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Wednesday 19 December 2012

A Very Happy Christmas To You All - AND A Happy New Year; Welcome 2013

Well, Christmas has come round yet again . . . . .  and so quickly!  I must be getting old, for time seems to travel much faster these days - and accelerating!. It seems like yesterday we were putting up our Christmas Tree and hunting around for replacement bulbs for our Christmas Tree lights. You may all know and have experienced this no doubt . . . . they seem most elusive and when found are never the right ones.

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year - may 2013 be kind to us all.

I have been absent from BlogLand for a while because my dear wife, Mrs Bluelights, has experienced a set back regarding her health.  Most of you will know that about 15 years ago my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy, removal of 22 lymph nodes (9 of which were cancerous), chemo-therapy (a course of 6) and radio-therapy.  She was prescribed a hormone therapy drug, Tamoxifen, which she took for 5 years, then she was discharged. Unfortunately in 2008 secondary breast cancer was diagnosed in some of her bones.  This was contained by taking Tamoxifen but only for 2 years because the drug became ineffective and replaced by another hormone therapy drug which lasted only a year, then another which failed  We were very down and worried but the consultant reassured us that they had plenty more tricks up their sleeves.  By that time the cancer had spread again to the edge of her liver and progressed further into more bone areas.  She was in so much pain it was awful seeing her suffer like that and this coincided with our daughter's wedding in August, spoiling it to a degree.  I remember having to find a wheelchair after the evening reception to get her back to our accommodation. It was simply dreadful for her . . . and for me to see her like that. So after another consultation with the specialists, unfortunately she has had to undergo another course of chemo-therapy and has just completed no 4 out of 6 sessions which is a bit of an ordeal for her.  The good news is that after chemo 3 a new CT scan shows significant shrinkage of the invading 'nasties'. The consultants are delighted with her progress.  The other good news is that we have friends praying for her all over the world and she is on many, many church prayer lists, again all over the world.  We are sure this has had a lot to do with keeping this evil thing at bay for so long, that plus her determination . . . . plus our hope and, most important . . . .  our faith.

Thank you all for your prayers . . . they are so valued. We know that nothing is impossible for God and He does listen to our prayers and answers them in His own way and in His own time.  We cannot make Him cure her but we ask him to do so.

So Christmas is here once more and I took this photo of a crib at a local nursing home:

Soon we shall be celebrating Jesus's first advent, born in His humanity to be with us for 33 years - although many of us are longing for His second Advent when He shall appear in glory and full majesty.  But first time round the King of the universe actually humbled Himself to be with us, to give us hope, to die for us and to provide Salvation for everyone who wants it.  This little baby was here in his humanity, yet in His Divinity he was holding the whole universe together.  His presence in our lives has helped us so much with my dear wife's illness and we are so fortunate to have Him in our hearts. Unfortunately He is missing from so many hearts and I recently found some quotations from well known atheists, spoken on their death beds.  When they were young they were so fit and well and even very happy, witty and wise, but we all know when we are young we think we are immortal:

I shall quote just one which is so disturbing I just had to share it with you.  This is the sum total of how he viewed all humanity, including his life.  His name, Mark Twain:

"A myriad of men are born, they labor and sweat and struggle for bread. They squabble and scold and fight. They scramble for little mean advantages over each other. Age creeps upon them. Infirmities follow. Shames and humiliations bring down their prides and their vanities. Those they love are taken from them and the joy of life has turned to aching grief. The burden of pain and care and misery grows heavier year by year. At length, ambition is dead. Pride is dead. Vanity is dead. Longing for release is in their place. It comes at last. Death, the only un-poisoned gift earth ever had for them. And they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence, where they achieved nothing, where they were a mistake and a failure and a foolishness, where they have left no sign that they have existed, a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever. And then another myriad takes their place and copies all they did and goes along the same profitless road and vanishes as they vanished to make room for another and another and millions of myriads to follow the same arid path through the same desert and accomplish what the first myriad and all the myriads that came after it accomplished...nothing."

I don't know about you but I found this to be utterly stunning and incredible that anyone can come to the conclusion that this is the total sum of their existence - total failure and nothing - and this by a man of such great genius and intellect.  If only he knew that here on Cosmos Diabolicus, as I call it, we can use just 5% of our brain power - some a little more, some a little less, but we will one day we operate at 100% efficiency - imagine that, when everything will make sense to us and when we shall all be blissfully happy.

I can quote other famous atheist men who at the end of their lives came to similar conclusions but time does not permit me to expand on this here. However,  I read somewhere that atheism is much harder to believe than Christianity.  In mathematical terms to be an atheist and to explain creation one has to believe that:

Nobody x Nothing = Everything

as opposed to:

Somebody x Something out of Nothing = Everything

I suggest the second formula is much easier to accept than the first.

I compare Mark Twain's spoken word to the death of my own mother and her unspoken words, as a believer.  She did not have to say anything - her actions were much more vocal than mere words. She had been unconscious for a number of days in hospital after a tragic illness.  She awoke one morning and fortunately my sister, Maggie and I were at the hospital by her bedside.  We could converse quite well with her and she could converse back, but then she drifted back into unconsciousness.  She awoke a few hours later in the  afternoon, looking in my direction, but I thought not directly at me - perhaps just behind me.  I have never seen such a wonderful and loving smile on any face. It was as though someone standing right behind me had come to collect her and take her to paradise. After that moment we knew our real mother had gone and only her shell remained in her bed.  I often wonder whether this person was my father . . . . or maybe Jesus Himself.  Perhaps one day I shall know when it is my turn to make that journey.

Monday 16 July 2012

Letter Of Resignation

Dear Boss

I am seriously considering tending my resignation but I wanted to write to you to express some concerns I have..

Since I started working for you I don't have time to blog anymore.
When I don’t have time to blog anymore my readers hate me.
When my readers hate me they don’t visit my blog anymore.
When my readers don’t visit my blog anymore my hits drop.
When my hits drop my comments drop
When my hits and/or comments drop I become unhappy.
When I become unhappy I eat a lot.
When I eat a lot I get fat
When I get fat, it affects your company’s image
When your company’s image is affected your business is no good.
When your business is no good you become unhappy
When you become unhappy you eat a lot, just like me.
When you eat a lot you become fat, just like me.

You see Boss, it’s a vicious cycle.  I don’t want you to become unhappy because I care about you, Boss. Further to my concern is that I am not able to visit my fellow bloggers' posts, read them and make comments. Consequently my fellow bloggers, when they discover I have not commented:
Eat a lot,
Get Fat,
Become inefficient at their jobs,
Degrade their company businesses,
Write to their bosses, who become unhappy, eat a lot and get fat.
Just imagine, indirectly you might be contributing to the national obesity problem, or worse, global obesity.  Further, you might, indirectly, be the cause of global recession, global unemployment and global unhappiness - all because I cannot blog anymore.

So the conclusion is I may have to resign so you don't get fat and the world does not sink into depression (both personal and economic).  So perhaps you'd better let me go unless you can free me some time to blog in order to save the world.
Then my readers won’t hate me anymore.
My readers will visit my blog again.
My hits will increase.
My comments will increase.
I will be happy.
I will not eat a lot.
I will not get fat.
Your company image will be unaffected.
Your business will be good again.
You will be happy.
You will not eat a lot.
You will not get fat.
The global population will be happy, productive and prosperous - all because of you, Boss.  Aren't you kind? 

In fact you will be so happy you will tear up this letter and say, “Please don’t resign or even think of it.  I am going to give you some office time to blog, plus a computer and a fast broadband, plus full backing from our IT department.  I am going to promote you and I am going to give you a big pay rise, a company car, 8 weeks holiday, full insurance and hospital cover, a good pension pot, unlimited preference shares, a seat on the board - in fact you can become Chief Executive, my job, because I am resigning to start blogging."

Thanks Boss.
Yours sincerely,

Fred Blogs

Just a little mental doodle of what I might say if I had a boss!! LOL.  Oh I have, Mrs Bluelights so I'd better send it to her. LOL

Thursday 12 July 2012

Conspicuous By My Blogging Absence

Hi Folks!

I am posting just to let you know My Big Mug is definitely still in the land of the living LOL.

I am sorry I have been away from BlogLand for so long and I have neglected to visit all my blogging friends. It is my first blogging break since I started about three years ago and there have been a number of activities which have kept me busy during my absence.  I hope to return to BlogLand soon and resume my Ambulance stories and add to my Painting and Decorating tales.

Also I have some fabulous video clips I shot of nesting birds in my garden - both Blue Tits and Great Tits and I am assembling a video program for us.

Until then I am concentrating on getting the garden into better shape and trying very hard to cultivate my begonia patch and clematis plants. I took a snap of a climbing clematis, called Ville De Lyon, which I planted a couple of years ago - like it? It is growing through a climbing honeysuckle which should provide much more colour next year.

Unfortunately I have no begonias, as yet.

I am hampered somewhat by this dreadful weather we are experiencing - most depressing.  In the UK we have had lots of serious flooding, although I am relieved to say that Mrs Bluelights and I have not been affected too badly because we are on high ground.  The funny part is that just prior to the deluge I bought a 200 litre water butt because the weather people had forecast a serious drought.  Everyone is talking about Global Warming!! Where is it?  There's no evidence of it here -  we are all drenched and shivering.

Bye for now and hope to see you all soon. Oh! if you've got some time to spare to watch a very unusual marriage proposal leading to an impromptu wedding then click HERE for some serious entertainment.

Saturday 18 February 2012


I am tempted out from my blog break by this hilarious email I received tonight - guaranteed to exercise even the laziest chuckle muscle.

Julie Andrews has given us a slight variation on her famous song from The Sound Of Music.  I know exactly how she feels LOL.  I feel like adding a piece about an artificial hip, removed appendix and two digital hearing aids..


To  commemorate her birthday, actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews  made a special appearance at Manhattan bsp's Radio City  Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP.

One of the  musical numbers she performed was 'My Favourite Things' from  the legendary movie 'Sound Of Music'.
Here are the  lyrics she used  :

(Sing  It!)  - If  you sing it, its especially hysterical!!!

Botox and  nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and  handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines  tied up in string,
These are a few of my favourite  things.
Cadillac's  and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and  Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf  carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my  favourite things.

When  the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go  bad,
I simply  remember my favourite things,
And then I don't feel so  bad.

Hot tea  and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food  or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads  and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my  favourite things...

Back  pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin',
Thin  bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we  won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we  remember our favourite things.

When the  joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow  dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And  then I don't feel so bad.

(Ms. Andrews  received a standing ovation from the crowd
that lasted over four minutes and  repeated encores.
Please share Ms. Andrews' clever wit  and humour with others who would appreciate  it)

I think she deserves a 10 out of 10. Agreed?
What a good sport she is.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

A Blogging Break

Hi Folks!

I am long overdue for a short blogging break, so I have decided to:

 . . . . . with lots of Kit Kat chocolate LOL.

I have been blogging for 3 years and this is my first break, although I have not been very active in BlogLand for a while.  I am very busy with life outside BlogLand and have little time to devote to posting and commenting - sorry I have not visited for a while.

I hope it won't be too long before I return with batteries suitably charged, new ideas in my cerebral hemispheres and fingers eager to glide over the keys on strict instructions from the guy wearing this famous thinking hat.

Meanwhile you are most welcome to have a cup-pa at my second blog, Plato's Procrastinations, where I post my favourite music and comedy sketches.  Ever seen/heard anyone play the fast last movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on . . . . . . wait for it . . . . . . electric guitar? Well HERE'S your chance.

Thursday 12 January 2012

Why Do Things Wear Out and Who Put Them There In The First Place?

I'll repeat the heading:

Why Do Things Wear Out and Who Put Them There In The First Place?

Searching questions indeed!  You may be wondering what on Earth is Eddie 'rabbiting on' about this time?

Well, this summer, as some of you know, I renovated our garden swing, pergola, bird table and nesting boxes.  Also I incorporated a garden seat I made from parts salvaged from an old bench.  Many parts of this had gone rotten and were subsequently thrown out and taken to the tip.

It all looks spic and span and  much improved over my previous efforts 15 years ago - I suppose I've learned a lot since the first project and have built it very differently this time.  I shall be posting all about how I thought through the design,  how I built it all etc, but meanwhile here is the completed creation which I enjoyed doing immensely.

The bench is not quite finished in this photo but rest assured I do manage to sit down occasionally and enjoy a cup of coffee, always mindful of those wretched pigeons likely to dive bomb us poor humans should we choose to sit beneath where they choose to perch sometimes.  They are such a nuisance and I just cannot get rid of them.  Anyone got any ideas?

So here is the old swing roof on which a beautiful clematis Elizabeth Montana used to rest.  I will be planting a new clematis to climb over the new timbers.

"What a horrible load of rhubarb", as my Economics Master used to comment on my essays sometimes. 

During this restoration work I got thinking some deeper thoughts than usual, inspired by the horrible state of the original pergola top timbers and how badly they had rotted since I installed them 15 years previously.  Further, during my endeavours I noticed two support posts to the swing/pergola had rotted through and needed replacing.  Inspired by all this I began to wonder:

Why do things rot?           Why do things wear out?            Why do we need to paint metalwork and woodwork?      Why does Mrs Bluelights (and me) have to clean the house so often?     Why do we age and why do we die? . . . . oh and whilst we are at it,

How did we and our universe get here in the first place?

"Golly!", did I hear you think? LOL, "what's Eddie on this time?"
Of course I do not have the answers but all these questions kept coming to mind while I was working and I concluded that they all hinge on two basic and universal fundamental laws of physics, namely the first and second laws of thermodynamics.  These I remember from my school days, so many years ago:

1.  The First Law of Thermodynamics - that matter can neither be created nor destroyed.
2.  The Second Law of Thermodynamics - that all things run down or degenerate.  In other words chaos comes out of order and not the other way round.

I shall return to the first law in due course but I reasoned we spend most of our lives striving to undo the second law of thermodynamics - I certainly did so during my self-employed days when Painting and Decorating.  We try to combat the second law by applying two ingredients, intelligence and work, sometimes a lot of work.  Several examples spring to mind where things run down very quickly from a state of relative order to absolute chaos and they do not run back to order all by themselves, unfortunately.  Earthquakes, the recent tsunami in Japan, frequent hurricanes in the southern States of America and elsewhere, violent  flooding which can occur anywhere immediately come to mind . . . . . plus countless other examples of what we call natural disasters.  These all result in major chaos in the form of loss of life and damage.  We can do nothing to restore loss of life but we can address damage if we apply a great deal of intelligence and work to put it right, sometimes taking years to complete the restorations. Much milder examples of gradual running down into disorder are the kind of things I had to put right in the garden project which I tackled this summer.  Examples being that wood rots, metal rusts, paint flakes, paths require sweeping of fallen leaves . . . . . get my drift? . . . . and of course Mrs Bluelights announces almost daily the house needs cleaning yet again!  "But we only did it yesterday!", I protest. "But it is dusty again!", is the usual reply.  I must say I am tempted to use the following epitaph on her headstone, should the situation arise, "No more dust where I am going - I hope!".  Sorry love, I do but jest.

The very air we breathe bears testimony to an agent of degeneration.  It contains oxygen (thank God) and some water vapour and putting the two together we get a reaction with iron, oxygen and water to form ferric oxide, or the dreaded rust, which is a major enemy to many things we make and try to protect. We have to try to stop corrosion on bridges they might collapse in time, cars would fall apart . . . .and so on.  We all strive so hard to protect our possessions and homes and to ensure do this we have to apply some intelligence and work into the equation by sanding it all down, preparing surfaces and applying protective paint or preservative.

We have to make our beds each morning and put our clothes away and wash dirty laundry - as we keep telling the kids, "beds do not make themselves and tidy your room".  The same principle applies to our teeth.  The dentist has to make sure we clean them properly and regularly and if things degrade then fillings are required or worse, extractions.  We age for reasons not fully understood and alas we die after our allotted time here, eventually decomposing to ash.  Life is imperfect in this universe and things certainly do not last for ever.  Leaves wither and fall from trees in Autumn, but this time there is an inbuilt and planned programme of restoration because when Spring come round new buds appear and new growth occurs - the work this time results from the energy of the Sun.  The intelligence responsible this time is the subject of constant debate and argument, in fact sometimes ridicule.  Whoever objects to this on mere scientific grounds intelligence must be there somewhere in the equation of "Nature" because if it wasn't things would continue to run down and the plants would not grow again - but they do every year.

Just as we apply intelligence and work to combat the second law of thermodynamics here on Earth then the same must apply throughout the entire Universe. Surely for the sake of consistency it should require a very orderly situation everywhere at the beginning of time and from then everything has gradually run down and is continuing to do so, with chaos getting ever stronger because there is nothing going on to apply intelligence and work to reverse it.  So stars the size of our sun end up as white dwarfs, more massive ones become neutron stars and very massive stars are destined to be black holes from which not even light can escape because of their incredible gravity. Yet scientists. well some of them, tell us the opposite . . . . that order gradually comes from a chaotic situation.  Well forgive my feeble mind but if our earthly situation really does exist in accordance with the second law which all scientists recognise and accept then why should it not exist in the greater Universe?  This contradiction to me is an impossibility and breaks one of their own cherished laws of physics that things actually do run down, universally.  Now they cannot have it both ways - either one thing is true or the other.

Now let's move on to the first law, namely that matter can neither be created nor destroyed.  This does not mean that we cannot destroy an object by breaking it up, or that wood cannot rot, or that iron cannot rust.  These things do not simply disappear - I for one wish they would then all our trash and garbage would be gone and we would not have such enormous problems with land fill etc. They do not disappear but their  constituent atoms are changed into something else but they are still there and will remain in the universe so the atoms themselves have not been destroyed.  Turning to the most contentious subject of the creation of matter, if the scientists say that matter cannot be created then where the 'ell does it all come from?  They would say, from elements from the stars.  OK I would accept that but where do the stars come from?  They would say from a cosmic egg at the big bang when time began and space came into being.  OK that may be true.  Moses knew nothing about science when he wrote Genesis so he had to convey his message somehow and perhaps it does not matter exactly how creation might have been explained, but I ask again, "Where did the Cosmic Egg come from?"  And we can go on and on with the scientists not being able to give an answer but continuing to wriggle and squirm their way out of the question and trying anything to actually not admit there might be some grand intelligence behind all this creation plus a huge amount of work.  And perhaps it must have taken something or someone outside the Universe to make it all happen, call it or Him whatever you like.  Or have I got something wrong?

Anyway, these are just a few thoughts I had doing this job.  I am a bit of a day dreamer sometimes LOL.

Mrs Bluelights would say, "Never mind, Eddie, come and eat your Wheatabix!" LOL

Monday 9 January 2012

Birds Of A Feather

The Blue Tits are back in our garden but this time there seems to be just a pair. Remember the last time I posted on the subject there were two ladies.  Well the ladies have agreed that one of them should back down and the gent seems to have made his choice.

But has she made her choice regarding accommodation?
She just cannot decide between this highly select detached residence . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . and this rather nice semi detached property.  The other entrance is on the opposite side.  Since neither entrance on either box faces south, they might choose any entrance.  But they never choose a south facing entrance because it is too hot for their young when they hatch.

"Oh, honey! I just cannot make up my mind.  They are both beautiful . . . . .  can we have them both? Just think of all the parties and guest we can have.  I know all this waiting is ruffling up your feathers, but you will have to be patient and wait until spring.  These things take time you know!"

"Oh! shut up woman and come and join me in the pool.  It's a gorgeous day and the water is lovely - besides that I hate to say it but you have fleas!"

"Oh! fleas indeed . . . . you certainly know your way into a girl's heart!  I'll give you a right flea in your ear if you're not careful and watch out or I'll give you a right ducking! I used to be a coast guard and I am an excellent swimmer!"

Actually they all have fleas and perhaps that is why they like to wash so often in bird baths.  The photos are not very good because I had to take them through two double glazed windows which equates to four sheets of glass . . . . . plus, I had to zoom in substantially in order to get the birds into the frame.  But it gives some idea of the daily activity in the garden.  I am hopeful that these will be a breeding pair in the spring.

Both birds venture into the bird boxes regularly but they haven't built a nest in either box as yet.  I have a suspicion that they sleep in the boxes because at dusk I have seen one bird enter the top box and not come out.  Whether his lady friend was there or not I cannot tell.  Because as yet they are not yet married.  Blue Tits are birds with high morals you know and she might choose to sleep alone in the bird table box.  Believe that and you'll believe anything. LOL

Watch this space for more news in due course.