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      Signing Up   11/06/2018

      Signing Up is once again available. New members are very welcome
    • Hayley

      June Supporter Giveaway   06/01/2019

      For the June giveaway I chose the theme 'The Gift of Reading.' One that I think we can all appreciate! The winner will receive four books, including:     The Gifts of Reading by Robert MacFarlane - 'An essay on the joy of reading, for anyone who has ever loved a book.'   plus three little short but (hopefully) thought provoking reading gifts...   The Reckoning by Edith Wharton - 'Two moving stories of love, loss, desire and divorce, from one of the great chroniclers of nineteenth-century New York life.' Create Dangerously by Albert Camus - 'Camus argues passionately that the artist has a responsibility to challenge, provoke and speak up for those who cannot in this powerful speech, accompanied here by two others.' It Was Snowing Butterflies by Charles Darwin - 'A selection of Darwin's extraordinary adventures during the voyage of the Beagle.'    As always, supporting members will be entered automatically into the random draw at the end of the month. If you want to be entered into the draw but don't support yet, you can do so here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum   Good luck   


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About Talisman

  • Rank
    Ugly bag of mostly water
  • Birthday 06/21/1965

Profile Information

  • Reading now?
    Before Night Falls: Reinaldo Arenas
  • Gender
  • Location:
    leafy Surrey
  • Interests
    Reading, writing, walking, photography and eating Icelandic chocolate.

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  1. Travel Plans

    I'll miss them like mad - and so will Coran! I love those cats!
  2. Travel Plans

    I am off to Bosnia this weekend - in 6 days time - I am going via Dubrovnik in Croatia so wont actually get there until Sunday evening - about 7.30 local time, but I am really looking forward to it. Coran hasn't been well for the last few months, so it was touch and go for a while as to whether I would have to cancel, but we both decided that wasn't going to happen as I REALLY need this holiday to recharge my own batteries. Coran is going to stay at her sisters for a while with our lovely neighbours once again looking after the cats, who I will miss like crazy - I have turned into a crazy cat lady since we got them! This time next week then I will on the bus heading towards Mostar at the start of my adventure.
  3. Travel Plans

    It certainly is. Coran and I had a fabulous weekend near Amesbury in Wiltshire over Easter, with perfect weather and it's 4 weeks this weekend until I am off to Bosnia. Coran hasn't been well of late, and I had to cancel a much needed trip to the Canaries in February hence the few short breaks we have had in between. She is still not good unfortunately, but I am not cancelling another trip - we will just have to find a way to make it work.
  4. What's Up in April? - 2019

    We did. I had fun yesterday as well. I went up to Parliament again after work to make some noise as there were 2 large groups from North Yorkshire and Cornwall coming down to take part in a sing off against together. They sang their own versions of some popular songs changing the lyrics to Brexit themed ones instead with musical accompaniment. It was all great fun and very good natured - even the Police Officers were singing along! The 6 o'clock shout (where we all stand outside the House of Commons and shout "stop Brexit" was good fun too - with more songs and chants from the 2 groups - we even made the BBC 6 o'clock news! We also managed to ambush Mark Francois who is Vice Chair of the ERG (a group of ardent Brexiteers). He was being interviewed on College Green and when he finished we all followed him back to the Commons shouting "vote leave lied". It's much more fun that cleaning toilets at work, talking of which we have been interviewing for a new gardener for the past week, as our current one is leaving us at the end of next week, so have to make a decision tomorrow as to who to offer the job to. I know which one I would prefer but need to discuss it with the maintenance manager tomorrow as well in my own bosses absence and see if he agrees.
  5. What's Up in April? - 2019

    It's fine - you don't miss what you never had!
  6. What's Up in April? - 2019

    Sounds good - I never knew most of mine, as three out of four of them died before I was even born!
  7. Travel Plans

    Due to unforeseen circumstances which some of you know about, I had to cancel the trip to the Canaries at short notice. Coran and I ended up with a few days in Portsmouth instead. We also have a weekend break at Easter to look forward to near Stonehenge.
  8. Life is beautiful

    I sounds like you need to read some Eckhart Tolle!
  9. What's Up in March? - 2019

    Have a great holiday! I am getting ready for what could quite possibly be the largest protest in the history of the British Isles - yes, tomorrow I am going to the Put it to the People March in London. The organisers are projecting anywhere between 1 and 2 million participants - that's a lot of people! I am meeting up with a large group of friends at 10am tomorrow and we will no doubt take over half the train - it will be crowded but great fun! You never know, you might see me on TV!
  10. What's the weather like?

    We have had very windy conditions here for almost a week now, but it is gradually dying down. Today has been mostly sunshine, but we did some hail earlier on, we were driving at the time, so at least we weren't out in it!
  11. What's Up in March? - 2019

    I think we all are - although I would prefer to stay in! There is no deal better than the one we already have (in my opinion).
  12. What's Up in March? - 2019

    No problem - and hope your appointment goes well. I see you are using the term support worker, which is a great way of describing what they do. It's not a job I could do, in fact sometimes I wonder if I can do the job I have! It is becoming more and more difficult of late with all the changes being brought in. I can but tell them how I feel about it all, and how negatively it will affect my team, but it remains to be seen whether it's taken on board …. It's only a few weeks now until we Brexit but I am still hoping for a last minute reprieve. The next meaningful vote is supposed to be next week, but we all know Theresa May and her cronies will come back with nothing new, which means it will once again be voted down. This will then mean voting on what to do next - an extension seems a certainty as the legislation is nowhere near ready for us to exit anyway, with or without a deal. If its a short one for a few months only all this does is kick the can further down the road, adding yet more uncertainty with no doubt further job losses - most of them in leave areas (a classic case of cause and effect). In order to give us the time we need to sort this mess out it will then be necessary to go into the European Elections in May, but the hard line Brexiteers will not be happy - they will be even less happy if and when we leave and they see the carnage it will cause. I am getting ready then for the big march on 23rd, and ordered my T shirt last night. The organisers are predicting anything up to 2 million people to attend - that's a lot of people!
  13. What's Up in March? - 2019

    If UKIP do have any MP's it's news to me. Douglas Carswell was one I believe until a year or so ago when he left to become independent. Unless you are referring perhaps to Council elections? As for who constituent are talking to, the same person who is still their MP. Party affiliation in this sense doesn't change anything (certainly not their ability to help constituents, as they still have access to the same resources). As to whether there will be more defections - probably - but who knows who or when? The only thing I or anyone else can say with certainty is that no one knows! and that it all resembles a certain part of the male anatomy!
  14. What's Up in March? - 2019

    That sounds really complicated. The system here is much easier. We have 2 Parliamentary Houses - the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is the one where our MP's sit. We have 600 and something of these from all around the country - each representing what they call a constituency - the larger cities will have several different MP's representing different parts of that city, but most other areas will have just one - my constituency is called Mole Valley. MP's are usually but not always members of one of the political parties - my MP is from the Conservative Party (this area has pretty much always been Conservative - more's the pity), who are currently the largest party in the House of Commons. They didn't get enough votes in the 2017 election to form a majority Government and so had to get support from one of the Northern Irish parties (the DUP) in order to do so in what they call a confidence and supply arrangement. The Labour party are the second largest party here which form what we call the opposition, and then there are the smaller parties - The Liberal Democrats (of which I am a member) currently have 12 MP's and the Greens have one. We also have the new Independent Group, made up of 11 MP's who recently left their own parties in order to form this new group. This is not an official party as yet, but I expect it soon will be. There are also the regional parties - the Scottish Nationalists, Plaid Cymru for Wales with Sinn Fein and the DUP in Northern Ireland. There are other smaller parties in addition to this (such as UKIP) who don't have any MP's. The House of Lords is an unelected second chamber mad up of a combination of what we call hereditary peers (who inherit the title basically) and what we call life peers (usually people who have helped one of the political parties in some way or another - sometimes by being a wealthy donor). Their job is to hold the House of Commons to account, which means that they have the power to veto bills and so on. This often makes them rather unpopular - but they are only doing their job, which is an important one, as otherwise Parliament would be able to do whatever they liked and get away with it! There is a strong case for reform of The Lords having said this, as they are not elected by the ordinary people or indeed by anyone, but like a lot of things when it comes to British politics, no one does anything about this. The person who was elected then yesterday will be the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Mole Valley in the next general election, whenever that might be ….
  15. What's Up in March? - 2019

    Good luck with the taxes - I don't know what the Dutch system is like, but if its anything like ours you will need it! It's raining here at the moment, but there is a mind, body and spirit fair going on in Dorking today so I expect we will venture out to that a bit later on for a wander around. Yesterday we went to a hustings for the local Lib Dems for the election of their next PPC (prospective parliamentary candidate). Coran and I had already done a postal vote, as of course we thought I would be flying back from the Canaries yesterday, but it was still good to go along and listen to what both the candidates had to say and catch up with a few other people. It was a difficult choice, but I think the right one was selected. As to whether there will be an election this year, who knows, I wouldn't be surprised though!