Five go mad in Weston

Yes another Poly reunion held this time in West-Super-Mare. Didn’t get off to a great start as me and JC were booked into the wrong hotel! However, things rapidly went downhill after we rejoined in The Old Inn in Hutton, and met up with Nige, Salty amnd Silent. We missed the girls as they weren’t able to make it this time around but perhaps the next one in that there London or Surrey.

Anyway, after the arrival of “Ester” (or is it “Esta”?), things turned quickey to my most hated activity – camping. Much mirth was drawn from this all weekend. After a couple of beers, we descended upon Dave’s house for the coldest BBQ in history and after food, we went back to the Old Inn so Nige could get a couple of brandies down his neck to warm up. This lasted until chucking out time and we get a taxi back so we could all get some sleep.

Today, we’ve been walking our hangovers off along Weston Sea front before a visit to the allotment and returning home exhauseted by laughter and too much beer. The only thing missing from these events in handing in an essay. Good times though and much treasured.

Election 2015

Finally the Election in 2015 is over and today we are in the era of the first Conservative government since 1997. Its been a while so inevitably its stirred bad memories for me of struggling for employment and career development. Whilst the future isn’t looking too bad this time at the moment, I’m nervous of what could happen this time around as when the Tories have been in power before, I’ve never done very well. Maybe being a small business owner may prove different, but my main market is in the public sector which will get chopped again. Also, Tories mainly support big business and by the reaction to the letter I sent all party leaders back in April about cost (which they all ignored bar Labour who didn’t get the question), I’m not optimistic that this will proveĀ  a good thingĀ  for me. I also predict that there will be more violence as there always is when the mad people of the left get together against the Tories.

It also looks like that to succeed this time around, I may have to consider is working more with the politicians locally as one thing I have understood from when I stood in 2010 is the power of lobbying. As many IT people will tell you, there is nothing more wearying than a tiresome user. Maybe its time to become a wearying small business owner and up the pace a little to get what I want.

Of course what I really want is a bit of what the Tories offered; a bit of UKIP, a bit of Labour, a bit of Green and the balance of the Liberals. What I really really want is to be able to choose what I like and what I don’t like and have a choice along with the rest of the country. What I really believe in is democracy at a granular level. The best managers in the country scrutinised by the best representatives. That’s my vision for this great Country of ours and all the people that currently live in it. And one other thing: Freedom.

 

Pub #15: The Posada

This is one of my Poly haunts so I’ve been going in here since 1979 when it was run by a Sikh chap who spoke like my Uncle. I’ve a lot of happy memories about this place but as it’s crowded with TV’s it only rates a 4 despite a great selection of beer and one of the best servings of HPA you’ll find in Wolverhampton.

Pub #14: The Great Western, Wolverhampton

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Wolfman outside The Western

The Family Pub so a 5/5 for lots of reasons not least the Bathams, the food, the whole atmosphere and history of the place and one of Wolverhampton’s hidden gems. I just love the Western. A legendary pub.

Pub#13: The Crown at Codsall

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The Crown at Codsall

This is the most disappointing of the Codsall pubs and warranted only a 3. Beer ropey at the start but changed with a small quibble.

Spacious pub that obviously caters for the ordinary folk of Codsall but beer and jaded scruffy appearance let it down. Must be lively later in the evening which would be worth watching.

Pub#12: The Bull Hotel, Codsall

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The Bull Hotel, Codsall

Wolfman gave this a 5 but the committee agreed on a 4 as it’s too big to warrant top marks. This provided the fuel for a debate on half marks which was rejected.

Beer excellent, smart but not clinical, locals friendly and an all round excellent pub and well worth the the trip.

 

Pub#11: The Station at Codsall

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The Station at Codsall

This pub caused a lot of debate as visited it in company with The Duke & Duchess of Wyrley. Is it a 5 or a 4. I agreed with Stymaster and gave it a 4 as although it is clinically clean, serves great beer and has no TV’s, the clientel gave it a rather snobbish air. Well what do you expect for la-de-dah Codsall? Yes – a lot of middle class people sneering.

4/5 but well worth a visit.

Crusade in Europe by Dwight D. Eisenhower

EisenhowerThis is a must read book if you have any interest in history and especially WWII and after as so much of this book relates to the most significant event in Human history.

As a Brit we’re used to reading things from our perspective and so much has been shaped in this by Churchill of course. So to read the American viewpoint is illuminating to say the least. And not only because Eisenhower shows that he is a master diplomat who is used to persuading people of his point of view without upsetting them afterwards. No wonder Montgomery got so frustrated at times. It also shows that there were some wacky ideas floating around and there of course were at times sharp differences between us and them as you’d expect.

One thing Eisenhower, and Roosevelt and other leading Americans for that matter, are good at is putting such a gloss on their view of the world to our detriment. I was struck recently by the comments of AJP Taylor who pointed out that (in summary) Roosevelt and the Americans wanted to supplant Britain and the Empire and drove a hard bargain not only in the Lease/Lend agreement but also after the war in the Marshall loan that took us until 2008 to pay off. Not very good friends were they?

This is also reflected in this book as Eisenhower tends to talk about The Brits as an aside and over emphasises American (supposed?) prowess. One thing that did shock me was his references to the American problems with race and the British attitude which was markedly different. There troops were cautioned about this before any of them landed in England.

There are many books that can change your attitudes and opinions and this is one of them. I’m a lot more suspicious of Americans now that I have read this and they definitely have had or have a agenda to marginalise us. I can understand some of the conversations I used to have with my Grandfather on this years ago and I never really agreed with him on some of his viewpoints because of course, he had met and experienced most of what was in Eisenhower’s book, and apparently seen the Yanks run off during The Battle of the Bulge.

Another reason for reading this is that if you like “Grand Strategy”, this book is definitely for you. We were planning for managing Germany in early 1944 after we had defeated them. Eisenhower wanted a unified command whilst we ended up with a partitioned Germany. Here lies the ambition of Eisenhower revealed.

Pub #10: The Fountain, Walsall

Fountain

An excellent way to bring up double figure with a visit to one of Walsall’s best.

Got to be 5/5 for ambience, beer selection and quality and pleasant staff.

Can’t wait to go back.