wetwool

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Winter Blues

The Meteorological office is warning that heavy snow and freezing temperatures are expected to continue for at least another two weeks.

This follows Some of the heaviest snow fall in over 20 years. There has been heavy snow in the north-east of England and the Scottish borders, with reports of up to 30cm (12in) falling since early Tuesday. Parts of the northern Highlands saw just short of half a metre of snow.

There was also heavy snowfall in central and southern England and parts of the South West and south Wales. Counties affected included Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire Wiltshire, Dorset, Berkshire and parts of Gloucestershire, Buckinhamshire and Oxfordshire.

sailing

With the wide disruption to road and rail transport thousands of schools remained closed and hospitals cancelled out-patient appointments. It was estimated that 50% of the nations entire work-force stayed away from work.

sailing

Happy New Year 2010


sailing




So I’m standing here again watching the world go by and everywhere there are chants of Out with the Old, In with the New! And I find that I am in agreement with all of them.

2009 was a non-year and it gave us nothing new or special. It was the year of Natural mediocrity with bad weather, poor harvests, forest fires, drought and natural disaster.

2009 was a year of the doldrums. Like a broken record playing the same bit of music again and again and again it gave me nothing but dizziness and a mild headache. For too many people it was a question of running faster and faster to remain at the same spot.

Nothing stays forever and this notorious year is now coming to an end. Will there be lessons that we can take with us into 2010 to avoid a repeat of the year when nothing amounted to anything? Usain Bolt smashed the 100m world record and after 3 days it was like, “so what?”

I am reminded that the underlying cause of all this despondency is the global recession. With millions of people out of work and thousands more losing their jobs everyday perhaps there is little to cheer about. But how does that explain the poor report-cards that we have for our Politicians, the Police and even the Legal Sytem. Why do so many people from every walk of life complain that the standards of service from both the public and private sector have fallen to levels that would have been unacceptable 10 years ago?

Let us move forward into 2010 with a clear vision of what needs to be done.

Wishing you a Happy New Year

Every Sunday Has a Silver Cloud


Like many other people I felt that so many megabytes and too many inches of newsprint had been dedicated to the story of – and the reactions to – the recent London Wedding that there was nothing more to add.

But then I got a letter from my cousin Sui, a church pastor from a parish in the borough of Southwark, London. In the letter she covers much ground but her enduring theme is that of the silver lining in every cloud. Sui asks me to make public a small section of her letter here:

…………but just as I was coming to the end of my sermon the rain came down again. A heavy rain shower driven by wind gusts that were bending tall trees outside smashed against the windows of our small community hall. There was so much water that it over flowed the gutters above to come gushing down to the pavements with great force. I wondered how I was going to avoid getting wet. We had parked the car at the far end of the car-park so that we could make a quick get away avoiding the traffic-hold ups caused by early Sunday shoppers.

A flash of lightening streaked across the grey clouds above.

“So before we close today perhaps we could have a moment of silent prayer for the two young men who recently got married in London to wish them the best….”, I begun, but no sooner had I said that and there was a sudden commotion as people rushed to get out of the hall. Just a handfull of worshippers remained seated.

We concluded the service with the hymn ” How great Thou art” which seemed appropriate given the thunder and lightening going on outside.

When the last of the faithful had left my partner suggested that in her view perhaps I had been wrong to raise the issue of the “London Wedding” as this had clearly driven away a large section of my congregation. She feared that they would not return. The heavy downpour continued with no signs of abating.

As I contemplated what my partner was saying I noticed that in their haste some of the congregation had left their belongings behind. These included several umbrellas, handbags, a small briefcase, a lap-top, a video-recorder, a mobile phone with charger, an iPod and a baby’s cot.

“Always look on the bright side, dearest,” I said choosing two of the largest umbrellas, “At least you’re not going to get wet”.

We locked away the rest of the “lost property” and made our way to the car.

Wetwool, I hope that you can put this on your blog just incase any of your readers would like to claim an item of lost property perhaps they can get in touch with me on 01234 567890. Please ask Melissa to get in touch, next time you see her. Remind Baba Mbuye that the goats that he left at Uncle’s……..”

your cousin,

Pastor Sui


a new truth


“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
The opening line of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

There is a new truth today that is rapidly gaining acceptance in our digitally connected age. It is a truth that many will learn by painful and costly experience, a truth so blatantly obvious and yet notoriously easy to ignore.
My ward-mate at the Mental health institute says that we ignore this truth at our peril. A self-made business man who left school at form IV to start work at the vegetable market, Ali has always been self employed and has never had to call anyone his boss. His businesses prospered and Ali moved into the stocks and shares market at the turn of the century.

Just over a year ago Ali ventured into on line trading buying stuff at auctions and selling it off in one or two of the main auction sites. His quick calculative mind allowed him to set up some impressive trades and before long he was doing it full-time. It paid the bills and left him in good profit but his quest was for that elusive Big deal. At around this time Ali had become quite fond of a “tipple” in the evening.

Ali takes up the story:

Wool, like anyone else, I just liked a glass of wine or a drop of whiskey as I watched telly in the comfort of my own house…what harm was I doing to anyone? When the telly got too boring with the endless interviews of lying politicians by ego hungry presenters I would go online to catch up on my emails. It started as a pattern which became a bit of a habit. After a few weeks I was coming straight into the house and heading for the desktop PC at the corner of the room. On a small table beside it was my bottle of wine.

something to make you feel better

I remember that it was on a Saturday night that Mrs Ali came to me at the PC and said she felt neglected. I was spending far more time online than with her. Was anything the matter? I apologised profusely, drained the last of the whiskey and took the cat outside. Back indoors I went to the PC to find a nice present for Mrs Ali. As I scoured the pages for something special I came upon an advert that went something like this:

JOB LOT PRODUCTION OVER RUN. SURPLUS STOCK AT FRACTION OF THE COST!!!!

I clicked on the link for further details and as far as I could gather, a men’s luxury shoe manufacturer up North somewhere had over – produced on an order and they wanted to dispose of the surplus stock of 100pcs.

The auction was live and kicking and bidding had reached sixty quid. My wine induced excitement got the better of me. I placed a maximum bid of seventy and waited.
In time they gave me the “good news” that I had won the auction. The final price was sixty-five quid. I had won 100 pcs of luxury shoes for sixty five quid! Huge profits lay ahead my son.

right foot forward

The package duly arrived on the Tuesday and Mrs Ali was standing there beside me as I opened it. The long box contained 100 brand new luxury leather shoes wrapped up in some type of soft tissue paper. There was something odd in that all the 100 shoes were to fit a right foot. There were no pairs.

After a long silence Mrs Ali let out a loud burst of hysterical laughter. She danced around the small dining room clapping her hands and thighs and singing in the vernacular: “come and see a fool, come ye and see for yourselves. He has been conned by conmen, come and see a fool.”
Wool, I was getting angrier by the minute. Mrs Ali seemed to be enjoying herself now and she was intent on carrying on with her mockery. Her dancing and clapping hurt me deeply and to avoid doing something that I would later regret I stormed out of the house. In my mind the single question; Where on earth was I going to sell 100 right foot only shoes, where? My creative thinking had abandoned me at my hour of need.

I drove around the countryside for several hours thinking things over and then parked at a motorway service area where I slept like a baby in the car. It was late night when I got back home. The box of shoes was still on the dining room floor. I went to the shed outside and got out a big shovel which I put in the car together with the box of shoes. I drove to a secluded spot just at the outskirts of town. It was during the process of digging a shallow grave that I was arrested. They officers were very kind but said that they would have to lock me up overnight whilst my story was verified. It was down there in the claustrophobic police cells late that night that I suffered the nervous breakdown.

Ali looked at me with moisture in his eyes. He was my only friend here at the mental institute and I really felt his pain. Mrs Ali had not visited him once in the time that he had been here.
“And the truth that you wanted to share, Ali”, I asked
“Don’t go online when you’ve been drinking”. He sighed, got up and put on his slippers…..


Affiliate marketing, another way


With the ongoing credit crunch and rising prices it looks like the economy is set for really hard times ahead. Unemployment is rising as firms seek to cut costs and for those lucky to be in work there are only so many hours in the day and only so much overtime that one can do.

Perhaps this is the time to give some thought to using the internet to earn some extra cash. Many businesses now sell most of their products and services on-line, taking advantage of the low overhead costs, the fact that the internet is “open for business” 24 hours a day and the internet’s global reach, targetting millions of potential customers right across the world.

An increasingly popular way to generate money online is by becoming an affiliate. Affiliates are websites, forums or blogs that promote a merchant’s products to their readers or members drive potential customers to their website. Customers can be redirected by affiliates using banners and text links pointing to the merchant’s website. Any orders placed by the referred shoppers are tracked using sophisticated software and a share of the order value is paid as a commission to the affiliate.

Affiliate marketing is a useful tool for any business wishing to sell online and many large merchants set aside considerable budgets to build affiliate networks. Big household names like Tesco, Virgin, Amazon and British Airways all have well developed affiliate or associate partner programmes. Many of these are open for anyone to join

To find out more why not visit the following websites for more details on affiliate marketing.

www.buy.at

www.affiliatewindow.com

www.commissionjunction.com


What Is Time, Sir

It has really been one of those summers. Rain, rain, sun, rain, and more rain. I now carry an umbrella as part of my essentials, along with my hay-fever medication, pain-killers, insect- repellant and joint lubricants. Imagine my surprise, basi last Thursday when the sun gave up being shy and came out from behind the clouds.

I had just finished my errands in town and was now waiting for my Number 4 bus back home on a bright and sunny afternoon. Ahead of me in the queue was some sort of University Professor. Adorned in tweed jacket with elbow pads, he scribbled away at some important looking notes in a pocket exercise book.

Just then a foreign exchange language student came up to the stop. He carefully examined the bus time-table and then looked up to the professor and said, “ Prease sir, excuse. What is time”?

The kindly professor looked upon the young student over the top of his round spectacles with some pity. He smiled and said to him “ Well, son, how long have you got”?

We then looked up to see the Number 4 bus rolling up to our stop. Once again I was denied the opportunity to understand the General Theory of Relativity and all that mumbo jumbo. I was gutted.

But why should I let it rest. I have always wanted to know more about the meaning of time. It is a concept that occupies my every waking moment. Why, for instance do we use two time settings in Kenya? Time given in English or Kiswahili differs by 12 hours. Why is this? You may say it doesn’t matter but suppose you write a document to someone and perhaps you specify time using numerals. What does 9.20 mean? Is it 9.20 am or is it 3.20? Why do we have this anomaly? Is there any other country that uses different times depending on the language that is spoken? Which time denotation is used in legal documentation and who determines it? Why do we have all this duplication?

You know, it is time I was out of here………

birds are not scared of heights


Like most normal people I have always held the opinion that if the Good Lord had wanted us to fly We’d all be like eagles.

Unfortunately as the world “grows smaller” people become more and more restless and they feel the urge to move across the continents and the seas for holidays or to pursue studies, trade, employment, love, romance, marriage, medical treatment, etc etc in far-away lands. But there is so little time…and so fly they must.

In this shot a Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340 300 prepares to land at a misty Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi just after 07.00 am after an eight hour flight from London. No doubt some of the passengers and crew are taking a moment to reflect on this modern dilemma.

preparing for landing

2 eggs in a little black box


We were at a hotel room where a lavish marriage ceremony was coming to an end. As the happy couple were set off on their honeymoon the new bride was heard say to her man,” Darling, I want us to live together forever. If you love me as much as I do you then I bid you please grant me this one favour.”

The handsome groom said “Anything for my gorgeous bride. If it is in my power to grant it consider it done.”

She removed a small black wooden box made from smooth Tanzania ebony wood from her suitcase and she placed it on the bed.

“A girl must always have secrets. I hope that you will love me all the days that we live and that you shall respect my privacy and never look in this box. I will always keep it close by me under my side of the bed.” She smiled sweetly and fluttered those long lashes again.

” Forever my word will be my bond. As long as I live I will never look in there.” Was the man’s chivalrous reply.

We now fast forward at light speed to the future to find the couple now enjoying their sunset years sitting together in their large bedroom happily opening the many happy anniversary cards from friends and family from all over the world. Their grandchildren have bought them a round the world cruise and they are sorting out suitcases for their great voyage.

The old grey haired husband reaches under the bed to get his small travel-case but instead pulls out the smooth little black box. His wife looks down at him smiling and shaking her head slowly.

He looked dismayed and disappointed, like a little child denied some sweets.

“Look honey we’ve been together all these years, can’t I just have a little tiny peek?”

The wife decided there would be no harm in letting him look so she nodded and then watched as he excitedly opened the box. Inside he found two eggs and a thick wad of notes. There was nearly $2,000 in the box.

“I don’t understand. Are these your secret savings? Asked the bwana.

The wife thought she had better explain. She looked at him steadily and then she spoke. “I said to myself that I would love you forever. But I was weak. Each time that I was unfaithful to you I placed an egg in the box to remind me of my shame.”

A sudden wave of emotions swept through the man. He felt deep anger and humiliation. Suddenly a fresh thought came to him. He did some quick calculations and decided that in the unfaithfulness league his wife was a novice, a real amateur….I mean two minor indiscretions in sixty years. I have been quite a player myself hmmmm…remember only last thursday……..no I will show her mercy. I will definitely forgive her and be the better one. Haha

He turned slowly to his wife and smiled.” What about the cash, honey? You have bank accounts, why did you stash it here?”

Her answer was slow in coming but eventually she said, “Well, whenever I got at dozen eggs I would sell them…..”

To end the story here would be an act of great charity.


Making Perfect Scents


Every year as St.Valentine’s day approaches I find myself in the same old predicament. I am suddenly overcome by a total mental block and I have absolutely no idea what gift to get my other half.

This year perhaps I might just have cracked it. You see I came across a copy of “Perfumes: The Guide” which is a comprehensive review of thousands of fragrances and perfumes for ladies and gents. A very readable book it is a must-have for all of you ladies and gents looking for inspiration this Valentine’s day.

Question: You know what fragrance he/she wears, you know what it smells like, but do you know what it looks like?

Get your copy of Perfumes: The Guide

Happy Valentines

Buy discount fragrances online

Britain Battered By Severe Weather


Britain woke on Monday to find herself  battered by the heaviest winter storms in nearly 20 years. The meteorological department had accurately predicted the cold wintry showers arriving from Siberia but the heavy snow falls played havoc on the transport system in may parts of the UK with London and the South East being particularly badly hit.

The Freeze

Road, Rail and Underground services suffered severe disruptions all through the day. At one point all the red London buses in the capital, unable to cope with the snow drifts, were confined to their depots. Heathrow Airport closed one of its two runways and many flight departures were canceled. It was the same story for airports at Gatwick, Stansted and Luton. Commuters travelling to Europe for the start of their working week sat for hours at airports awaiting news of their flights only to learn that there would be no flights on the day.

Road transport organisations such as the AA and RAC as well as the Police had urged motorists to avoid making car journeys unless it was absolutely essential. With by the lack of public transport many motorists ventured out into the severe weather only to find themselves caught in the gridlock after cars and heavy vehicles lost control and slipped up in the horrendous road conditions. Drivers then abandoned their vehicles adding to the mayhem.

Many schools were closed for the day as pupils and teachers found it difficult to get in. There were scenes of youngsters playing in the snow up and down the country as they made the most of the unexpected day off.

Weather forecasts indicate that there is more snow to come in the next couple of days. Even more worrying is the prospect of a fall in temperatures. It is expected that this will freeze all the surface precipitation increasing the risk of serious accidents.


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