Raise a glass to the Thatch!

margaret-thatcher-spitting-imagePolitics Schmolitics!

I bet you didn’t expect to read that as an opening line on here, but it’s about right for me. I’ve never been particularly interested in politics or politicians and as I get older I think rather than taking an interest and understanding more as I probably should, all I see is a bunch of overpaid, jumped up buffoons each trying to find ways to disagree, shake fists and posture at “the other side”. (Sometimes even the same).

Today though it seems we all have no choice but to “take an interest” as it’s the funeral of “The Iron Lady” and it will be a media frenzy from dawn until long after dusk, including my own meagre offering of course..

In brief, my memories of the Maggie Thatcher era are not pleasant ones. I come from a mining family and attended many a rally back in the day to support miners and their families, not due to any political motivation, just because I thought what was being done to them was wrong. Under her leadership our government destroyed an industry along with it’s communities solely to crush the trade union power-mongers leading them at any price.

Maggie’s lot also had me in front of a judge, for refusing to pay the Poll Tax. From memory it was only a couple of hundred quid back then, I’m paying five or six times that now and getting less for it.

Image of my first and last Stonehenge festival 1984 in happier circumstances

Image of my first and last Stonehenge festival 1984 in happier circumstances

I also had the misfortune of being in Wiltshire during the period leading up to The Battle Of The Beanfield.

Although not part of “The Convoy” itself, a few friends and I were on the way to the Stonehenge free festival in a clapped out Ford Escort Estate (cacky brown in colour for the record), packed to the gunnels with camping gear and beer.

We were followed by a police helicopter until stopped. Four very bemused lads then being searched at the roadside and our belongings strewn across the lay-by to make sure we weren’t political activists carrying anything (we weren’t), terrified pacifists is more likely.

There are more examples, but those moments are a permanent but much faded scar on my psyche.

For each of those of course there will be many folks out there with conflicting tales and opinions of the supposed good things Maggie did and I respect that too, although I may not agree wholeheartedly.

You may then at this point be wondering why I chose to “share my experiences” (bore you with my life) about the sad demise of an old woman on my beer blog so I’d better get to the point before I lose you forever and that is this. Today is a funeral, a bloody expensive one we, as a country can’t afford, but it’s still a funeral and we should respect that. It’s not a reason to smash-up cities and have a punch up unless perhaps you are in your late forties early fifties and were there, although in which case it probably will run out of puff in about 30 seconds anyway.

Anyway I have a suggestion, instead of protesting maybe crack open a beer as soon as the opportunity presents itself and raise a glass to the Thatch, you need say no more or nothing at all if you like, but inside you’ll know whether it’s because you’re glad or sad she’s gone.

That way no one gets hurt and we can all get on with it tomorrow…


Walking the mile…s

For the hardened walkers out there 23 miles may not seem far, especially with a few pub breaks in between, but believe me for myself and many of the walkers Saturday is going to be a long hard slog.

It’s been a busy old week, but finally I think the preparations are complete, I’m kitted out with worn in walking shoes, wet weather gear, drinks, energy bars and have my trusty tankard at the ready.

Maggie, my four legged walking companion has had a health check at the V.E.T‘s and passed with flying colours, she completed a ten mile test walk in the week too and was in all honesty in a considerably better state than I was at the end of it….

Donations are going really well, considering we have only been actively promoting this for about ten days. As I write this we are currently at £899.30 and are hoping to smash £1000 and well beyond, for that though we still need your support.

A Just Giving page has been set up for the walk. It can be accessed online at  http://www.justgiving.com/titanicgreyhound.  Alternatively, donations can be made in person at the Greyhound or by phone – text GHTB67 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 (eg. GHTB67 £3) to 70070.

I will be Tweeting and posting photographs of our progress throughout the day, starting at 9am in Stafford, you can follow us on #TitanicGreyhound and on Facebook.

Cheers everyone!

Planning for the future..

Sadly it inevitably happens to us all as we approach our twilight years, your memory beings to fade, you forget where you put things, what you walked into that room for, even where you were going?

Well I’ve prepared for the unthinkable….

What you can’t hear is the choking urgency as she pulls on that lead, no words are spoken, she (Maggie) just knows that if she goes out of the front door THAT’S WHERE I”M GOING and she’s off and running!

Now I just need to train her to take me home, or on second thoughts, maybe not..

The version below is a better resolution as I filmed it in the day time BUT BE WARNED! It has a sad ending…