Saturday, 13 October 2012



Oh yes, we have all been there! Looking on this website or that one, comparing the premiums, what they include, what they don't cover, the things that they say are essential (most of them unnecessary, but are sure to get the seller an enhancement to their salary in the way of commission) if you choose to talk to an "advisor". Who can blame them? Not me old chum.

Well now, I have lately had to sort out some insurance for Lady Perry not just for her vehicular transportation, but also our main residence, lots of bedrooms, but nothing of real value, except my paints, I am sure you understand.

So, being of a modern nature and a total skinflint, (no offence to all you skinflints out there, just mutual admiration) I looked "on-line" at all the offers available. Having checked numerous sites, wasted hours of my life putting in details for a quote, I awaited the results. Some quotations seemed very agreeable, until I looked at the small print and found that this or that was added, a little extra for "peace of mind", oh right, so you think I am am imbecile, (no offence to all the imbeciles out there, you know who you are). Mistake number one, my dears. Then you receive a telephone call from the people that cannot wait to get a better job than trying to sell over the 'phone and meet their targets. Again no offence to all that have this thankless task, I admire you all for your perseverance.  Whilst talking about these lovely people, I would like to say that I normally try and inject a little friendly banter and humour into these talks and I urge you all to do the same. It doesn't get me a cheaper deal, but what it does do is lighten the day for a poor salesman sitting in front of a computer screen, headset on, wishing he could win the lottery and tell the  boss to stick the job where the sun doesn't shine!

I informed one eager young thing that had the audacity to telephone me, rather than the other way round, that I had only just stopped laughing at the ludicrous quotation and thanked her for small moment of joy this had made upon my life. This was received with some dismay and even a little consternation, especially as I informed her that I had already beaten that quote by over eighty pounds. (For those of you in all the other countries that follow my blog, it was GBP). "Oh, we couldn't match that" she replied. I then indicated that it would be a good idea for her to get off my private telephone line and not to contact me again, unless she could not only match that, but give me another 10% off. In a thoughtful and kindly manner, of course.

Did I get a good deal eventually? Oh yes, us skinflints know how to save money for the important things in life, such as good food, good wine, my art materials and holidays in the sun. Until next time dear readers........ Take care of each other, all the best, Grandad.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Creation, Evolution and Wine-making!

Creation, Evolution and Wine-making!

Oh, are you ready for this? My dear and faithful readers, I do not think so! Read on dear reader, but be open minded, but first get  a cuppa and then sit down, this is a bit of a long one, apologies in advance....

There are those of us that believe that God created all that we are, the Universe as we know it, all that we understand (so far), everything in the heavens, black holes, imploding stars, exploding meteors, taxes, Mondays, Sun spots, blackheads, bad hair days, "computer says no" days, times when whatever you do it all turns out wrong days, times when whatever you do it all turns out to be a fantastic time day, why does this always happen to me days, etc. A bit flippant, but you know what I mean.

There are those of us that think that natural selection, Darwin's thoughts and opinions are true. That somehow, all of this amazingly diverse life on this planet that we are inhabiting, without thought, most of the time, just happened by evolution, all from the same "Big Bang" and primordial soup. Well, perhaps.

These  two schools of thought seem, on the face of it, to be completely opposed to each other. Not a bit of it my dears. All of you are missing the point. They are both part and parcel of the picture as I see it.

Compare these thoughts to wine-making. Take certain ingredients, let's say fruit, water, sugar, a little tannin, some glycerine and mix well. Then add yeast, an absolutely amazing organism that multiplies rapidly in the right conditions. At the start, the mixture is totally different to what it will eventually become. Let's call it our primordial soup. After a period of time, the yeast multiplies, initially rapidly, consuming the sugar and making alcohol, carbon dioxide and other various chemicals. As the alcohol content increases, the yeast finds the conditions too difficult to endure and eventually dies. Are you with me so far dear reader? Good, then I will continue. A change seems on the cards perhaps. The "wine" will start to take on a different look. It will have a sediment on the bottom of the container, consisting of dead yeast, fruit pulp, etc. This is then racked, (strained, to the uninitiated) and the resulting solution will, if left for a while, become clear and ready to drink. If left even longer, it will of course mature and taste even better. Evolution at its most simple. This, I am sure you will appreciate, is a very condensed version of events and will forgive me.

So, what has wine-making got to do with it all, I hear you ask? Well, God is the wine-maker, putting together all the necessary ingredients and then steps back to let things happen. He watches the changes and reactions that he knows are going to happen. Before I receive some pathetic comment saying "How do you know God is a he and not a she", just don't, don't. I told you before that I am a PC free area and don't concern myself with such trivia.

If you find it difficult to consider any of the above regarding creation opinion, I would ask you to consider this. How, on what has always been an island, Australia, did the Aborigines inhabit that amazing land for at least the last 60,000 years? More on this later, if you are good enough to comment, as I am sure those of you with strong opinions will!

Until the next time, look after your loved ones, all the best from Grandad......