Thursday, 14 May 2015

Updates on my assorted e-pals


None! I did, briefly, experiment with the Facebook electronic penfriend group. However it seemed to the home of spammers and scammers and religious fanatics and I wasn't able to find a kindred spirit to have as a new friend. I might try again in a few months.


AC/DC - a young blogger and E-pal of mine who remained cheerful and upbeat despite money troubles and the sudden arrival of her live-in boyfriend's sister to share their tiny flat. Her family life has calmed down and she now emails me every few weeks. I still laugh out loud every time I read her messages.
Happiness factor - 8/10
The Facebook Social History group -

I am the Administrator of this group which has enrolled 2250 members in under two years. I try hard to post something of interest every day.
Happiness factor - 9/10 

 My cemetery related blog -

This was started back in July 2013 and it still gets between 300 and 2000 visitors a day.
Happiness factor - 10/10

 The young adults I mentor (and ghost write for) - We exchange our Friday emails as regular as clockwork and all the parties still seem to value the exchanges of news and views. 
Happiness factor - 10/10


Ragleth Writers - The group self-destructed when two members decided to go public with their concerns via a nasty personal attack on another member. I defended their victim mainly because she had been a strong positive force in the group but also because the two "attackers" had, at best, been fairly inconsistent attenders.
Sadness factor - 2/10

Old Timer - His "matter of fact" approach to life was like the proverbial breath of fresh air in the world of blogging. I first knew him as a widower but then he got engaged to his first ever girlfriend from way back in his school days. He sent me a brief note to say that he had got married but since then nothing.
Sadness factor - 5/10

The Astro-Cynics - Four years ago there were five of us who shared a common interest in astronomy and also in being a proverbial thorn in the flesh of the astronomical "movers and shakers". We used to exchange emails a couple of times a month and I used to look forward to hearing all the gossip. Then Hannah died and we were down to four and in 2013 two other members gave up on the hobby as advancing years and retreating finances took their toll. Now Charles, my friend and sounding board in the USA, has decided to retire from the world of science to take up golf and fossil hunting. And that just leaves me - the last man standing.
Sadness factor - 9/10

So I seem to have gained 37 points and lost 16 points which rather confirms my optimistic view of the last few months.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Election 2015

Several times over the last few months I have found myself apologising for my personal lack of faith in the Labour Party despite their respectable standing in the opinion polls. So I was mildly amused to find that my scepticism was shared by millions of others and that these polls were seriously in error.

I can understand why the rich and the powerful vote for "their" party - where I struggle is when I meet educated colleagues who work in the public sector who publically and privately endorse the Conservative Party. "Red Ed" had so much ammunition at his disposal - for example the rich have been given tax cuts while the poorest in society are fined for having too many bedrooms in their homes - but nothing he said seemed to make a difference to these people where it really matters, in the ballot box.

What I can see is that these people who have voted Tory have happily taken from the state, in various combinations of health care, emergency services, education, child benefit and maternity pay but they now plan to pull the ladder up behind them.

But I can live with that if they had researched the issues before making their decision on which way to vote - but some clearly didn't - being content to act in the way the Daily Telegraph tells them.