Sunday, 30 April 2023

My group has suffered more than your group.

Dear Chrissie - my final word on the subject!  Written on Sunday; checked over on Monday.

My group has suffered more than your group.

Friday, 28 April 2023

That anti-Semitic letter - she had to actually write that anti-Semitism was and is racism, to be safe

Racism is black and white.  SELF: We are all responsible for doing it and being on the receiving end.  Part of the human condition.

Tomiwa Owolade claims that Irish, Jewish and Traveller people all suffer from “racism” (“Racism in Britain is not a black and white issue. It’s far more complicated”, Comment). They undoubtedly experience prejudice. This is similar to racism and the two words are often used as if they are interchangeable.  SELF: All three groups have experienced both prejudice and racism.  But, Abbott has not properly spelled it out that Jewish people, at least, also suffer from racism, as well as prejudice.  Therefore, believes Starmer, she is anti-Semitic and must be drummed out of the Labour Party and Parliament, like Corbyn.

It is true that many types of white people with points of difference, such as redheads, can experience this prejudice. But they are not all their lives subject to racism. In pre-civil rights America, Irish people, Jewish people and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus. In apartheid South Africa, these groups were allowed to vote. And at the height of slavery, there were no white-seeming people manacled on the slave ships.  SELF: Blacks have suffered the most out of the four groups, implies Abbott.  I don't think any of this can be called anti-Semitic.  Keir Starmer has it wrong, I think.  But, Tomiwa Owolade says Diane Abbott is wrong about race and prejudice and, I infer from that, that he believes she is anti-Semitic.

Diane Abbott

Thanks for this article that I have read.  I have also read over the past week other comments to try and understand the last few years of the rise in anti-Semitism that coincided with the election of a life-long, left wing MP who does not have a racist bone in his body.  Or, do you think he has, Chrissie?  Keir Starmer got rid of him not because of the EHRC report but because of his short comments about it.  Comments that seemed fair enough to me, at the time.

It seems that anti-Semitism has been weaponised to make it harder for some to be outspoken in being horrified by the behaviour of the State of Israel. It has made it easier to oust left wing members from the Labour Party and, since Keir Starmer was elected leader, to cement the rise of the right in Labour to help its election prospects.

Diane Abbott's letter was short and shallow.  Probably, too hastily written and without reflection.  It should have just been ignored - by everyone.  It appeared to express her concern that anti-Semitism has overshadowed prejudice, discrimination, racism towards her own black tribe.  I saw the letter as reminding the reader of how black people in the USA and South Africa, for centuries, seem to have suffered much more hate, prejudice, discrimination, racism than Jewish, Irish, Travellers people.  Whether or not that is correct, her opinion should not have been quashed, dismissed, vilified.  The true outrage and scandal is that, like Corbyn, she is now very likely to have her MP career ended.

Even the 'Guardian', this morning has had to apologise for anti-Semitism imagery in a cartoon!  "Contemptible and vile" said Nicholas Soames on 'Laura Kuenssberg' this morning.  This is getting ridiculous.  Do Jewish people really have no sense of satire/humour or ability to laugh at themselves?  And just writing this, definitely makes me an anti-Semite, too.  No platforming is also ending free speech and the wish to hear another point of view to enable mutual learning, enlightenment and a shift away from one's own precious convictions and beliefs.

Abbott was not discounting prejudice, discrimination, racism towards the Irish, Jewish and Travellers over many centuries.  She was simply playing up black prejudice, discrimination, racism over many centuries (300 years of European, American, Arabic slavery affecting only/mainly black people).  Perfectly understandable, I think, for a black woman to write but not for Starmer to get rid of another left winger who all her life has fought prejudice, discrimination, racism.

Was her real crime in having the impertinence to place Jewish people in the same group as Irish and Travellers?  Writing this puts me in the anti-Semite brigade.  I'm so glad that Jesus Christ was a Jew/non-white and that Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jnr were black.  I'm sorry I'm white.  My colour skin and tribe and ancestors have brought the most suffering and human misery on our fellow humans.  Not black people like Diane Abbott.

Friday, 28 April 2023

Mole killings prized and paraded

 Mole killings prized and paraded for tourists to admire - courtesy of Cumbrian farmers.

There were 32 of them all lined up so neatly like Roman crucifixions along the side of the road! But this was on the side of an important circular footpath well promoted in a walk leaflet to the Orton Victoria Jubilee Monument!

I'm suggesting a virtuous circle


  • I'm suggesting a virtuous circle by more reward than penalty to educate and appeal to car commuters that they must free up the limited road space for essential business vehicle users, like buses, HGV drivers, district nurses, midwives etc who have to use their vehicles.

  • These drivers must register to have the right to drive in daytime, Mon to Fri, because of their work.

  • The car commuters who do not register are then picked up by CCTV and fined.

  • The money goes to Fare-Free Public Transport for all and the phasing out of diesel buses for electric.

  • Essential vehicles use the nearside and overtaking lane with traffic light priority for them.

  • Car commuters who pay the penalty every day are only allowed to use the overtaking lane.

  • This encourages more people to leave their cars at home and jump on a free bus, train, tram throughout the region.  

  • Thus healthier, safer communities that are doing more to slow the climate crisis/breakdown and resource depletion.

Tim Weller   29 March  2023

"One of the most nature-depleted countries on Earth"

The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries on Earth, according to a recent assessment, and ranks among the bottom 10% for biodiversity globally.


Diane Abbott is now added to the list of anti-Semites

I've read and re-read your letter and that from Diane Abbott but still feel that such a "clumsy" and "stupid" letter should not have resulted in her expulsion from the Labour party when she has such an amazing track record in fighting all the wrong kind of "isms" in her political career.  

I still can't get my head round Abbott, Livingstone and Corbyn being anti-Semitic.  But, I suppose, that is because I am one.  I am definitely one as I understand the point that Abbott was making in playing up how her ancestors suffered 300 years of racist slavery by my ancestors.  That is truly shocking and I apologise and want reparations of some kind from our government/King Charles no 3.  It is comparable to the holocaust but, by degree, one is worse in the league table of horrors of man's inhumanity to man than the other.

On Monday evening, Iain Dale of LBC was thinking out loud that because Diane Abbott is now an anti-Semite he should, perhaps, no longer have her on his programme as an invited guest.

"Home Office statistics published last year also show Jews are five times more likely to suffer hate crimes than any other religious group."

"Well, her comments were clumsy, but that is not the reason for her banishment. They were looking for any excuse to get rid of her. It could just as well have been for wearing odd earrings, saying good morning to Caroline Lucas, or stepping on her cat's tail.  Why not an open debate about racism to clarify things instead?"  (friend, Bob Whitehead)

"Between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America."

I remain incensed that even lovely Clun farmers despatch wonderful moles so cruelly, without even animal euthanasia.  What is the matter with us humans?

Thursday, 27 April 2023

Diane Abbott was right in what she wrote

Diane Abbott was right in what she wrote.  Of course, there are degrees of racism with the Nazi kind being the worse we have ever seen in the 20th century.  But the 300 years of European and American white racism that killed and enslaved millions of black people is skated over.  Is that not the worse crime against humanity that we humans have ever inflicted on our own species?

However, that is played down because we were the perpetrators and, even worse, our Head of State has never apologised, let alone made reparations to the victims' relatives.  By only compensating the perpetrators, the Head of State has added insult to injury in the eyes of our Commonwealth partners.  Similarly, we cannot be too critical of our great friend and ally, the Israelis because we don't want to lose their friendship when the Jewish community in the UK is easily the most important and highly valued minority community.  And, of course, their land is the home of our national faith for the last thousand years.  When our Jewish friends talk of anti-Semitism we sit up and take notice.  We jump, damn pronto.  However, it has led to Keir Starmer, I believe, to act egregiously ("extremely and conspicuously badly") against Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott.

It is high time that Starmer shows some real leadership by setting a fine example in talking and then acting about the urgency to curtail the exporting of all armaments originating in the UK that are killing our fellow human beings in Palestine, Sudan and in Ukraine.  Keep British armaments on British soil for the defence of our land, only.

Wednesday, 26 April 2023

My take on anti, anti-Semitism Starmer

Thanks so much for this Mary.  So sorry - this has turned out to be rather long, instead of a brief acknowledgment!


Starmer, to be elected in 2024 must be so strongly anti-anti-Semitic that never again will Labour incur the ire of the Jewish community and our ally, the State of Israel.

I now realise it was inevitable, if ever elected Labour leader (the Shock/Horror of the Century), Corbyn's lifetime sympathy for the Palestinian cause meant that he was bound to be heavily targeted by strong, pro-Israel Labour MPs like Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin, together with our important friend and ally, the State of Israel.  The charge of anti-Semitism is so powerful and horrific with the Holocaust as the 'finest' example of racism, hatred and evil in the history of humankind that the Jewish community, like Margaret and Ian and so many Jewish Israelis, are only too happy to accuse people like me of anti-Semitism so that I/we are never tempted to go down that road to the ultimate Nazi genocide, once again.  'Anti-Semitism' is such an emotive, powerful and so convenient a word to use against me and is a word that no other minority group has.  'Anti-British' or 'anti-black' seems rather tame in comparison.

It looks to me as though Keir Starmer is so anxious to avoid being called an anti-Semite himself that he has to be seen as being a very, very strong anti, anti-Semite by calling both Abbott and Corbyn anti-Semitic.  In the process, I think it makes him look so foolish that he most certainly will not get my vote.

Peter Ustinov once said, I believe, that "the Jews were the first victims of the Nazis and the Palestinians are the second."  And the Nazis were born out of the wreckage of the most stupid and unnecessary war in the history of poor, heaving humanity.  That war was promulgated in the 1914 Cabinet by our very own enthusiastic, war-promoting politician in July and August of that year.  Yet, this man was elected as the UK's Greatest Briton in a BBC TV poll in 2002 (no black Britons and only 13 out of 100 were women).

I don't think there is an anti-Semite bone in either Diane Abbott, Ken Livingstone or Jeremy Corbyn but they, and loony left-wingers like me, are bound to be attacked because we are firm friends of the Jewish people.  As a result, we hate the violent and expansionist policies of the State of Israel that subjugate the Palestinians and so turn them into enemies of Israel with never-ending violence.

Linda and I have Messianic Christian friends who are never prepared to even question or have qualms about the frightful policies of the Israeli government because only Israel has some divine/God-like approval as His One and Only Chosen People out of 193 member states in the UN.  It gives Israel carte blanche to do as it likes because God is on their side.  But, where was Almighty God for the many years of horrors suffered by the Jews in the 1930s and 40s?  Or, did God finally act in 1945 in the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany after six million of His Chosen People had been slaughtered?  Thus, God finally saved them and gave them their home in Palestine that they first fought over and violently won, as the Promised Land, nearly 3,000 years ago, as recounted in the books of Exodus, Joshua and Judges.  But, in 1948, the State of Israel won the Promised Land back through, in 1947/48, very smart dealing, certainly opportunism, coercion with violence against British armed forces and, before the international community had given its blessing - everyone else was fast asleep!  

Here endeth my jaundiced, alternative, non-Biblical Lesson on current affairs.  Dare I send it to our 'Who's Who' Tony who is the family expert on history and a good Christian?!  (I have in the past with my writings on our regional and, indeed, national transport tragedy)

Tuesday, 25 April 2023

On Inverclyde, anti-Semitism and moles

You have such a beautiful home and I much enjoyed talking to you about our two families, Scotland, politics and much else.

On politics, I was aghast, yesterday at Keir Starmer taking the Labour whip away from Diane Abbott for simply expressing a point of view that should be heard and not punished, I think.  There are degrees of racism, of course, although not one minority group wants to be downgraded from suffering racism to suffering only prejudice and discrimination!  Starmer acted out of all proportion over first a former and, for me, a highly respected Labour leader who was correct in what he said and, now over Abbott.  But, what do you think?  I'm not the best person to pontificate, however, because I have also been called an anti-Semite by former Labour and Dudley North MP, Ian Austin, so perhaps I should be whipped, hung, drawn and quartered into obedience, too.

On the day I left where the car was parked, I took the bus to Johnston, a second, electric bus this time, from there to Largs for lunch in Wetherspoons; a third from Largs, via Gourock to Port Glasgow to get my final bus to Kilmacolm with a slow walk back to the car.  The locals were a great help in doing a wonderful bus tour and all for £8.40 to cover the two zones.  What a beautiful library and community centre in Kilmacolm, too that I was not expecting at all!

Another day saw me walk along the Clyde cycle-walkway from Central Station to the Science Centre and, on another day, I cycled the Greenock Cut that I had never heard of until you told me, John about the regional park and their very fine Visitors' Centre.

The exhibition in the centre was about the 1827 engineering response to what was their equivalent of our climate emergency today. Their economic growth/greed led to misery, disease, death but one wealthy man, Robert Thom got it sorted for that Clydebank town. But, it only enabled yet more growth/greed at the expense of nature!

I got home last night after my final night at the Westmorland Hotel, Tebay and a very slow circular walk only to come across these moles hung out to dry near to where two major paths cross at Orton, Cumbria.
Have you ever seen anything like it?  Cumbrian farmers killing not just foxes and badgers but, moles, too!  Have they not heard of animal euthanasia if they really have to be slaughtered, that I doubt?

I hope my tendon will have healed to get some more hills visited in the Southern Uplands in the summer!

Many thanks for everything and very best wishes

Monday, 24 April 2023


Last week at St Mary's Loch in the Southern Uplands, I met John Starbuck who told me that he had been the first to climb the highest mountain in the Arctic - in Greenland.

As we talked, he mentioned that Linda and I, rather than it being a case of population replacement with our two children, that it was actually a case of population quadrupling from two to eight people, viz:  Linda, Tim, Becky, Jonathan, Gwennan, Jemima, Joss and the new baby in October.

Is this a graphic, surprising but correct way to look at population growth?

Monday, 17 April 2023

Inaccessible Pinnacle - to Peter Gray's enquiry

Thanks for asking.

My Munro's Tables book records I first soloed the In Pin on 23.5.1993, up and down the rock climbers' 'easy' ridge. One of 8 rocky summits on that one day, apparently!

I summited again, with Becky and Tim on another glorious day of weather in June 2008. On 2.06.2008 the two of them took me up my final Munro and Munro Top. My tally on that day of Scottish hills became 527, I see. But the 3 of us could easily have been killed when a huge boulder descended. The Lord had gracious mercy on us. It was a very close shave. 

The Trust working to play down the climate emergency rather than worsening it

Dear Helen

I am very concerned that the most obvious and easiest way to ease the climate emergency is still not being done.  I am referring to the UK's only major, urban-rural-urban, cycle-walkway of 22 Kms between Brierley Hill and NW Wolverhampton.  I call it the disgraceful, Black Country Cycle-Walk Mudway which is exactly what it is in the vicinity of your Russells Hall Hospital.  The hospital trust might like to call it the 'Russells Hall Hospital Cycle-Walk Mudway' because it is right next to your grounds that are next to one of the three nature reserves that the mudway goes through.

Since my suggestion at the last Trust meeting in January, have there been any talks, at all between yourselves and Cllr Patrick Harley, with Mayor Andy Street over the urgency of getting the decades late upgrade to make it possible for staff, patients (like me) and visitors (like me) to get to the hospital by fossil fuel free transport.  It is also called active travel or food fueled, self-powered travel that I was using nearly every day to get to work between the early 1990s and 2013 when I retired from social work at 65.  And I still use my totally self-powered bike for local trips and even some regional journeys.  And I'm ancient, too!

Please reply over what actions you now, finally, intend to take to make your contribution to cut, urgently greenhouse gas emissions in this painless way that also boosts the health of walkers and cyclists to reduce hospital admissions and, improves the somewhat bleak prospects for poor, heaving humanity on our one and only planet.

With best wishes

Friday, 7 April 2023

Nothing quite like living it up today and to hell with tomorrow, plus retaliation, to support atheism!

I do find it inexplicable that the Lord of All Creation, knowing everything in the past, present and future, should have created us humans who have turned out to be so full of hubris, revenge and out-living the resources on which we so depend for our unsustainable but very much sought after life style.

We are all thoughtlessly, sucking our life blood out of the planet to live it up today and to hell with our children and grandchildren's lot on a less comfortable planet!

It is the never-ending revenge, the tit for tat, the eye for an eye in Israel, supposedly the Holy Land that is such a lesson in how not to live and is such a lesson in atheism or the God delusion!

Thursday, 6 April 2023



Are you able to promote home grown timber for new homes, Kathy?
Can you encourage house builders to do so, in any way?
Does the council build any new homes these days?  Or, just leisure centres?
Is solar passive heating ever specified for new buildings?  Let alone PV solar?
Or Passivhaus standard?

Many thanks for your opinion on these matters, Kathy - please.

Wednesday, 5 April 2023

Dear Helen

I'm forwarding my recent emails to Patrick Harley because I'm trying to influence you over:
  1. A public forum item at the beginning of the agenda of every committee is important for reasons of public participation and for trying to get a more engaged and educated public.
  2. Councillors are extremely important to check, challenge and question the officers.
  3. I would like to see CA councillors being regarded as having that little more weight and seniority than when they sit in their local council chamber.
  4. I would like you to encourage CA councillors to attend, in person, every committee meeting now that Covid is less virulent.
  5. They need to be voting on policy and practice, I think so that their committees are less of a talking shop.
  6. Edinburgh City Council, when it came to their tram projects, seemed to have the right idea as regards small group discussions, then council debates and finally votes.
  7. Can the Combined Authority trump the local authority in some ways?  Certainly, I would have thought, when it comes to the climate emergency and the urgency of cutting greenhouse gas emissions that must dominate every decision by our leaders - of which you are one, Helen.
Best wishes

I think your idea for each (or most) Cabinet members having a scrutiny committee seems fine to me.  I want councillors taking a much more important role, with a public forum agenda item, than the WMCA's proposed Citizens' Panel selected by lottery that I'm not keen on.  (To be honest: because I wouldn't get on it)  But scrutiny really must mean expert scrutiny by people who know what they are talking about and are prepared to challenge, check and question.

You will remain as leader of the Council, of course after the May elections, so I'm very pleased with that.  I vote for Andy Street in his elections because he holds public meetings and listens to the concerns of ordinary people.  I also like the Edinburgh Conservative Group opposing trams on grounds of cost and would be voting for them, if I lived in Edinburgh, for that reason.  The Green Party has never supported me and, anyway, wants trams and some, even High Scam 2 that I strongly disapprove of and will never use, on principle - even if I'm still alive when it's finally opened.

My definition of affordable housing

High Plateau is the very important, forgotten for decades, residential housing site that is marked on this official Dudley MBC plan:

I am asking that it be used for low cost, very highly energy efficient, solar powered apartments of 1 and 2 bedrooms for the most badly housed in the borough.​  And for migrants.​

Many thanks

Tim    (Weller  0791 380 4363)

15 January 2010: Govt urged to make swift decision over Metro

"The head of Birmingham’s transport authority has urged ministers to make a swift decision about plans for a new £55 million tram system in Birmingham city centre."

Brum Sprint buses coming since 2010

7 December 2010

from Birmingham Post:

"Tram-style buses to hit streets of Birmingham in five years
Transport bosses said they were confident a new travel system called
Birmingham Sprint would prove so popular that it would eventually be
replaced with permanent Metro lines."

If Christians ...

8 Feb 2010

... would only behave more ethically as regards participating in our HMG's
unethical foreign policy, then perhaps there would be less persecution of
Christians in the foreign lands that we love to go to, with the aim of
converting the inhabitants and to put them right in every other way - so
they get our rampant materialism, consumerism and militarism - all in the
name of democracy and freedom protected by US/UK military bases!

Participating fully in the Establishment's wars and arms races and arms
manufacturing, 'cos not one, I believe, has faced a court martial and been
imprisoned rather than kill Iraqis and Afghans or any other citizen of the
world, for that matter.

Retrenchment rather than everlasting regeneration, is required.


Money and energy do not grow on trees! 

“The government has been bold in rescuing the banks. They must be as bold in giving the cities the freedom and the resources to secure prosperity in the future.”  Cllr Mike Whitby

The carbon-binging, energy-hungry high life of never-ending regeneration, wealth and new projects has a limited future.  The more we live it up today and to hell with tomorrow, the quicker we will hit the buffers of unsustainability.  The party ends the sooner we rip through our irreplaceable resources and fossil fuels.

It seems to me to be so obvious that we are heading for disaster - but, we just cannot stop ourselves!  Our unsustainable behaviours are just to
irresistible and, as GW Bush declared, we are addicted to oil.  We are
acting just like the Easter Islanders of old and certainly won't learn from
mouldy, dusty, old history from an ancient tale of Pacific islanders!

Can we do anything to reinforce the double whammy message that money and energy do not grow on trees and that our consumption has a negative impact on our future prospects?

It seems to me, that if we are ever going to face up to the uncomfortable home truths, retrenchment rather than everlasting regeneration, is required.

10:10:10 Target

10:10:20 Target is:-

Go for at least 10 miles per litre for the car that you drive.  Top up the tank; zero the tripometer; drive about 1,000 miles making a note of the litres you put in; top up the tank once again; divide total mileage by total litres you've put in to get miles per litre!

Can you achieve my own 12 miles per litre that I usually get for my 14 year old Astra diesel that is weller maintained and weller driven.  I'm aiming for my own 20 year old scrappage scheme for my Astra!  The government's 10 year old scheme is far too low.

Maximum of 10 units of electricity per day for the house that you live in - regardless of all the occupants!  All right, then.  What about max of 5 units of electricity per adult per day?  Or, what do the rest of you achieve each day?

Maximum of 20 Celsius in the room that you sit in and much less than that for empty rooms.  Lag yourself as well as the home.

Personal history in the 1950s

Hi Steve

We lived in the manse at Cinamon Gardens Baptist Church in Colombo, the capital.  We were there from 1949 to 1954.  Dad was the minister.  Very nice and congenial for the white man 'cos we had conquered the island to incorporate it into the glorious British Empire to civilise and convert the heathen!  We swam in the outdoor Empire Pool in Colombo and a rock pool on the coast.  Jude was very good at diving, I remember.  I went to Ladies College in Colombo that took small boys up to a certain age.  I was 6 when we left to live in Epsom with my mum's mum until we moved to Ilford and Cranbrook Road Baptist Church in 1955.
Hope you are in good health and all is well.

Written 23 March 2010 on roof and Scotland's expedition

Tue, 23 Mar 2010

Thanks v much for the news.  How are Wayne and Andy getting on with our
roof?  Is there any scaffolding up?  Can you ask Wayne, from me, to ensure
that there will be no condensation problems in the loft, like we have had
in the past.  I think their new breathable felting will prevent
condensation but, do check if you see him, please.  I don't suppose there
has been any contact from Nick of Oxby Warm Air, has there?  He doesn't
want to do the job, unfortunately, after I told him that he wasn't giving
me the confidence that he knew how to repair the Pulse!

A third Corbett yesterday to make 40 out of 220 now summited.  A rest day
today and back to this magnificent hotel for two course lunch before
getting back into position for a fourth summit tomorrow.  Then, I'm heading
south to, possibly, visit Dunottar Castle and, Dundee for the cycleway.

Yesterday was very windy on the 2K summit ridge with the high point at the
very end after four minor summits that had to be climbed and all in a
straight line, so you could never see which one was the highest until you
got to it - rather demoralising!  There was a brief snow shower on the
summit and more rain on the long walk out.  Part of the Gairloch estate
that I walked through had been planted up with native species of Caledonian
pine, downy birch, aspen and holly that were doing well having been fenced
off to stop the deer from eating the young trees.  There were
interpretation boards, too on the archaeology, history and wildlife.  I was
out for 8.5 hrs but kept warm and dry.  Your chicken sandwiches I ate on
Saturday with no ill effects.  Use by 18 March cheese and salad baguette I
ate yesterday and the last, tomorrow on my third and last big walk!

When I got back to the car, my hands were so cold I didn't have the
strength, at first, to turn the key to start the engine.  I then motored
back to Achnasheen and their Rolls Royce public toilets that are heated,
lit as you open the door, have two large washbasins with plenty of hot
water - and, even plugs!

Lots of love

Tim xx

March 2010 Scottish expedition

Sounds like you are enjoying quite a few creature comforts! Hope you had a
good meal. Its
been a lovely warm spring day here with plenty of sun. I walked up to
church, enjoyed my lunch while watching 'Larkrise to Candleford' and then
visited Steve this afternoon. he was not in the best of health- a little
vacant and difficult to keep a conversation going. He looks as though he
has lost some weight too. I suspect he was in pain as he clearly wasn't
comfortable in his chair- it's sometimes so hard to know quite what to say
to him. I was leading the evening service and am now ready for bed and
catching up with Becky on her weekend. She is straight back into cooking
again- banana fairy cakes, delicious! Have a good day's walking tomorrow.
lots of love, Linda x
Subject: March 2010 Scottish expedition
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 13:14:53 +0000

Dear Linda

Thanks for the e-mail.  This is also for my mountain blog and to test out
the effectiveness of the city council's 3G experiment for agile workers
like me.  Not that I'm working; just being very agile!  Skip what is of no
interest like the route detail I'll describe, below.

This work laptop with its Vodaphone 3G connection is working remarkably
well, albeit a little slowly.  On Fri eve I had a signal strength of 3 bars
out of 5 but this morning, in front of a hot coal fire in the magnificent
Ledgowen Lodge Hotel, it has gone up to 4 bars.  This is in Achnasheen,
Wester Ross miles from anywhere but probably at 1,000 feet - with its own
rail station, village hall and the most Rolls Royce of public toilets all
in the one building.  I've just had coffee and will have a two course lunch
to justify the warmth and comfort I am enjoying in the hotel that I could
not resist returning to.  Tomorrow, I'll try another two Corbetts a little
further down the road in another 7 to 8 hrs walk and climb.  The weather is
good but very little sun, patches of blue sky and one very brief shower an
hour ago.

Yesterday, Saturday, was cloud over the higher summits to the N but
improving visibility as the day went on.  The previous day, Friday was so
windy that when I lifted the car bonnet to check oil and water, I had to
steady the bonnet to stop it crashing down onto my head - and this was at
sea level in the huge Inverness Tesco car park!

Back to yesterday; I saw no-one else all day; made use of the first class
Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve mountain trail - the like of which I
have never seen before - to get up on to the plateau.  Two booklets and
stone cairns interpret the geology,  natural heritage and wildlife that you
walk through.  My failure to study the map led to a most inappropriate
route up the second Corbett that, too late, I discovered was completely
guarded by crags and scree.  My route took me diagonally up the huge E face
of scree and out on to the summit ridge to the S of the crags above the
scree.  My return took me down the orthodox route through the scree to the
col and, then, a much pleasanter walk over high but level ground to
eventually gain the mountain trail.  Even then, I didn't bother to check
the map and took the longer half of the circuit back to the car park.  The
tendon stood up well and, so far, no limping.

7 family members who own the hotel live here, I've just learnt on the
conducted tour I've had round the rooms on the ground floor.  The house was
finished in 1905; wooden framed, double glazed windows were fitted last
year.  There is a bunkhouse and chalet on the estate.  The bunkhouse is £13
ppp night.  The hotel seems to get well used.

Now for my lunch in the bar!


Tim  xxx

             linda weller
   >                                                  To
             20/03/2010 20:59                                           cc

                                       RE: BRIGHT LIGHTS AND A VOICE IN
                                       THE BLACKNESS OF THE NIGHT!

Sounds as though you have had quite a memorable start to your holiday! Hope
your foot is coping with the pace. Been to a Passover dance celebration
this morning at Oasis church 5 ways, then to mum and dads for lunch and to
start clearing out their loft. Made soon good progress amid the thick dust!
Will visit Steve tomorrow afternoon. Hope you get a better night's sleep
tonight. lots of love, Linda xx

> To:;
> From:
> Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 21:31:23 +0000
> 19 March - climbed Ord Hill, N Kessock on the Moray Firth. Iron Age hill
> fort on summit; then onto the cluster of dwellings, a village pond and a
> rail station that doubles up as the village hall! This was the mighty
> hamlet of Achnasheen with its fine public toilets and 2 or 3 Kw fan
> that was blasting out the heat that I promptly switched off! Earlier,
> visited fine hotel in Birnam nr Dunkeld of 'Macbeth' fame for coffee,
> wash and shave after a night sleeping in the car. A sleep that was
> interrupted by a bright light shining all about me like a Damascene
> conversion. It was two eager young policemen with their torches.
> "What's your name and where are you from?"
> "Tim Weller from Halesowen in the West Midlands", satisfied them. "I'm
> just having a night's sleep on my way north for some hill walking and
> cycling. You know that you have signs on the main road saying, 'Tiredness
> kills. Take a break'?
> "Have you been drinking?", said the one.
> "Certainly not", I retorted indignantly. "You're remarkably conscientious
> in checking parked cars."
> "Yours was reported as possibly abandoned" came the reply.
> "Sorry to disturb you", one said on leaving.
> A public spirited motorist had rung the police, would you believe! I had
> parked in a country lane about 25 metres from the A9 trunk road, late
> yesterday evening. No sooner had I arrived, than the first or second of
> only four or five cars that passed me all night phoned the police!

HS2 started in 2009 to cost £34 bn

2 Sept 2009, 14:25

to timweller1

The double whammy of living in an age of rising greenhouse gases and the
depletion of oil and gas reserves, on which our civilisation depends, means
that spending £34 bn on HS2 will hasten the uncomfortable consequences of both.  We need to move away from hypermobility and the more, bigger, faster mentality to something more sensible and sustainable.

We need to begin to adjust to the frightening consequences of a world being exhausted of all its natural resources and concentrate on the real
essentials like food and energy security for a population that does not
exceed the carrying capacity of the planet.


5 March 2004 21:41

To: John Maund


In the 1960s, our transport experts closed the rail line now used for Metro One to mean that train passengers transferred mainly to cars.  To now claim that 20% of passengers are likely to be car owners who have chosen Metro One trams - as David Bull, Head of Transport Strategy said at a public meeting on 5 February 2004 - completely overlooks the fact that the car drivers were the ones who had to transfer to their cars from trains.  They have now simply transferred back - but to trams instead of the original trains!

Put another way, after a gap of 20-30 years, the 20% of car owners who
chose the tram, simply undid the enforced modal shift of a similar percentage when the train passengers had to resort to their cars when the current Metro line closed to trains in the 1960s.  In other words, it is not a genuine modal shift from cars to trams.  It is actually, a 20% modal shift from TRAIN to tram!  Returning the trains would have been more cost effective and sensible - and, quicker and easier to achieve, too!  It would also have helped with the modernisation of the West Coast Mainline.

From my research, 77% of the first three Metro lines are to go on rail
lines; the remaining 23% on roads.  Therefore, since Metro development
(lines 1,2,3) is seeing 77% of its trams replacing trains and the further
23% replacing buses, is the colossal expense a prudent and sensible use of taxpayers' money?  Of course it is not.  It simply plays musical chairs
with now three Cinderella and failing public transport modes while car use continues to rise inexorably and completely untouched by all our huffing and puffing to get trams to replace - actually - buses and trains.

Rob Donald, Richard Worrall and David Pywell, our Big Three transport
chiefs, are suffering from self-delusion - that the trams are taking over
from cars!  Incidentally, not one of them turned up for last week's major
Transport Summit at the Burlington Hotel, New Street - except Rob - for the free lunch, only!