Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wilfully stupid - Australian politicians

So glad I'm here in dear old Blighty ...

... eating Bakewell Tarts

... admiring Raleigh bikes

... observing bicycle clips

... viewing British Minsters (Southwell) & British Sugar (Newark)

Yes here in England, and not ... not in Australia ...

... listening to douche-bag politicians witter on about the perils of relaxing helmet laws in Queensland.

Oh fuckety fuck ... Australia, you do my head in sometimes. Just repeal the daft law and get on with it!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Hi-Vis and where it should be left

Earlier this week, Police were stopping cyclists in London to let them know that:

... it might be a good idea to wear a helmet!!!

WTF - it's not even law in the UK so why on earth did the police pick on hapless cyclists to dish up their unwarranted police advice to?

How disturbing is it that UK police have taken it into their own hands to experiment with unlegislated restrictions which we know are nothing more than helmet promoters' marketing strategies.

No-one should ever be stopped by the police for something the police think ought to be the law yet currently isn't.

Among other things, this police exercise is an outrageous breach of civil liberties, and should make us want to vomit when we think of what's ahead for the UK if they go down this mandatory-helmet-law-pathway.

Haven't the police got some real police work to do?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Peak District: is there anywhere more beautiful?

If there's a god, she's definitely from the Peak District ...

What a place ... unbelievably ... breathtakingly ... beautiful ...

I can't get enough of it,

... and every spare minute I have I find myseld racing up there,

... to walk and explore,

... to think and to breathe,

... and all this can be achieved without the attendant pleasure of CCTV! (Sorry, GCHQ & NSA guys, you just can't watch me eating my cheese and tomato sarnie when I'm here! ... or can you? hmmmm)

And whilst I've been travelling to and from the heavenly Peaks, Radio 4 has been dishing-up many conversations on cycling and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and women.

But what really gets my goat is how all these cosy little chats are blatantly underpinned by an outrageous dose of helmet promotion ... in fact I am witnessing here in the UK the very same aggressive marketing tactics that were utilised in Australia 20 years ago, namely brainwashing of the media so they turn into a permanently ready cheer-leadering' squad for helmet compulsion ... sigh.

Doesn't the UK realise Australian cycling has all but gone out of the window for women.?

And that helmet laws follow helmet promotion in close succession?

And that with helmet laws, people like me are criminalised for a normal everyday activity which ought to remain a health issue rather than a criminal one.

Who wants a criminal conviction for riding a bicycle without a helmet?

Essentially, we should be copying 'all-things-bicycle-Dutch-&-Danish' and then we might finally get it right for women and children.

But back to moors and mountains, in some hilly spots around the world they put their babies on sledges; in the Peak District they put them on edges ...

... sans hi-vis vests, sans helmets.

I ♥ the Peak District!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

England - better at bikes than cricket (hehehe)

♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ Oh I do like to be beside the seaside ♪♫

♪♫ ... oh, and the Norfolk Broads ♪♫

♪♫ ... and Southwold in Suffolk ♪♫

♪♫ ... and Walberswick too ♪♫

Where with a few other passengers, you can catch a ferry back to Southwold ...

... to see more beach huts

... and bicycles

... and peeps using transport

... other than cars!

(Oh, ok ... and maybe the odd tractor or two popping into town for bread and milk as well!!!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dulce et decorum est ... NOT

(Photo: Dam wall, Derwent Resevoir, Peak District)

I hate Remembrance Day as much as I hate Anzac Day - the underlying message behind both days is not lost on me:

[continuous grooming by our establishments to ready us for war]

After all there is money in war, and power in war, and profiteers do well ... we don't, but who cares?

Our governments certainly don't, and in order to keep us from subscribing to our rightful disillusionment, they generously offer us cake and circuses on an annual basis ... sigh

So here I am in England, turning off the radio, turning off the television, trying to escape nauseous commememoration ceremonies, menacing omnipresent poppies accompanied by equally menacing omnipresent pro-establishment-poppy-police-media ... yet in spite of my best efforts to steer clear of it all I can't help remembering anyway the waste and lost opportunities suffered by my family, just for starters, over the last century ...

I am remembering my poor dear dead father caught up in an incorrectly packed parachute useless on ejection from his jaguar into the Atlantic; and I am remembering my grandfather shot on the Kyber Pass; and I am remembering my great-grandfather stricken down by Spannish flu somewhere in Europe; and now I am remembering an uncle shot down in flames during the Emergency ...

...and I also remember every day that as a result of the terrible impact war and the military have had on her life, my poor dear mother has retreated into forgetfullness - remembering (hands off, Lilly, forgetfulness needn't always be about Alzheimers you know - sometimes it's a tragic coping mechanism) was too much for her.

The hero worship of the military and 'all-things-our-wars' is obscene and far removed from the gritty brutal truth of real war and the gritty brutal truth of real military preparation - we are wrong to allow this constant militaristation to continue.

When will it stop?

When we will stop listening to the misleading political deception (routinely drummed out on days like today, November 11) that our country needs us to lay down our lives for theirs or somebody's murky geopolitical plan - bullshit it does ...

Would that Wilfred Owen's words written on October 8, 1917 had dated because they had been heeded ... but they have not and were not, and almost a hundred years on they are as tragic and as devastating as they were when they were written about the shocking human carnage from the war that was to end all wars ...

The sadness, the tragedy, the accuracy ...

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime ...

Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues ...

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

(Wilfred Owen was killed in action November 4, 1918

There's nothing glorious about war or the military, and commemoration days for the 1918 Armistice or the 1915 Gallipolli campaign are pointless because the one thing that never happens is 'remembrance' ... if it did we woulnd't still be fighting and killing and maiming and dying.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Apart from bike helmets, bike helmets sell nothing else

(Image: Malaysian Airlines ad in The Guardian, Nov 4, 2013)

It's time, Australia! ... 

It's time ... to grow up, forget our infantile tendencies to love to be told when to blow our noses, and instead to join the majority of the world in transport options available to their peeps ...