Warm, warmer, hot!

Joy! For the first time I could actually say that it felt balmy when I collected the newspaper from the mailbox at 8.00am this morning. The TV weatherman pointed to a rare indicator saying 25ºC in the London area today and maybe 26º tomorrow – that’s early to mid 70s Fahrenheit, which is where I like my temperatures, although the early to mid eighties will do me fine. The sky’s a bit hazy today so far but there are signs that the sun may burn through later. Summer is a-truly cummin in! Will it last? The oaks and ashes tell me it will. I believe them.

Oak Before Ash

The old saw tells us it’s going to be a long hot summer … let’s hope the trees (or perhaps I should say Timbers) are better forecasters than the miserable Climate Change doomsters. My (every man’s?) favourite weather girl, Carol, tells us it starts today and gets warmer as the week goes by. I’ve left off the long-johns and given up the vitamin D tablets to welcome that glorious yellow stranger up there in the sky. Somewhere down on the south coast this weekend they’re holding a Green Man festival to mark the beginning of Summer (the Roman’s knew and celebrated it as Flora’s Holiday, 5/6 May). I wish they’d pass on the good news to the BBC, who ignorantly maintain that summer doesn’t start until the solstice on 21 June (or thereabouts) – known to all once upon a time as Midsummer’s Day.

The Spreading Chestnut Tree

Cousin Mandy has continued her research into her (and therefore my) family background on her mother’s side – Stella the cousin I never knew I had and, sadly, never met. She hasn’t quite exhausted the male Timbers line ancestors (the bearers of the name) but she has found some fascinating branches down (or is it up?) the female line. Her best success so far has been on her great great grandmother’s family (my great grandmother) Emma. On her father’s side she was a Dobson, on her mother’s a Bussey, so on Mandy’s tree she features as Emma Bussey Dobson Timbers, although I very much doubt if she ever referred to herself that way – double or triple-barreling only ever applied way up the social scale amongst the aristocracy, who needed to keep family bloodlines well defined, especially down the female line.

Now I find I have a cousin of roughly my own age named Dobson, living in (or near) Brisbane in Queensland, a part of the world I have never managed to visit, despite having a firm friend who hails from there and a godmother who lived out her life there with her daughter after the war, both survivors of Japanese POW camps in Sumatra – the ‘Tengko experience. I have an invitation from Gresham Dobson, said cousin, to visit his home via Google Maps. That I will do. I may even call on the psychic powers of my sci-fi ( or should I say psi-fi) trilogy characters when I go!

EU Referendum

So here we go at last with ministers and MPs free to speak their minds – oh, what a nasty campaign will follow now right up to 23 June. Will it be in or out – Brexit or Fixit?

The ‘ins’ are muddying the water already, talking about our security being dependent on membership of the EU. God help us if it did! It never has and hopefully never will. Our security as a country depends on our own Armed Forces and our membership of NATO.

They are also saying that we are better off in a reformed EU.

The EU is beyond reform and in any case has NO intention of reforming. It is far too comfortable for its officials and MEPs to want anything to do with reform. David Cameron, however hard he worked, had no idea how to begin negotiating the reforms he wanted and has come back with nothing. You just DON’T go into negotiations – even with friends and relations – by telling the other side that you want a solution that makes it look as if nothing has changed.

If we don’t understand now how two-faced the EU can be, we never will and we’ll deserve everything they do to revenge themselves on us for having the nerve to even ask for reform.

How can anyone say that DC has achieved major reforms? He hasn’t and never will. There is no thought of treaty change and therefore the UK will be bound by the same set of EU laws after an IN vote as before. Anything DC thought he had negotiated will be ignored and/or reneged on. They’ve done it before and will do it again.

DC talks about being able to influence the ‘on-going’ process of EU reform from within if we vote IN. Hasn’t he learnt yet that we have absolutely no influence in the EU? Anything and everything put forward by us is automatically thrown out by majority voting. That’s not influence – it’s vengeance. Even the man in the streets of Moscow and St Petersburg cannot understand how we can possibly think that belonging to the ‘Soviet Union of Europe’ can be a good thing, when we put so much effort into achieving ‘perestroika’ in Russia with the help of the Russian people who were sick and tired of having communism thrust down their throats. The socialist nonsense that comes out of the EU Commission is NOT what most sensible people in the West want. We need the freedom that comes with real democracy – something the EU dreads and has no time for.

The in/out vote is not about economics or even about the vexed question of immigration. It’s about who governs our country – unelected officials in the EU Commission or MPs the electorate of the UK voted in to do the job for us.

I sincerely hope people wake up to that before it’s too late. This will be our last chance. No UK Bill of Rights can get us out of the mess that is Europe. We have to vote with our feet.