PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH
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I suspect George the Architect is still a bit cross about me using marble from Fox Marble (FOX) in Kosovo rather than local marble at the Greek Hovel. But I am a shareholder, get a discount, and want to show my support.
Anyhow it is now in place. This window sill is - as you might have guessed by "the rock" at the end of the now elongated Rat Room. When the windows go in, later this week, its true splendour will be apparent. But here is a taster.
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As I noted yesterday, the BBC believes that if it repeats myths often enough in its drama we come to accept those myths as facts. In the end we will accept that everyone in the Countryside is right behind gay pride and they all oppose fox-hunting. The mindset of Arcadia has become that of Islington because the BBC told us so often that the Arcadians/Ambridgians had Upper Street values all along. This attempt to bully into accepting liberal values by distorting the truth is how the left wages its cultural war today.
At lunch I was reading nine month old Joshua a book which the local library had given us: Everybunny dances. It starts off with all the little rabbits dancing, singing and having a wonderful old time. There is no time off fr going and eating all Mr McGregor's carefully planted vegetables these are just happy little bunnies having fun.
But then a fox appears and they all run and hide. They stay still. Suddenly the fox starts to dance, to sing and finally to play the clarinet but nobody appreciates him and he sheds a tear. Poor sweet old fox. The bunnies emerge and applaud. The fox is happy. They all play happily together. The end.
This is sweet Mr Foxy Woxy, a charming furry creature who must be protected from those toffee nosed Tory rich bastards, that is to say fox hunters. In that great debate the narrative of the left is that all hunters are cruel, rich , nasty Tories and foxy woxy is sweet and gentle. And children's books have for two decades been pushing the cute foxy woxy line as part of this.
Those of us who grew up in the Countryside in those dark days of old know that most everyone joined in the hunt, it was part of the community, not just rick Tory bastards. And we know that foxes killed our chickens, geese, pet rabbits and cats. Not just to eat but for pleasure. When the fox got into our chicken house it are one bird. The other 25 it just slaughtered. Foxes are evil cruel vermin, killers and the only good fox is a dead fox.
But our children have been brain-washed to think otherwise. The story I read to Joshua is pure propaganda and its lies are funded by a local council that claims to be cash strapped.
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Above the main field at Butterwell Farm in Byfield was a smaller field. On one side was a continuation of the dry stone wall that separated our land from that of Mr Peter Thompson, on the other the extensive gardens that my mother worked to create. At the bottom ,separating this land from the main field, was a giant old barn which contained a wooden three-seater lavatory seat among other gems. At the top there was another barn which in turn formed one half of one side of the yard behind our house. We we worked hard to turn the barn into a fox proof hen-house. and then started to build up a flock of chickens with the odd bantam picked up along the way, for fun.
This was part of the self sufficiency drive led by my mother. I think we offered the chickens a good home. The barn was secure. Our cat, to whom I will turn later but who had various names including Jesus Christ, ensured there were few rodents. The field was large enough and had a good patch of nettles by the dry stone wall allowing hens to lay enough eggs which were undetectable, to frustrate a boy sent out to collect breakfast. Why would a hen lay eggs in the nettles and not in the nice straw we laid down in the hen house?
Most of the chickens had no name. They were all the same red colour and so would it be racist to say that they all looked the same to me? I think that in the 1970s such an observation was not a hate crime. Such birds had a good life until one day they were unlucky enough to be picked up by father for a quick neck wring, plucking and a move to the pot.
At this point, any snowflake or Islington urbanite readers who had hitherto assumed that chickens were made by Waitrose and was unaware of how they are killed, may feel horrified and nauseated, I apologise not. Our chickens had a good, open air sort of life and their end was very quick. Perhaps not giving them names depersonalised the killing experience for my father who was the sole executioner.
There were one or two birds that had names. There was a bantam cockerel with black feathers and a fine red and orange plumage whose job was to "look after" the two bantam hens. He was, for some reason, named Mr Peter Thompson after the neighbouring farmer. Please note that in any conversation it was always Mr Peter Thompson not Peter Thompson. Again, there is no rationale or reason for this. Neither of the bantam ladies ever produced bantam chicks. Was Mr Peter Thompson (the bantam) something of a confirmed bachelor? He lived his pointless existence of laying no eggs and siring no heirs but just eating the food he was given, until a ripe old age and a natural death. Bantams are too small for the pot.
The chickens did now and then produce young, having hidden eggs in places which we could not find. In one brood there was a runt who was both small and stupid, somehow in the end contriving to drown himself in the stream which at the height of summer was so shallow that meeting such a death must have required real effort. My father named this poor runt Bill Whitehead after a colleague of his at the University of Warwick.
This was unfair. Bill was my father's closest friend and a real novelty in liberal arts academia, that is to say a staunch conservative. He and my father used to make a great show of crossing picket lines whenever their lazy colleagues in the English department, such as Germaine Greer, actually bothered to pitch up on campus on the basis that there was a strike to support.
Born in America, Bill was so right wing that he did not wait for the draft, he volunteered for the army saying he wanted to go to Korea. His wish was denied and so, much to his disgust having wanted to kill as many commies as possible, he dodged front line action and ended up at Warwick. But he was pretty short and it was his size that meant that a dimwitted runt chicken, which was a real contender for a Darwin Award, was named after him.
There was also the cockerel who was called Andrew Bowden after the vicar of Byfield who was a celebrated collector of rare breeds of hen. I am fairly sure that he is credited with rediscovering one species that was thought to be extinct and he had a large collection up at the vicarage. These days CofE vicars have their minds on higher things such as gender equality, fighting global warming or Donald Trump and worrying what to buy their husband's for Valentine's Day. Andrew was a rather more old fashioned sort of vicar, married to a woman, believing in God and that sort of thing.
I am not sure why the cockerel was named after the vicar but my parents soon realised that cockerels were a waste of space. It was far cheaper to buy laying hens than to try to breed and anyhow Andrew Bowden did not seem terribly keen on the ladies either. Perhaps that was a sign of things to come for CofE vicars across the land. And thus one day, in the name of efficiency, my father had to wring the vicar's neck as the pot beckoned.
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There have been three nationwide polls since the debate on a nationwide basis. Reuters decided to poll a lot more registered Democrats than Republicans so again skewing its results in order to create a bogus lead for Crooked Hillary. You can discount any of its polls, its fudges have discredit it completely. The other two (Fox & Rasmussen) show Hillary with leads of 3% and 1% and swings to her of 2% and 6% respectively. Great news for the crooked one? I am not so sure.
It is clear that crooked Hillary did win the debate although having slated Trump as a bad loser for complaining his mike was broken she will no doubt be appologising this morning as the Debate Commission admitted that it was indeed defective. Those Americans who see Hillary as being the candidate of a big business/big media/political establishment conspiracy will say "told ya".
Given Hillary's win in the debate I predicted a poll bounce of 2-4% and it looks like it was around 4%. But her lead is tiny and the debate is now in the rear view mirror. Memories will fade. Coming up ahead we have so much more scandal on the emails and cover up which will hurt her. More importantly there are seismic shifts in the economy and the stockmarket and they are nearly all bad. That hits the party of incumbency, ie the Dems and Hillary.
Hillary had a double digit lead after her convention. That evaporated in six weeks. Can she protect a lead of 1-3% for another six weeks? It is far from a given.
I now flag up the issue of the "shy GOP" voter. We see it in British elections where a small number of Tories refuse to admit to tell pollsters that they are voiting for the party of the right. In the EU poll there were far more shy Brexit supporters than Remainers. The entire liberal media tells us that Tories/Brexiters hate the NHS,poor people and immigrants and are generally thick racists. We know that is untrue but is it surprising that a few of us on the right decline to admit to anyone who we support, even to a pollster.
And it will be the same in the US. When you have folks like Alvin Hall going on mainstream media saying that the folks who vote Trump are either stupid or racist or both that will harden support for Trump as folks find another liberal elitist to despise but it may also give another reason to remain a "shy Republican" when asked your views by a pollster.
In many places thse days it is far easier to come out as a homosexual than as a Trump supporter. Naturally I applaud anyone brave enough to do either but those on the liberal left simply do not and are oppressive in how they smear and abuse we who are out and proud Trump supporters.
My guess is that the shy Republican phenomena will give Trump a boost of at least a percentage point by November 8 in the only poll that actually maters. And that is why I'd view the polls as we stand as being essentially tied. The first debate is in the rear view mirror but what lies ahead should be nearly all bad news for Crooked Hillary.
I stand by my 8 reasons Trump will win article here. Bring on the next batch of suppressed Clinton emails....
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On the way back through the olive groves at the top of snake hill tonight I found myself tracking a fox. It did not seem too scared and eventually trotted off into the bushes. But that was not the real wildlife diversity news today - I met a snake.
I was travelling into the village in the early evening for a salad. Roadworks yesterday on abandoned monastery hill meant that I have been forced to discover a new way to get from the bottom of the valley into Kambos. It is a side track, not in that bad a condition, which winds its way all the way up to the top of the village past a little abandoned church coming out above our new big church. So from the top of that track you actually go downhill again to the Kourounis taverna. One day I shall draw a map for you all.
I was biking along thinking about nothing in particular when I heard a crunch under the wheels. I pulled up and looked back and about five yards behind me was a small snake. It is the small snakes that are the dangerous ones, the nine poisonous types of adder here in Greece.
There were three scenarios. It was dead before I crunched it. It was alive before I crunched it but now dead. Or it was alive before I crunched it but not yet dead. I thought about it and took one step towards the viper and could see enough to know that I did not wish to conduct a post mortem in case it turned out to be a pre-mortem.
Instead I got back on the bike and sped off as fast as possible to the village. At the taveran they all thought it rather funny. The bloke who is terrified of snakes now actually meeting one as well as the rats, bats, tortoise and crab. Lovely Eleni suggests that the hovel is now officially the Kambos zoo. Very funny.
It goes without saying that I took the other route home but each time I saw a strange line in the road you know what was going through my mind. Twigs, breaks in the concrete, they all suddenly became - in my mind at least - snakes.
Two more nights here and then the Mrs arrives She has one or two issues with the hovel as it stands and so it is off to a luxury hote in Kardamili, funded by the greatful taxpayer (that is to say my public sector employed wife) we go. After tonight I think I can manage to suffer a few nights of wildlife diversity free luxury.
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I look out of my window and next to my newly built herb garden there is a frog or is it a toad? How on earth did it get there? The garden has five foot high walls and we are a good 100 yards above and half a mile away from the nearest wetlands. And what to do?
I have locked the cats away so they cannot get into the garden. I know that Tara would enjoy “playing” with the poor creature. I am worried that my garden is now drying out at a rate of knots as the sun is shining. And I’d rather that the poor little thing did not perish. So call the RSPCA in Bristol?
That I do and am sent on a maze of key #1 or key #2 options none of which seem to complete and leave me none the wiser. I really do not have all day for this and the useless not fit for purpose RSPCA is probably too busy prosecuting a fox hunter or campaigning against global warming to actually care about a poor animal.
Reluctantly I think I must try to scoop the poor fellow up and put him on the grassy lane at the back of the garage and let him take his chances. If he perishes, I blame the RSPCA. But that he has managed to make it this far shows he is a bit of a fighter.
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Heading home in a taxi the other night, the driver had to touch his breaks as a quite enormous foxes sprinted, in the same way that Simon Cawkwell might sprint, across the road. This fox was not the sort of beast I remember from my youth in the boonies.
Back then country fox had to live by his wits. Food was either wild game which had to be stalked or our chickens where entry to their housing required some ingenuity and cunning. And so the creatures we encountered were vicious, nervous of humans as we hated the vile killers with a passion and thin. They were lean mean killing machines.
City fox of 2013 is rather different. For a start, all the townies who think that chickens come from Tesco and that foxy woxy is a cuddly endangered species, would not think of harming this “national treasure.” Mr Fox is wily and knows that. City fox has no fear. His country cousin of old would know that if he ran out in a road a driver would swerve in order to hit him. City fox knows that drivers would swerve straight into the Avon Gorge rather than damage cuddly wuddly little Renard.
But it gets even better for City fox. Food is quite simply on tap. There is no need to chase anything at all. In Bristol, under strict diktats from the Stasi at City Hall, we obediently put all our food waste into little brown boxes while other waste goes wither into big green bins or different sorts of green boxes. I am still not quite sure what goes where and so maybe am not saving the planet/stopping global warming quite as much as my neighbours. But I do know to put all food waste into the brown container and Mr Fox knows that he can get breakfast, lunch, supper and a midnight snack every day of the week from the brown boxes we put out to save the planet.
Not surprisingly without the need to chase or flee anything or anyone and with high calorie processed junk food available everywhere in unlimited supplies, Mr City fox is now getting quite large. One might even say fat.
How long, I wonder, before our uber meddling City council and/or red trousered buffoon of a Mayor George Ferguson feel the need to piss away more cash and start a campaign to reduce the incidence of obesity and diabetes in the “Bristol fox community”? It is, one fears, only a matter of a time.
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I am staying in a house converted into five flats in a leafy part of Bristol. The five flats are all owned on a leasehold, that is to say they are private property. And in the entrance hall a notice has just gone up with a big no smoking sign stating “It is against the law to smoke in these premises.” Well that is a lie is it not?
It might just be that the communal areas are deemed to be a public space and so smoking might be illegal there. But I do not think that is actually the case. The Communal areas ( a staircase) are commonly owned private property.
The flats are slam dunk private property. Not that it would make it a “crime” but there is nothing in the leasehold agreement about smoking. This is private property and, as far as I can see, it is not yet a crime to smoke in your own home. So someone has put up a notice that is a lie. Is it the (useless) management company?
Or is it a resident, some prurient liberal who believes in freedom when it comes to things they support ( smoking pot, roaming on private land, cycling through red lights, not having a bath more than once a month) but denies liberty to others on unacceptable matters such as smoking, foxhunting, owning a gun, reading the Daily Mail in public, etc?
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Well I have started. I shall have to do a bit of real work in a second but for now, pronounce RSPCA quickly the first time and here is a Carol for the organisation that thinks that foxy woxy is one of Britain’s most popular mammals.
Noting that the North Wiltshire RSPCA is now following me on twitter, this is especially for you folks and any other deluded lefties out there…
The RSPCA Christmas Carol
Away in a manger, the livestock were dead
From TB from badgers, or killed while in bed
By a cute little fox, that the RSPCA
had protected from toffs. hunting that day
Back in North London, where the TB disease
Means warmongering Prime Ministers, not badgers that sneeze
We love cute foxy, and his friendly way
He’s veggie like us, and very pro gay
Hands in the pocket, RSPCA
Welfare for foxes, its right that we pay
Kill all rich farmers, they are all to blame
They are Tory scum, with no bloody shame