Our Lady

So a church caught fire and burnt.

I have to say I watched and listened quite unpassionately. It seemed slightly sad that such a building could burn but then that is a risk with everything the human race has built. Fire is one of the greatest everyday risks to human life and property. It’s why we buy fire alarms. It’s where the poor go to live and then get caught up in greed:

I’m sickened by the speed at which there has been a rush to donate and offer help to a building built to honour a god that doesn’t exist when compared to the problems faced by poor scum and black people who lived and died in the tower at Grenfell.

The systematic oppression of people in this country is so advanced that we/they don’t even notice it. All through history the poor and workers have been abused by those with money to increase the amount of money the wealthy have. It’s such a process of oppression that we even love TV shows and films which reinforce the idea of status and place in society. If you aren’t angered by the donations to a fucking church then you lack empathy.

My current thesis about British society is that those who lack empathy tend to be tories and end up in power largely because they don’t care and can’t care about others because they lack empathy. You would think it’s not that hard to want to care for others and want to help those who are less fortunate than yourself but just look at the state of UK politics over the last thousand years. The people have fought for everything they have got and yet there is still so far to go.

The Vote. Workers’ rights. National minimum wage. Guaranteed holidays. Health care. Food.

All of these things were fought for. They weren’t given to the people. Those in charge don’t “give” things to us. We have to fight for them.

I am convinced it’s time for a new revolution. A new form of government to do the best for people. A new form of responsible capitalism that doesn’t ruin the planet and force mass consumerism. We are killing this planet and killing ourselves. They don’t care about the rest of us, they care about themselves.

I don’t care about the church. It’s fucked over so many people for its entire existence. I care about the people and looking after each other. Let’s put the money where it should be.

Fleisch – Fire

Fleisch were the main band in the venue Fire last night. They are an industrial metal band from somewhere up north. The first band though were called AlterRed.

I honestly can’t remember a huge deal about AlterRed! I don’t remember hating it but I don’t remember being incredibly impressed. It was watchable. I think Smith and I gave it about a 3/10 score, although the grading system for watching bands isn’t as rigorous as the cinema review section of this site.

I didn’t take any photos during the gig, it wasn’t that sort of place so I have found a music video and you can judge for yourself:

The only other band playing that night were Fleisch. There were better and rated at about a 5/10 by Smith and me. I’m not sure the sound was super brilliant and I certainly didn’t get a Rammstein feel, which they claim but it was a good performance. What I don’t understand is the need for separate bass tracks in the backing track and also a bass player, one or the other folks. Your sound doesn’t need two lots of deep sounds, one will do.

Here they are, again, no photos from me:

Smoke Signals

Driving home from a reasonably unsuccessful shopping session yesterday I saw smoke. While the shopping did not result in me buying anything I did gather information on what particular design of product I would like so more successful than unsuccessful but not a success. I chose to take the “country” route home which means coming off the motorway a junction early and using the new bridge. This is not a shorter route and nor is it quicker. When I was young we would have called this “one of mum’s shortcuts” which obviously weren’t. But, there is a wonderful corner. It’s a blind, off camber, over the crest corner. If you don’t know it’s there you won’t make it. It feels great to drive it although I would prefer a car with a more positive accelerator feedback system. In the diagram below you can see the bridge under construction [A], the corner [B] and the best direction of travel [C].

The Corner
The Corner

There have been accidents here. The press have come out to take photos. But there are signs and you should drive sensibly. If you don’t know the road it will probably surprise you. If you know the road and come off then tough shit I guess, I just hope you don’t hurt anyone.

Before we had taken the corner I noticed smoke above the village and I tried to use some parallax measures to work out if it was from houses or the quarry just before the conurbation. It was definitely in the area of the houses. My next thought was I hope it’s not in Belgrave St because they won’t get a fire engine down there. It’s a Victorian street with just enough room for parking on both sides and a car’s worth of gap down the middle. Anything larger than a car won’t fit. I’d hate to live down there, emergency access would constantly bother me. I’d also have way more fire alarms than I currently do.

I think I’m probably a little paranoid about fire and escaping the house. I never lock the locks in windows. I keep keys on hangers by the door and even brief visitors about where these things are kept. I have plenty of fire alarms. Whenever I am in a new building I scan for emergency routes out. I honestly do count the rows to emergency exits on planes, forwards and backwards. I want to know how to get out.

Driving down the straight towards my village and it becomes apparent that the smoke is coming from roughly near my house. Given my predisposition to worry about fire I worried about the fire. I have an in-my-head scenario of driving home one day and seeing my house burning or just gone. As I turned down my street I could see people out wandering around trying to see what was happening and then a fire engine turned in behind me. I could see smoke rising from behind the terrace and realised it was a garden fire. I just hoped it didn’t spread to the houses. I sped up down the street so the fire engine could get in position.

The fire turned out to be a shed and some fencing that was burning furiously. The smoke was drifting past the back of my house. After parking I went in and looked out of the window at the back of the house. I could see firemen fighting the fire. I wandered down the street to look at the fire engine and see if more man-power was needed. A brief chat with the man operating the pump and then back to my house.

This morning there is ash in the garden slowly being washed away by the rain.

The best thing about this is that no-one was hurt.

This was the second fire in the gardens along this street. It was the first I hadn’t helped fight. It was the first during the day time. I’ll maybe write about the very first another time.

Fire – Electric Six

I bought this album so I would have access to two songs:

  • Danger! High Voltage
  • Gay Bar

Upon listening there are some other pretty good songs on here. I would recommend the following:

  • Dance Commander
  • Nuclear War

This is an album full of fun songs. The videos are hilarious too. Worth owning.


Another reason for liking this album is that it contains two songs played by Ca$hback, a band from the early 2000s. Check out the concert list on this page.

How to light a fire

Photos to be included soon.

When I was a lad we didn’t have any fancy central heating and radiators, oh no. Coal fire in the front room and a Rayburn (think cheap Aga) in the dining room. The Rayburn was always on and in winter we would move the tv into the dining room so there was only one room to heat. As soon as you got out of bed or the bath you’d run to the dining room as quick as you could.
The only winter day in the lounge was Christmas day. We’d move the tv back for the day and the tree and presents would be in there. It was my job to start the coal fire in the lounge. It was nice to have the responsibility.
I’m worried that starting a fire is a dying skill. Mind you it’s just not really needed anymore. Central heating and all that! Unlike, say, changing a wheel, surely all people can and have done this for practice but people I’ve spoken to have no idea about this. I will be doing this for fun with my sons when they are older.
So the easiest way to get a fire going requires a little time to set up but you save time in the long run having to start again.
Take some news paper, lay it flat and then gather up along the fold line so it’s bow shaped and then fold in half and put these pieces under the grate (these are the bits you light).
Now take more newspaper and lay it flat. Then roll into a pipe about 2cm in diameter along a diagonal of the rectangle. Now take your tube and tie it in a loose knot and even out the circle. Place these on top of the grate to cover the surface. These will light the kindling.
The kindling should be places in a check pattern on top of the paper circles. A couple of layers should be enough.
Lastly get some coal, without too much dust, and place a layer evenly on the kindling. The kindling should be placed so no lumps of coal can fall onto the paper circles. That’s it!
Get a match and light the paper under the grate in a few places and your fire will start beautifully.