across (as in an animal padding across somewhere)
  9. Chest :: Inhaler
  10. Code :: Breaking the ...

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Prorogation and Tory Whipping

I wrote this letter to my MP after an earlier exchange of letters where David Rutley's response failed to address any of my points and was clearly a form letter from conservative central office. I got the first response around 24 hours after my email, his was sent my post - why(?). I'm still waiting for a response from this.
Thank you for your speedy response to my email about the deselection
of rebel tory MPs, unfortunately your letter addressed none of my
points and seemed to be to be high grade flannel from Central Office,
but no doubt you're a little busy. Let me then offer these questions
for hopefully a more to the point consideration.

Were you there at the Chequers meeting which agreed that Tory MPs who
rebel on Bexit will be ejected from the party and not allowed to stand
in the future?

Do you agree with that position?

Will the same sanctions apply to anyone from the extreme right of the
party who votes against any agreement by Johnson's 'negotiating' group
delivered before 31st Oct?

Did you know about the decision to prorogue Parliament more than 24
hours before it was publically announced? (the leader of the House
appears to have difficulty with this question hopefully you can give a
more honest answer)

Was the decision to prorogue Parliament announced on 28th Aug discussed in a full meeting of Cabinet beforehand?

If the answers to either of the last 2 questions is no, then your
letter saying 'nothing to see here' 'usual practice' is clearly a
lie. I remember (you may have forgotten) that the decision to extend
the Parliamentary session was taken to give the time for Bexit to be
done. To therefore prorogue 6 weeks before the current departure date
seems a little at odds with that!
I guess these direct questions are a little harder to flannel around. I see his twitter handle on the linked parliament page is still incorrect - should be @DavidRutley rather than @DavidRutleyMP. David Rutley is a tory whip.

Mutterings - Sep 10

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Baby :: Computer
  2. Standard :: Gold
  3. Pose :: Freeze
  4. Rubbish :: Bin
  5. Clear :: In the .. I'm thinking of this Blitzstein song
  6. Hope :: Obama
  7. Circumference :: Magellan
  8. Scramble :: Rock
  9. Gasp :: Interview (I was accused of this at an interview when a previous employer was brought up)
  10. Hunted :: Look

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Mutterings - Aug 25

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Adopt :: Parent
  2. Turbulence :: Nexus
  3. Constituent :: Demanding
  4. Reckless :: Fall
  5. Habitat :: Hull (my brother in law worked at Habitat in Hull back in the 1980s)
  6. Spare :: Tyre
  7. Horror :: Film
  8. Influence :: Destructive
  9. Indulge :: Ice cream
  10. Humanity :: Caring

Thursday, August 15, 2019

A day in Ponte da Lima

(this is getting a bit drawn out.. sorry for the delay in adding updates!)
The next day was around Ponte da Lima, we took it gently around the town. But we did include a visit to the Vinho Verde visitor centre - with tasting!

Beth examines some vines

That evening we ate at Casa do Provedor where I risked the local speciality of sarrabulho - pigs' blood rice and quite enjoyed the experience!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Into Ponte da Lima

The next day of our Minho holiday was the longest (17km) but probably the flattest! Ascent through vineyards and then down to the river Lima and along an Ecovia into Ponte da Lima
the plane tree avenue

A pleasant walk but on a very hot day, a cafe was advertised in the instructions but we were too early in the season and it was closed. Eventually we reached the town and walked though the wonderful Plane tree avenue pictured above to our destination for the evening Mercearia da Vila a hotel rather than a manor house in an old grocer's shop (that website is all in Portuguese!) We ate out that evening at Taberna Cadeia Velha close to the river and lovely views of the setting sun!

After the meal a sunset!

Men and Volunteering

I was at a (church) Readers lunch today at which I was the only male and during our discussion we talked about ratios of men and women as leaders/volunteers in church events. Last night I attended a service rota planning event where (apart from the vicar) I was again the only male. I've just checked our list of volunteers to do Bible readings and that's around 75% female, our church is fairly well gender balanced (a slight bias towards women).

I also thought back to last weekend when - as a followup event to Macc Pride at which I was a steward (again a volunteer role) - there was a pub afternoon for feedback and news. When I arrived there were around 15 women and me(!) a few more women arrived before there was just one other male! I've also inspected the rota for St Michael's which opened its doors that day to welcome folk who wanted a break from the noisyness of the event (and some children's activities). Yes you guessed, again all female!

So more (on this limited set of data points) than just a church problem? I go to some geeky voluntary events which tend to be fairly male - but that's on a pretty male concentrated population to draw on? Is it that men are too busy wanting to be the main wage earner even when they're retired?

Monday, July 15, 2019

Mutterings - Jul 15

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Baby :: Talk
  2. Stripes :: Tiger
  3. Family :: Home
  4. Draw :: Firearms
  5. Girl :: Power
  6. Cup :: Ball
  7. Tested :: Allergy
  8. Vanilla :: Sex
  9. Bronze :: Medal
  10. Visit :: Holiday