Saturday, June 30, 2018

Can animals be artists?

Of course!  They´re the creative ones!  We´re (humans) the destructive ones!

Of course! And good news! Alcohol causes violence! Manijuana causes peace!

Cannabis legalisation: Are there more young users in the US?

Friday, June 29, 2018

Elena Ferrante: ‘Even when dialogue imposes an ellipsis, I avoid it’

They´re ALL CORRUPT! It´s a matter of degree!

Edward Snowden describes Russian government as corrupt;postID=6127773668773896998

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I have healed (repaired) my torn retina, without ever having visited an opthamologist!
I wish I could teach people to learn about their bodies, and heal themselves of whatever!
STOP RUNNING TO MEDICAL DOCTORS, maybe Naturopaths or Homeopaths, O.K.
If I die of cancer, I won´t know it!  It will just be another pain.  To have cancer diagnosed, at the very least will cost you much money!  For most, to have it diagnosed is a death sentence, bankrupting them in the process.
To each his own…

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I sit in 30C. / 86F. temperature in my new 9L folding chair!  The sun hot on my face.
I am a chair person, an old dog.
My German friend, hiding in her room, the afternoon much too hot for her.  She cannot take the heat, and I´m am just the reverse, not liking cold, even in ice!
If I survive a winter in Scoltand, just another experience, as I am an experience junkie, making me a writer.
The locals, especially, the older ones here in Glasgow, Scotland, hiding in their basements, can´t believe the heat wave, as something new!
This student residences, where we are living at the moment, good at 50L / $60 per night. This during Scotland´s high tourist season.  Note, nobody, no tourist, visits Scotland in the winter. Thus, in the summer everything booked.  I had an estimate, when I was searching for an inexpensive hotel in Edinburgh, two rooms, two nights for $1,400!  Wow!  Who could afford such, maybe the Chinese.
Why two rooms?  My German and friend and I not boy-girl friend, just better friends!
I am a celibate Taoist monk, although better to say mystic.  If you use the word monk, people so limited, thing of a Catholic priest, in robes, attending a church. I am a mystic on a bicycle.
I met my German friend one day in Husum, Germany,  I was lost, looking for a better map. Three German people helped me, she was one, handing me 40€ in the train station.  That was 14 years ago!  Now, I know her daughter, Isgard, living in Nuremberg, Germany.
In fact, I know hundreds of people around the world, having cycled it!

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I am perverse
Sewing the worse,
The ego to blame,
Knot me
We are all
Knot noing we don´t no,
When we should say yes,
Out lasting the guess!
We´re guilty
All the same,
Seeking fame!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The U.S. becoming like Germany in the 1939s. Fascism on the rise! H.

GOP Candidate Says God Is a White Supremacist

Russell Walker recently won the Republican primary and has claimed Jews are satanic, U.S. soldiers are being poisoned by the government and that God is a white supremacist.

The homo sapien, destroying everything, his God money!

Our natural world is disappearing before our eyes. We have to save it

Why I left China!

The great firewall of China: Xi Jinping’s internet shutdown

Before Xi Jinping, the internet was becoming a more vibrant political space for Chinese citizens. But today the country has the largest and most sophisticated online censorship operation in the world. By 

We have met the enemy and he is us!

'What's wrong with our society?' Annapolis mayor voices concern at hostility to media

The U.S. going backwrds! Thank God Idon´t live there! H.

Abortion could be illegal in large parts of US within 18 months after Supreme Court justice resignation, say activists

Donald Trump has vowed to appoint judges opposed to the landmark Roe v Wade ruling

It wasn´t the system that let him down, it was all of us. Too many times we objectify wrong doing, when WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US!

My friend Alex was a child refugee, failed by the system. Now he’s dead

The teenager was a bright light in my life, and had faced awful trauma. But instead of offering sanctuary, the UK let him down

Your pictures of Scotland: 15-22 June

American Pathology!

Capital Gazette shooting: at least five dead in attack on newspaper office – live updates

Police confirm five people have been killed and say others have been seriously injured. Follow live updates here

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Bite the coin in Susse!

An Alpine Bitcoin Bunker Wants to Be Your Next Swiss Bank Account

Sports on TV, the opeiate of the masses!

World Cup curse strikes Germany — who are the other victims?

Pharmaceuticals dangerous!

Baby died after pain relief patch became attached to her skin, inquest hears

Same ofd Ka ka! Nothing will change!

'The UK stands with you' Duke of Cambridge calls for lasting peace on historic Palestine visit

Money is God!

The Quest to Find a Trillion-Dollar Nuclear Fuel on the Moon

Money is God!

Crypto Collapse Spreads With Hundreds of Coins Plunging in Value

270618 BLOK

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There are walkers.
There are hoppers.
There are fliers.
There are swoopers.
But, then there´s the Albatross
Around my neck,
My search for the butterfly,
The humming bird,
Checking me out!
Who am I?
A bum on a bicycle
Setting the pace
Of no race,
Feeling grovy!
Start living!
Stop the routine!
Freak out being real,
Not what they want,
But, who you really are,

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The best video games of 2018 so far

American Pathology!

California man killed while camping with his two young daughters

We’re probably the only intelligent life in the universe, depresing study finds

I doubt we can call humanity INTELLIGENT!

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We curse,
We stay the course
As in kurs!
`…like that, always to be starting,
Laughing, being silent,
Clutching her and telling her to write!
The table drawer full of these writings,
About war;
About Shakespeare,
About great discoveries,
How there is no death!´
`Fear no more says the heart in the body,
Fear no more!´
Note, all in quotes by Virginia Woolf, and she´s not to fear!

Monday, June 25, 2018

5 Ankle Strengtheners You Need In Your Workout Routine

You don´t need 5!  Just ride a bicycle!

How to stop the decline of public transport in rich countries

Ride a bicycle!

How a soft Brexit differs from a hard one

Sunday, June 24, 2018

We invaded North America, and then killed all the natives. How incredibly hypocritical we are, guilty of what we now call illegal. OH, WOE BE UNTO US!

  • “We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country,” Trump said on Twitter, in another twist in an already head-spinning series of developments on immigration.

Samoa Coconut-fibre plates on the table as Samoa looks beyond single-use plastics Government will ban polluting plastics at the end of the year, spurring the search for something different

After 25 years of being homeless, I learned there’s one simple thing you can do to help Gregory P Smith

New Zealand wants you': the problem with tech at the edge of the world

Nathan Myhrvold: ‘Nasa doesn’t want to admit it’s wrong about asteroids’

Blood Moon 2018 prophecy: What is the Blood Moon prophecy and will the world end?

Why is the Netherlands called Holland?

NASA has revealed a stunning close-up shot of Jupiter captured by its Juno satellite.

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From Newcastle to Glasgow, Mr. Fetes, me and J.B. Feeney.
Day one, 040618:  Newburn to Greenhead, via Haltwhistle
Off at 0930 from Sanday´s house, all loaded up again.   She was going to join me for some kilometers, but had to work, as a sub. teacher.
It was easy in the beginning, the goal 40 miles / 60KM, but it got progressively tiring as the day went on.  In the beginning, flat on bicycle path #72, but then steep hills, which I wasn´t used to climbing.  From Newburn the path parallels Hadrian´s Wall:  From Wikidicki:
`Hadrian's Wall (Latin: Vallum Aelium), also called the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. It ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea, and was the northern limit of the Roman Empire, immediately north of which were the lands of the northern Ancient Britons, including the Picts.
It had a stone base and a stone wall. There were milecastles with two turrets in between. There was a fort about every five Roman miles. From north to south, the wall comprised a ditch, wall, military way and vallum, another ditch with adjoining mounds. It is thought the milecastles were staffed with static garrisons, whereas the forts had fighting garrisons of infantry and cavalry.´
It´s now common to walk the Wall in the summer some 75 miles from the English Channel to the Irish Sea on the west.  I saw several people, walking it, and even met one named Jon in the Greenhead Hotel where he was spending the night.
I crossed Hadrian´s wall on a highway two days later heading north out of Brampton. Was it called Newtown?
Finally after some hours, threading my way through confusting villages (having to find the #72 signs) I stopped for lunch atop what I thought was the highest point (wrong).  At Ed´s Bench (see photo. in the gallery at
After eating and a short rest I continued, now up atop some rolling hills.  The route seemed to go on forever and ever, me not used to such, and getting seriously tired.  I wasn´t eating the hills for breakfast as normally, but they were eating me this day. What helped Mr. Fetes worked well, no problem with the gears, well, maybe a little.  When understress, the rear derailleur doesn´t work as well.  Bicycle mechanics, rarely understand this as they adjust for straight and level, with little weight. I live on a bicycle, and few in the world do.  Additionally, what helped the day was overcast and cool.
In Haltwhistle I stopped at a supper market, and bought some INNOCENT fruit smoothie for a little boost.  I was about out of energy, but the sign said Greenhead, only 3 miles.
I made it as up, but turned wrong, ending up at a Museum for Roman military memorbilia.
Then back to the highway and down a steep hill into Greenhead.  The 40 miles had taken 8 hours, averaging only 5 miles per hour!  40 miles is something like 62KM or a little less than 8KM per hour, an average which is slow for me.
I was so exhausted, when checking into the Greenhead Hotel-Hostal, I could barely speak.  A bed in a dorm room only 20L (It´s Pounds Sterling in the U.K.).  And the owner told me, I could expect to have the entire church (converted into the Hostal) all to myself.  Note, first time in a long time in church!  This a week day, and few tourists on the road.  I also alerted him that I might stay an extra day.
I parked Mr. Fetes in the large common room, leaning it against a pool table.
I managed a hot shower, the stream of water from the nozzle so strong, it flew out of my hand.  This record strength, in all my days.  It´s so interesting what you experience cycling the world.
I then, walked back across the highway to the hotel, to have dinner in their restaurant.  I ate Spaghetti Bolognese, as no Falafel (as they had on the menu), and a glass of red wine.
It wasn´t long after I went to bed on a lower bunk in a room with four bunkbeds, sleeping a possible eight people.  Yes, pack ém in!  Money, our new God in the world!
The next morning I made breakfast in their kitchen, finally figuring out how to turn the gas stove on!
After breakfast, I knew I should stay the day to recover from cycling yesterday, so went back to the hotel and paid another 20L.
There were several good things about staying the extra day, besides resting.  One, I had lunch in a tea room, as was able to purchase milk. Secondly, I took a walk and discovered bicycle path #72.  Had I not stayed, I would have continued on the highway, as no obvious signs for continuing on #72., the U.K.´s main cycling website, does a pretty good job as all donations and volunteers, but their signs not always where one needs them.  In addition, I hiked up to experience my first ancient (13th C.) English castle.  Photos. always at CLICK ON THE GALLERY, and in this case the album for this trip on the first page!
Day 3, 060618
On to Lockerbie, Scotland
I was off at 0900
First goal Brampton, not distant, but tricky again, following #72.  I made a mistake at a junction, turning left onto a highway, when I should have turned right, the direction signs confusing me.
And oh woe for it, as I ended up on a busy A highway, during the morning traffic, and scary.  I got off as soon as I could, and somewhat fortuious, as ended up passing by another English castle, much larger than the one the preceeding day. But, for some reason i neither stopped nor took a photograph of it.  When I´m trying to get somewhere, I´m of the habit of pressing on.  I ended up down a long hill, and right into a fancy Bed & Breakfast.  Here the woman owner/clerk (?) didn´t know but said to take the road directly into Brampton.  Well, guess what?  It turned out to be bicycle route #72.  Later, I thought how could the owner of the Bed & Breakfast, she was right on bicycle path #72, not know about it?     I´m always amazed at what people don´t know, as so limited minded.  No doubt all of her up scale guests came in motor vehicles, thus never curious about all the bicycles passing by…
Brampton, I glided through it after asking a woman where a bicycle shop was (needed to pump the tires, or so I thought).  She thought maybe through town, which was the direction I need to go anyway, taking highway A6071 to Longtown and …?  Note, the village on the Scotland border, where you could get married without parent´s consent…? I´ll think of the name… I remember Tony, Sandra´s boyfriend recommending a good cafe as you enter it. Ah, Gretna Green, I it came to me.  At the junction out of Brampton there was heavy traffic, so I waited in the left lane to make a right turn, but in the process holding up a male driver.  As he passed, he was  so angry he SCREAMED at me.  There is so much road rage in the U.K., I wonder why?  There is none in The Netherlands!
I have discovered that the U.K. not particularly cycling friendly, although most drivers courteous enough not to kill me.
Finally, on old Higway A6071 heading north, I found the going easier, for two reasons, one, I was getting stronger, second, the countryside relatively flat, with minimal traffic.  I zoomed along beginning to enjoy riding through the English countryside.
Just before Longtown, I discovered a plant nursery with a cafe, and stopped for lunch.
Then continuing I crossed into Scotland just before Gretna Green. This was somewhat of an achievement for me, making the land of my Hutchison and Dalrymple ancestors via bicycle.
Gretna Green, turned out not much, but helpful in the form of an older cyclist sitting on a bench.  He was 79 years old. Gliding up and stopping in front of him I said, JUST THE MAN I´VE BEEN LOOKING FOR!  Yes, just continue on old highway M74, and all the way into Glasgow.  I gave him some`BURN FAT!  NOT PETROL!´ stickers!
I was curious about Lockerbie, as a significant news story back in my past, in the U.S. in1988.  I think we (married at the time) lived in Arlington, Texas, U.S.A.  Lockerbie, just a name in Scotland back then, was the site of a terroist air tragedy when a bomb blew up a PanAm 747, killed 239 people, 11 on the ground, as the debris fell in a residential area.
I´ve often thought, how you never know…  You can be sitting in your house after work watching TV when the world explodes and you´re gone, dead!  And never knowing how or why!  11 Lockerbie residents went just this way.  What are the odds?
I found Lockerbie, time consuming trying to find lodging.  I must have cycled around for an hour finally in a hotel on the main street.  But, not until I´d gotten to know Lockerbie more than I wanted, after cycling 7 hours, vibrating on not-so-good highways and streets.
Really the U.K. needs work on its infrastructure, the highways not good compared to other European countries, particularly The Netherlands.
In fact The Netherlands and Danish cultures maybe the best in all the world.  If only the weather was better!
Day 4, Lockerbie to Moffat.
I had discovered cycling around Lockerbie, the day before, signs indicating bicycle path #74.  So, all was not lost during the hour searching for a place to spend the night.  Once on the path, a lane on old M74, all the way, paralleling the new fast, busy, get-out-of-my motorway, but the old highway, unkept. In fact the bicycle lane so bad, bumpy (holes), and debris, many times I had to cycle in the traffic lane, pushing motor traffic into the opposite lane., take note.  We need to improve the bike paths (lanes) in the U.K. and I´ll donate 100L, to launch the campaign.  Cyclists of the world unite!  You have only your chains to lose!
This stretch, takes you through the burgh where Thomas Carlisle was born — just out of Gretna Green, in Galloway.  There´s a statue of course.
Oh, when I die please do not remember me with a statue or name a bicycle path after me!  We need more statues, plaques, highways named after women, especially ethnic women!
This stretch also takes you through some hills.  I began to see more cyclists, but maybe because of the weekend (riders).
Riders of the Purple Sage, I am, from Arizona, U.S.A. (`An old cowpoke went riding out one dark and windy day…´)!  But, of course, the Purple Sage riders on horse back, as I grew up riding.  First four legs, then two wheels.
At a little burgh before the Moffat turn off I stopped and ate my lunch on a picnic table.  I ate my egg salad Earl of Sandwich, olives, and a chocolate muffin.  All of this while obsercing a pretty young blonde woman, arrive in her trendy little motor vehicle, across the street.  I surmised she had come home for lunch, or a `quicky,. as she knew how to unlock the gate.  I love observing people!
I also noticed all the train traffic between England and Scotland, both passenger and freight. The track behind me to the west.
Then, on to wherever, and confused at a confusing junction, with two roundabouts.  I took the sign indicating Moffat, but I hadn´t realized it was several miles out of the way.  But, I´m glad I did as Moffat an interesting tourist town, with many hotels, restaurants, and a supermarket, where I was able to purchase my kind of food.
But, again, I had to cycle around and inquire at several hotels, before ending up in the FAMOUS STAR hotel, as the most narrow in the world (Guiness Book of World Reconds).  The thinnest hotel in the world. And the thinnest turned out to be the bestest, of all the placees I stayed on this entire trip.
Every town and business has to claim some kind of uniqueness.
My father was in the restaurant-hotel business, and I grew up working in a commercial kitchen.  I´ve also had the opportunity to stay in the best hotels in the world.  For example, the 6-star La Cipriani, in Venice, where I paid $1,000U.S. for ONE NIGHT (of course a mistake, long story).  So, I know good hotels from bad, good restaurants, from the not so good.  The Star Hotel I can recommend, in Moffat, Scotland!
Day 5 Moffat to somewhere, and the Radstone Hotel
The next moring, I got directions to find old M74 again, where yesterday, fate had taken me into Moffat.
Onward, to one of the most challenging cycling days of the entire trip, too many hills, too long, and having to double back to find the only hotel.  It was also confusing as now nearing Hamilton nee Glasgow, a major megatropolis.  It turned out to be a brutal day.
The first episode… I had followed bicycle path #74 doggely, but here it diverted though a residential area after Kirkmuirhill, where I´d stopped to inquire at a Masonic Hotel.  No, closed for renovation, but the Radstone in the next village Larkhall. So onward…
Following bicycle path #74, I ended up in the countryside, and a sign warning me that the road was closed up ahead.  I saw, however, a automobile coming in my direction, so I thought maybe the sign had to do with a different road.  I went ahead, climbing up and down hills, the warning signs continuing.  Well, what does one do at that point but continue to find out… I did, and bad news.  The road was blocked for construction just on he outskirts of Larkhall.  Luckily, there was just enough room, on grass at the edge to push around.  One of the advantages of travelling on a bicycle. Sometimes I even ride on sidewalks.
Up into Larkhall I went, and in the business center, I asked for the Radstone Hotel.  No, not here, but back some two miles in the direction I´d come. Great!  The man gave me directions and the only thing I could do as getting late, was to follow, so back I went, but not the same way, but on a busy road at going-home-traffic time!  Oh, mama can this really be the end… I went and went, at the roundabout, as described, onto a highway, under a bridge, and down a hill to the Radstone.  It first looked like it was closed, but then discovered it as a event hotel, specializing in wedding receptions, etc.  It was fancy, with attired guests, celebrating a wedding.  Two kilted doormen ushered me in, so I pushed Mr. Fetes right up to the reception desk, inquiring about a room.  Just like in Lelystad, NL, weeks earlier, I would have paid anything for a bed, a bath, a rest!  And although tired, it wasn´t as bad when I arrived at the Apollo Hotel in Lelystad, that first day out of Noorwolde.  What doesn´t kill you makes you stronger!
They had a room, for a resonable amount, something like 70L, and I jumped on it.  They even let me keep Mr. Fetes in my room.  It didn´t have a bathtub, but sometimes you make do!
Later, showered, and hungrey, I ordered salmon for dinner.  Expensive, but I´d earned it!
I forgot to mention, somewhere, on an interesting lonely hilltop stretch, I ran into an English cyclist, one of the few I´d encountered cycling in the U.K.  We stopped and chatted going in opposite directions.  He was on an old racing bicycle, carrying little in the way of gear, but certainly had experience.  He was from somewhere down in southern England, but had cycled up to visit his mother in Scotland. We were sympatico, in ways which are hard to put into English words.  I gave him some `BURN FAT! NOT PETROL!´ stickers, but kicked myself in the rear later, for not getting his email address.  Some times, maybe because older, I forget to do what I should!  I can´t even remember his name now!  Oh mama can this really be the end, to be so old with the trying-to-remember blues again!
Tomorrow, the last day on the road, and all the way into Glasgow, a Saturday,
It turned out to be another trying day, but ultimately I made it all the way to Adrian´s in eastern Glasgow.
I had a buffet breakfast in the Radstone restaurant.  They made porridge for me, something I need when cycling, a complex carbohydrate, that fuels the muscles for at least four hours.
Off I was on a sunny day, the locals amazed as unusual.  Scotland, THE LAND OF THE LONG GRAY CLOUD, compared to New Zealand´s LAND OF THE LONG WHITE CLOUD!
I cycled N.Z., top to bottom, Cape Reina (North Island) to Invercargil (South Island).  It´s in someways much like the England-Scotland:  islands, green, mucho lluevo, hills, both part of the British Commonwealth.
The traffic  bears left in British Commonwealth countries.  If only it could be the same around the world.  No, everyone has to be different, as our way the best!  No best, no worst!
I was off at 0900 from the Radstone, and glided down into Larkhall.  I had seen the bicycle path sign (#74) indicating the direction to Hamilton, the previous day coming into center Larkhall.
But, here´s a great example, of you can be lead astray.  Turning where I thought the sign indicated, heading for Hamilton-Glasgow, I ended up in a cul de sac.  I retraced, trying to figure it out, when I came upon a cycling group of young boys, led by a young man.  I stopped to ask about how to find #74 north.  Cyclists are the best to ask, as they know.  Motorists, don´t know always giving you distance in terms of time.  This guy knew, directed me back to old M74. I gave the entire group (20), BURN FAT!  NOT PETROL! stickers.
You see the sign I´d seen yesterday coming into Larkhall, and followed the next morning, was indicating a left turn up at M74, three block´s distance.  The sign is in the wrong place, some three blocks prior to the M74 intersection.  I wish someone would pass this on to Their signs can be confusing, as had me several times.
And here´s another example of being confused by a bicycle sign (photo. at, again, in Hamilton, a large city east of Glasgow.  I was O.K.for awhile, but then departing Hamilton at an intersection of bicycle path #74.  I thought the sign indicated going south back through Hamilton.  Thus,  I went the wrong way, up the highway towards Bothwell and Uddingston.  To check, I stopped a cyclist comng down, and he explained, to continue, take a left at the Boswell Hotel, continue until a school on the right, turn, and follow signs to the Bothwell Castle.  Behind it, following the Clyde River you´ll find bicycle path #74, and it takes you directly into Glasgow — well, not exactly.
I found the Castle (photos. at  and I decided, as around noon, to stop there and eat my sandwich on the grass.  It was an idyllic scene, a sunny Saturday, families having picnics, dogs, children running amok.
Afterwards I found a way down to the river, and sure enough disoovered a well-used dirt path, with hikers, runners, and several cyclists. I turned right, as I know directions, and knew Glasgow west.  The path was challenging on a loaded bicycle, as up and down.  Then it stopped, as blocked, something about construction.  The detour was over the Clyde, and then up hills, trafficed streets, but finally #74 signs indicated I was on course. The path following the main railroad tracks between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The closer I got to Glasgow, the more people of course.  I met and stopped a couple, who explaned, after I´d told them my name, that the name Hutcheson, famous in Glasgow.  Of course, spelled with an E rather than an I, but nonetheless a connection!
I went on and ended up cycling across the Glasgow Green. Then crossing Salt Market street I spied a bicycle shop, where I thought I could get directions to the iTourist office.  Note, I always head for the center of an unfamilar city, as they generally have a tourist office, and a city map.  If I have a map I can find anything!  Note, the fact that I went into Billy Bilsland´s Bicycle Shop,asking for directions, has import later.  Inside one of the workers directed me to St. Geroge Square, where I went.  No tourist office, however.
I ended up in a `Something´ Financial Square, where there´s a stature with some hero on horseback, that some kids had graced with traffic cones on his head (photo. at  At the back I discovered a Starbucks, where I stopped for a Latte and muffin.
The workers in Starbucks knew where the tourist office, called VISIT SCOTLAND. It was located. on the main walking-shoping-tourist street, Buchanan.  But, being a Saturday it was madness on Buchanan, crowded with activity, from bagpippers, other street musicians, beggards, a man ranting, quoting from the Christiand Bible, cyclists, etc.
I got a map at VISIT SCOTLAND, but outside headed directly toward some trees in the distance.  Large cities too intense for me anymore.  I found the entrance to the park, the trees, I´d seen in the distance, and it was the refuge I needed as unpopulated.  I had to wait to arrive at my host, Adrian Keefe, and this perfect, dozing on a comfortable bench.  Ah, thank God for partks in cities.
I had Adrian´s address, had done a Google map prior, and knew he lived in the eastern part of Glasgow.  But, how to get there…?
Ì ended up at the Glasgow Cathedral, as thunder alerted me to threatening rain. Churches ae usually good shelter.   Plus in the case of the Glasgow Cathedral some local history.  Inside I donated 5L, and wondered around with other tourists.  From Wikireli.:
Glasgow Cathedral, is also called the High Kirk of Glasgow or St Kentigern’s, or St Mungo’s. And is today the center point of the Church of Scotland in Glasgow.
The title Cathedral is honorific and historic, dating from the period before the Scottish Reformation and its former status as the Roman Catholic mother church of the Archdiocese of Glasgow and thus the cathedra of the Archbishop of Glasgow (which is now in St. Andrew's Cathedral, the present mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Glasgow). The current congregation is part of the Church of Scotland's Presbytery of Glasgow. Glasgow Cathedral is located north of High Street and east of Cathedral Street, beside the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.´
Visitors had to depart nearing 5P.M., as closing, and I walked outside into a rain storm.
From there I cycled and walked to Annadale St., where Adrian Keefe´s flat is located.  But, I was early as usual, so I walked back to an Italian Restaurant on Alexander Parade, and ate a late lunch.
I stayed at Adrian´s for two nights, and then moved to the ALBA HOSTAL in Anniesland, a suburb not far from friends via neice, Erin, Bob Mantho and Sara Pinto.
My cycling trip over, I´m getting to know Glasgow.  And whoa, dangerous on the streets!  This is the first time in 14 years cycling the world that I purposedly wear a safety vest, with reflectors.  I also turn on my rear flashing light.  I don´t mind being killed on a bicycle, I just don´t want them to excuse themselves by saying, I DIDN´T SEE HIM!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

State of the Union: How do you solve a problem like migration?

Open our hearts to others less fortunate!
All the countries of the world, open their borders and let whomever move wherever!  Simple!

I´m hoping it happens! Humanity needs a WAKE UP CALL!

Asteroid could WIPE OUT millions: NASA in shock warning as it calls for urgent research

NASA and the White House and NASA are stepping up efforts to protect the planet from incoming asteroids and comets.

Thank you, Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia!

Sarah Sanders says restaurant owner in Virginia told her to leave

Friday, June 22, 2018

Sell, sell, sell, everything you stand for!

Russia Wants to Sell Its Missiles to U.S. Allies

Money nee profit, God in the world!

Money Can Worsen Our Judgment by Making Us Too Confident, New Study Shows

The animals are fighting back!

Alaska officials hunt bear that killed hiker, attacked searcher

Women of the world unite!

Elena Ferrante: Matteo Salvini seems persuasive – until he bangs his racist fists

I´ve had the same problem! In Europe generally bicycle friendly, except on the trains. Pure greed, more space for paying people, less space for bicycles!

Cyclist Beats Train On 170 Mile Journey After He Couldn’t Take Bike On Board

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The FIFA World Cup proffers nationalism, flags, anthems, borders, walls, making children cry!
In one million years we´ve, the human species, has evolved very little, still the Beats lives within us!
`There is infinite hope, but not for us!´(F. Kafka). 
For robots, yes, without egos!  They will be the next species, having surived the nuclear holocaust that´s sure to come.
In the next world, no winners or losers, only balance between the extremes — perfection, unconditional loving!
No childred separated from their parents, no crying!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

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It was at a Christmas Eve church service in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. that I saw her — that obscure object of desire!
Afterwards, I followed her to her home, but lost her around a corner, as dark and to be expected.
Several days later I called upon the pastor of the church, concocting some story to inquiry if he could find out her name.  He appreared sympathetic, and helpful, but ultimately never called.
But, this a great example of Bunuel´s THAT OBSCURE OBJECT OF DESIRE!
One can project what happened to her… Marriage, wife, mother of children, etc., the juggernaut of human existence, life being born and dying.
Smashed to atoms — life made up, invented, a fantasy making up a better part of life, making oneself up, making the woman (or man) up, creating an exquisite amusement and more.
Some of us are better creators than others!
P.S. It was better that I didn´t meet the woman I saw in church, as it would have ruined the fantasy!

“The anti-patriarchy movement is going to undo 10,000 years of recorded history.”

You see what´s coming... Many citiizens too stupid to understand! H.

Orlando Airport to scan faces of all international passengers, including U.S. citizens

Oh woe be unto Trump for this! May he and his suffer the 7 depredations for 7 generations!

2,300 children have been torn from their parents and put in cages as part of Trump’s latest sick political game!

After a massive outcry, Trump just said he’d stop separating families. But that does nothing for those already torn apart.

American Pathology:

Trent Reznor: ‘You’re seeing the fall of America in real time’

Cancer isn´t a disease, but an industry!

Number of elderly people with cancer 'tipped to soar over next 20 years'

Oh, woe be unto the Catholic priest that did this!

Outraged relatives snatch baby from priest after he SLAPS the child because it won’t stop crying during baptism

Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen booed at Mexican restaurant


The Indian who cycled to Russia to meet Messi

China's Twitter erases John Oliver after scathing Xi Jinping skit

Parody of Chinese president covered human rights abuses and memes comparing Xi’s figure with Winnie the Pooh

What kind of people are we?

James Comey: 'You stare at children crying – what kind of people are we?’

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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All that we go through!
All that life brings,
Reasoning for what,
To strut and fret,
Maybe another bet?
Could their be a purpose,
Maybe a porpoise
Nos better?
They have a bottle for a nose!
We have a nose for a bottle!
We strut and fret!
They play the day!
Their is a season
For the ego
To no the other
As won!
F.A. Hutchison

From, Spenser Rapone, ex-West Point Army cadet. He had been stationed in Afghanistan, before.

"We were bullies in one of the poorest countries on Earth," Rapone said. "We have one of the most technologically advanced militaries of all time and all we were doing is brutalizing and invading and terrorizing a population that had nothing to do with what the United States claimed was a threat."

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The Middle Man system
A plague,
A pox
A rox in the way,
A bump
Knot circumscribed,
Thus robbed!
Ah, pay the man,
A service rendered!
Tis Capitalism,
The prism
That separates
The classes,
Put on your glasses
To sea,
Money is God!

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Trapped in a mindset
Aren´t we all,
Creating our world!
If only you would listen to me,
There would be such glee!
But, then the conflict,
Oh, interdict,
The penis erect!
Why women are better,
They don´t have won!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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Packets, packets, packets,
Liftle rackets,
Sweet, sour, and tangy
Just dandy!
Portion control,
Profit as God,
Money loving power,
So dour!
Packets a
Machines, not people
No jobs, just rob!
Stealing us blind,
Time for a Revolution
Just say KNOW!

The greatest accomplishment of my life!

Would you give up having children to save the planet? Meet the couples who have

Here is more proof of The Age of Kalki, Shakti energy rising!

Is Winnie the Pooh Actually a Girl?

Monday, June 18, 2018

American Pathology!

Michael Cohen and the Felony Overtaking Washington

And we cut them down for toilet paper!

A Renewed View of Some of the World’s Oldest Trees

After a three-year restoration project, the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park has reopened, with less asphalt and more concern for the health of the trees.

We are all gods, in material form!

Could this be the face of God?

There is infinite hope, but not for us! (F. Kafka)

Police condemn 'appalling' violence at cycle festival

Make fun of them, at least! Politics the last refuge of scoundrels!

Electoral Dysfunction – The Best Politically-Powered Comedies

No, but money would! Reduce the prize money!

Would technology temper the tennis outbursts?

it was always stupid, about money, not health. And if the truth be known cannabis less harmful than alcohol (if used in moderation).

Cannabis war 'comprehensively lost', says William Hague

American Pathology!

Rapper XXXTentacion shot dead in Florid

'Ripe for disruption': female film-makers rally for industry overhaul

Women of the world unite!


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May-June cycling trip from Noordwolde, NL, to Newcastle (Newburn), U.K.
230518, first day, Noordwolde to Lelystad.
I´m finally off, after, much planning, packing, shipping, cleaning, etc. This, after four months at Erik and Petronella´s house, renting their guest suite in order to write my book about cycling the world entitled, FOLLOWING THE LIGHT!
After doing too much on a test run to Drackton, some 80KM round trip, against the wind, and causing damage to my feet, I vowed to go just a short distance the first day.  Did I adhere to this plain, no!  Sometimes, I´m just stupid!  What else could it be?  Maybe a self-destructive desire to suffer, I don´t know? Or, maybe the dninnies, the demons, as still after me for moving the Kundalini from East to West!
The day started out easy, as I departed with a rising moon and the wind at my back.  The wind from the northeast, unusual, but this must be my guarding angels compensating the dninnies.  At 25KM, it was still early and I couldn´t find the Caravan Park I´d planned to stay at, so I kept going. I did pass a caravan park at 30KM, and thought about staying, but kept going, why…?  Quien sabe?  I had the wind and was on one of NL´s super concrete bicycle highways, so I just kept going… I thought I´d stop and spend the night in Emmeloord, but when I saw a sign pointing to Lelystad, I turned and KEPT GOING!
Then, however, I missed the turnoff to Lelystad, the direction to, written only on the opposite side of th red bicycle direction sign.  And since the major bicycle highway continued, I thought it would continue to a major city like Lelystad, named after the Dutch man, who buildt the BIG DYKE, Afsluitdijk (?).  His name, however, must be Lely…?
Not long after I spied some picnic tables in front of what looked like a restaurant.  I hardly ever pass up wooden picnic tables as nice to eat on outside.
Here I purchased some good yoghurt, ate, and took a photo. of two couples on vacation, as asked.  Most people are happy to oblige you, and some even can take a good photo.
I went on to URK, and a BIG mistake.  In fact, made two mistakes. First kept going to URK some 7 kilometers, the second mistake… had I asked there, instead of going by the direction signs I could have saved, 20 extra kilometers, as there was a highway out of URK going directly to Lelystad.  And why didn´t I look at my map?  Sometimes it´s challenging to accept the fact that I´m so fallible.
I went back the way I´d come, as it said the way to Lelystad, bu now against the wind.  I stopped when I saw two girls discussing something, so I thought to ask them the direction to Lelystad.  Turned out they were from Germany on vacation, cycling with a group.  One of them pulled out their map, but didn´t really know.
I thanked them and then went another 50mts. to check out the direction sign just up ahead, and sure enough, it said Lelystad thisaway.  So, I went thataway, and on a quiet two-lane highway which led to the BIG A6 bridge over the Ketelmeer.
Note, there are so many waterways, canals, ponds, water, it´s challenging for a tourist to name them properly. Google has this bay as Ketelmeer, but Google is not always correct.
Crossing the bridge I followed the red-bicycle-direction signs toward Lelystad for about a kilometer, when the route turned northeast I stopped.  I hesitated because I thought this can´t be right. This was a day of mistakes.  I thought this way wrong, and turned back.  At a parking lot I stopped and asked a young man parked in an automobile, and he checked his smart tele.  His advice, go back, and under the bridge and follow the dyke, which I did.
This way turned out to be interesting as the old highway, right on the bay, following 26 wind turbines, whose bases are planted in the water.  WHOMP! WHOMP! WHOMP! the sound the blades make turning slowly.  I whomed along, stopping occasionally to take a photo.
I went maybe two or three kilometers alone, easy, no traffic, except for the noise from A6 on the other side of the dyke. The road turned slightly, at wind turbine #1 and I could see a large power plant in the distance.  I was concerned at that point, not really knowing where Lelystad was and I thought I needed to get inland.  Another mistake!
Over the dyke, pushing Mr Fetes up stairs and down, and then inland on a road.  But, I didn´t quite know which way. I still had to find my way into Lelystad, but how?  I went down one wrong dead-end road, having to again retrace my route.
One of my rules when lost, is to watch the motor traffic, particularly trucks and buses —they´re going somewhere. So, I followed one automobile´s direction, and did find a red bicycle direction sign, TO LELYSTAD.  But, now it was late afternoon and hot and I was tired, my feet aching.  This hard-surface path ended at a animal guard, a series of rails with spaces that animals won´t cross. I parked right on it for some reason.  Another mistake, as this one made out of rebar (steel construction rods) and the bars too far apart.  I fell into it twice. Damn!
Onward, as now semi-desperate.  I followed a dirt path to a highway, and turned in the wrong direction. But, a woman driving an automobile, stopped when I waved at her.  No, the other direction and cross the highway, etc.
Well, I finally got into Lelystad, seeking the Center, and the tourist information office.  But, this wasn´t easy either, as Lelystad fairly large.  I must have stopped and asked six people how to get to the central train station, some not knowing.
Then, finally, I was at the central plaza, maybe by 18.00 hours, and after some 80KM I´d cycyled.  I was desperate at this point to get off my Brooks saddle, as both my bum and feet screaming at me!  Here, I had was confronted by a huge public gathering, the plaze filled with hundreds of people, loudspeaking, music, a crowd, that I had to threat my way through. `Oh mama, can this really be the end to be stuck inside a crowd with the hotel room blues again?´ (Bob Dylan song lyric slightly paraphrased).
I pushed onto a side street and asked a policeman parked in his police car, WHERE IS THE TOURIST OFFICE?  When the answer was too complicated, I asked,  WHERE IS THE NEAREST HOTEL? He directed me to the Apollo Hotel, only two blocks away, and I headed for it through thick motor traffic. Alas!
At the hotel I paid 139€ for a room, too much of course, but it was the only room they had left.  Sometimes you don´t care what it costs, and this evening I didn´t.  I was just happy I had the money to pay for it.
Up in my room, after parking Mr. Fetes in their lobby, I stipped off my clothes and took a long hot bath. I was soooooo happy they had a bath tub, as soaking my old and abused body in hot water helps.  I would have paid 139€ for the bath alone!
That night, however, I was awakened several times with cramps both in my calves and feet.  We call these `Charlie Horses,´ and I don´t know why we call them that except it has to do with an old baseball player!  But, if you´ve never had a cramp in a muscle, it´s something like what a woman goes through giving birth, contractions they´re called.  And so painful, the only only way to lessen the pain of these muscle cramps in your calf is to stand up until they subside, screaming in pain as it takes too long for the muscle to relax!  What causes a muscle to cramp?  Overuse, dehydration, and strain. Certainly I overdid it this first day going too far with weight, and not in condition.
God, what a day, cycling the world!
People ask me why I do it?  I joke that I´m a masochist!  You would have to be to do what I do at my age!
However, THE ROAD OF EXCESS LEADS TO THE PALACE OF WISDOM!, so wrote William Blake, my favorite English!
Day two, Lelystad to Amsterdam
I paid another ridiculous amount at the Apollo Hotel, some 17€ for their buffet breakfast, that wasn´t very good.  ISIS Hotels, usually have better fare, and are included in the room rate.  But, again, sometimes feeding the mind, more important than feeding the body.  In this case, I just wanted to sit in comfort and drink several latte macchiatos!  But, via machine not all that great!
It´s interesting to me, that in Europe everything via machine.  More machines, less workers.  More AI and robots, less human workers.  So, how are all these unemployed workers going to support their families?  There´s going to be more theft, more crime.  Then more police, then more oppression, nee dictators.  We´ve entered the Age of Dictators in 2018!  Democracy is certainly threatened.  Why?  We realize we can´t govern ourselves, the masses out of control.
I departed the Apollo Hotel at 0845, in search of the Lelystad Central train station. But, I head out wrong, and have to ask how to get there.  I´ve heard of a bicycle shop in the station, and always make a point of passing out my BURN FAT!  NOT PETROL! stickers, meeting cyclists in the process. Additionally, cyclists generally know the best way, the best route, and this guy did.  He even walked out of his shop, down to a corner, to point out the direction I should go to run into the path, next to the Markemeer, as the suggested Google bicycle way.  This south all the way to Almere, my initial goal, not too far, after a brutal first day.  Did I adhere to that plan?  No.
Getting to that path, was not all that easy, however.  I had to thread my way through residential areas, dead ends, having to go back, and around. Turn left, not right, look up, look down, gee you´re dumb!  But, if I have any talent at all, it´s finding my way in the world, a sixth sense as to which is the right way.  When I get lost, or go out of my way, like what happened the first day, I know it´s the demons, the dnnies, fucking with me.  They don´t want to kill me, just make it more difficult.  They enjoy watching me suffer!
"The Shambala Sutra: 香巴拉箴言: If you want to go to Shambala 假如你想到香巴拉去 / There is much danger, 会有许多危险 / And demons will try to stop you! 恶魔们妄图阻止你! / Many people will become obstacles! 许多人也将成为阻碍!/ But, if you can understand 但是,如果你能明白 / Becoming the path itself, 这些都会成为其小径 / You will succeed, 你就将成功 / Overcoming all! '超越一切!". Only those who pass 'the test,' reap the benefits. And only those willing to suffer the pain, are blessed with 'Shambala,' (another word for 'Shangri-La’).¨
I have learned how to become the path, not ride on it, but become it!
Once I´m finally on the path to Almere, it´s nice like most Fiets Pads, in the NL.  For one thing, you´re isolated from motor vehices.
After maybe 20KMs, I stop and see read what confuses me… One bicycle path which is green says Almere that way, another, the usual red one indicates joining a highway, which makes me suspicious. I´ve never seen a green bicycle sign in the NL before, but, for some reason I decide to take the direction the green sign indicates.  It leads not far then plunges into a forest.  Up ahead a short distance a cul de sac, with view, as in need of the ole outdoor toilet.  Afterwards I reconsider, don´t know why until later, to return and take the red direction on highway
It isn´t a short time until another cyclist glides up next to me, wanting to chat.  He´s a young man from Barcelona, working in de Hag.  We ride together until a junction makes us part.  He´s going to Hilverson, me to Almere, I thought… I give him some stickers before he cranks up a hill (there aren´t many in the NL). I turn left, to rejoin a bicycle path, really a rural road with some local motor traffic.  I´m not far when I spy a picnic table and decide to stop, rest, eat, etc.
I take 20b bicycle route through Almere, but it becomes a labrinth.  I would still be there, if it not the help of several Dutch people, some with good information, some not.
I was following the red signs for 20b, past a construction site, when I spy a cycling couple coming in my direction.  I wave to stop them and ask if I´m going right into Amsterdam.  They tell me no, and explain. I´m to turn around go under the bridge, then double around over it, as this is a more direct route.  The man even waits for me at the bridge to direct me, explaning this is a short cut.  What turns out to be a short cut, however, delays me for probably an hour, as I got lost.
Then some boys on bicycles, going the opposite direction, yell at me to stop.  Luckily I heard them, stopped, and discover my tent had fallen off.  I´ve lost many things off Mr. Fetes over the years, but I didn´t want to lose this tent.  I offer the boys some money.  They refuse.  Then they spend time on their smart teles., trying to direct me to the path next to the highway (20b), heading all the way into Amsterdam.   I thanked the boys profusely, then forget to give them bicycle stickers. Damn!  I cursed myself all the way into Amsterdam another 20KM. Today, like the first day, begins to seem endless.   Again, what I planned to make a short day… I just keep going…
It´s no easy trick cycling in and out of a large city, but I´ve had experience getting in and out of Amsterdam, when I lived with the de Vries boys in Utrecht.  I used to cycle up for the day, along the BIG canal that connects Amsterdam with the Rhine River.  The Rijn-something by name… Goggle says:  Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal. I was up and down it many times in 2004, and on both sides.
Suddenly, stopped waiting for a light to change I recognized where a small road joins a large boulevard (I think S112), one which goes directly into the east side of the infamous metropolis — deja vu. This area, called Diemen.  I couldn´t believe that I´d recognized it.  What are the odds that I would end up entering Amsterdam, the same way 14 years later, and from an entirely different direction?  A coincidence? There are no coincidences in my world.
Now, however, in 2018, the old boulevard, now S112 was under construction as a new trolley line being added. But, I confirmed I was going correctly when I passed the cemetary.  It had been a place to hide while going to the toilet, ah, blasphemy!  But, there are so few public toilets in cities, one has to get creative when older, as when nature calls when youre over 70 years of age, IT CALLS!
I remember in a city park in Santiago, Chile, having TO GO!  I stopped a Chilean man, who spoke English.  I asked him for a public toilet, he said GO ANYWHERE, THIS IS SOUTH AMERICA!
Back in Noorwolde, planning, I had researched locations of Caravan Parks, along the way.  There was one on the east side of Amsterdam, Called Zeeburg Camping.  I made a mental note as it looked interesting online.
But, acutually there in Amsterdam, I was heading for the Starbucks east of Amsterdam Central, then later any hotel would do. I thought I was way beyond Zeeburg Camping site.
Well, I saw a sign for a hostal on the other side of the busy boulevard.  I crossed, was in the process of locking Mr. Fetes to check out the Hostal when I saw a man loitering, and suspicious.  So I opted to move on, pushing through a maze of narrow streets and shops.  I ended up on a large street with a bicycle lane, so why not, basically lost.  I´m crusing to god knows where, when I see a sign that points straight ahead 2KM to Zeeburg Camping.  Now, again, what are the odds?  Maybe a million to one?
I end up renting a private cabin there, and for not much €, maybe 20.
I don´t know how many kilometers that day from Lelystad, but enough.
Day 3, Zeeburg Camping (Amsterdam) to IJmuiden (the port from where my ferry departed for Newcastle)
Getting into Central Amsterdam was easy, as I was going to Starbucks in the Doubletree Hotel east of Amsterdam Central.  There I had my usual blueberry muffic and Latte Macchiato, sitting outside watching the rush of people going hither and yon. I needed to do some shopping, another Elif Shafak novel, and some eau de cologne to be used in case of sea sickness.  I got two of Shafak´s books, but the cologne impossible, as only available online and shipped.  Turns out I didn´t need it anyway,
I was happy to get out of the infamous city as dystopic to me. Additionally, water everywhere, and I don´t even like to drink it!  Ugh!
I found the way to Ijmuiden, some 30KM from Dystopia, but once there lost.  It turned out I couldn´t find the Camp de Duidoon where I had paid in advance for four days (waiting to depart for the U.K.).  It was marked on the large tourist map, but somehow I didn´t manage well, having to ask several locals for directions.  Then I made some mistakes, ending up way south, when I should have been north.  I finally got there at 15.00 hour (3P.M.), again, exhausted.  I think I´m getting too old to travel on a heavy bicycle.
The cabin was new and well done, except it had no bedding.  This a surprise, but i carry what I need, in case.   And in this case I needed.
I spent the first afternoon dozing and doing laundry.
Then I ate dinner in their local restaurant only 10mts. from my cabin.  Next to me a large family with loud obnoxious children.
I watch parent´s faces and if not unhappy, at least concerned.
My greatest accomplishment in life, is having none of my own.  i like them, especially when young, but not 24/7, thank you.  When women suggest I´ve missed out on such pleasure, I response with, YOU GO AHEAD AND HAVE MORE FOR ME!
I´ve always been labeled a FREE SPIRIT, which I never quite understood… Aren´t all of you free spirits as well?  I guess not!  Me, I´m a migrating bird, a rolling stone that gathers no moss!  The ROAD LESS TRAVELLED, has made all the difference to me!  Read Virginia Woolf´s book, ORLANDO!  I´m Orlando in the story!
The next day, a Saturday, I returned to Dystopia, to attend an art exhibit, involving friends Angeline and Joop. I took a bus, as my bum and feet in recovery.  At the exhibit I passed off my ´free spirits´ to Joop, to give to someone who would appreciate, these `free spirits´ illegal in the U.K.
I manged the bus back to IJmuiden, and then REALLY exhausted.
I spent the next two days, doing as little as possible.
I rode around, first checking out the ferry dock, when to board, and where.
I leave nothing to chance when travelling, as don´t like unpleasant surprises. Yet, I got one when departing.
I also cycled out on their dyke or water break, and all the way to the end where there´s an automated lighthouse.  Staring out across the expanse, the North sea, I though I could see St. Andrews, Scotland some 500kM to the north.  I took off my shoes, and walked barefooted on the beach (playa in Espanol).
We don´t come in direct contact with Mother Earth enough, part of the problem.
I ate at a Greek Restaurant, but not very good.  I found something, a travelling pillow, for lack of a better description, to soften my Brooks saddle.  It only cost 7€, and worked amazingly well.
On Tuesday morning, I packed and was off to catch the ship to Newcaste.
Adios, to the Netherlands to cycle the British Isles.
Day 8, the overnight sail across the North Sea, and then cycling into Newcasle, finally Newburn…
Oh, Mama Can this really be the end, to be stuck inside of the NL, with the U.K., blues again?
All went well, waiting as we, me along with two other cyclists, first in a long line of motor vehicles to board.
Two guys from the U.K., one from Scotland, thus I got some good information. They where the once-a-year for vacation kind of older cyclists, with new bicycles and gear.  I think I sometimes intimidate such when I tell them I cycled he world for 14 years!
Then, having passed the first check in window, I was behind the two U.K., cyclists when asked for my passport by a border guard. Oh, OH!   He examined it, then asked some quesions which I fudged as really illegal in the E.U. I flumoxed about applying for residency in Spain, but when I couldn´t produce documents, he said to stand aside.  He got on his mobile, and the next thing I knew I was being taken to their office across the loading lanes.
Inside, after taking care of Mr. Fetes, I was told to sit and wait.  Well, these are the times that try men´s souls, as I could have be arrested, fined, and/or denied the right to depart.  Tense beyond tenison, I waited praying for deliverance. Oh, mama, can this really be the end…
After too long, maybe fifteen minutes, he returned, and handed me back my passport. He even helped me out with Mr. Fetes.  But, his final words, as he directed me to board.  `You are an illegal immigrant,´ as to label me as a law breaker. I guess they had checked with Interpol, and the fact I wasn´t wanted for some crime, and a U.S., citizen, and whatever gods that helped, I was free to leave and deal with such in the U.K.  I wasn´t entirely out of the woods, having to run another guantlet when entering England.  But, I can tell you my heart soared part way, another miracle had happened!  I have many in my life!
On board, i discovered a floating Lost Wages hotel, that had just about everything:  bars, restaurants, a fun center for children, a casino, a movie theater.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  And as further fortune had it, my cabin had a window, so I could `sea the see!´  Certainly I was in a See of sorts.
The dinner and wine expensive, but good.
The ride smooth, as these modern ships somehow designed to not go up and down.  It rolled a little bit from side to side.
I remember looking for my dessert, watching a young boy his plate akimbo, cherry tomatoes rolling off onto the foor, then rolling across a crowded floor into an adult´s hands.  It´s funny what you remember.
Afterwards, I found the stern´s observation decks, the one outside, like stepping into a gale. Inside, I sat watching the North Sea for the first time ever in my life.
I slept well in my bunk, but then up early for breakfast, my favorite meal. They even had prunes.
Then we were told, those who had come on vehicles, to descend to prepare to depart.
When we had loaded the afternoon before, this space for the two-wheelers was emplty.  When we arrived the next moring, it was jammed full of both bicyces and motorcyles.
Worse, once we had unfastened our bicycles, we had to wait a long time, before things started to move, almost one hour, standing there.
Finally there was some movenment and then the rush to keep up.  I followed my two U.K. cyclists, up the metal ramp and on terra firma, where we were directed into various lines.  i don´t know how many vehicles had been on board, but it seemed like hundreds.
At this point I started praying again, as everyone forced to deal with border control.  Again, the gods were with me, as when I appeared at the window, there were two women.  I jabbered on about cycling the world for 14 years, while one of the women looked at my passport, now slightly impressed with an old man having done so.  She asked me to take off my glasses, checked the passport photo, while the other one, at the other window, asked questions, like my age?  They WERE MORE IMPRESSED, mine stamping my passport, and I began to breathe again!  She handed my passport back, and I thanked them, moving on smartly.
I was now safe in the U.K. / E. U.  I had run the guantlet making it through alive!
Another break, I hooked up with two cyclists, a couple from the Netherands, and I followed them via all their smart phoning into Newcastle.  Alone, it would have been much more challenging as the route, besides being hilly, wound through residential areas, sometimes on streets, sometimes on bicycle paths.
When we stopped to part finally in the City, I thanked them of course, explained I was meeting a friend, but first looking for a Starbucks.  The man pointed, `Well, there´s one right over your shoulder!´  Wow, again,   don´t tell me I don´t have guarding angels, helping me at every turn.
I celebrated in Starbucks with the usual.  How relieved can one be?  I´m not the kind that shows much emotion, but inside I was as happy as I have ever been in my life!  Oh, how relieved can one get?
I had things to do in Newcastle, and new is was to me.  I got a map from Starbucks, and made my way to find a bank.  I had Swiss francs, dollars and euro to exchange for British currency, as even though a part of the E.U., they had kept the pound.  No shillings, but 100 pense per pound.  Barclays bank wouldn´t exchange, but directed me to a place that would.
After that I need to purchase a new telephone #-sim card. Somehow I managed to find a shop near the Central train station.  inside a young man wearing a turbin, obviously s Sikh, and spoke English with an accent.  He sold me a sim card, and then installed it, as I´m a clutz at such. Then I was finally able to call Sandra, my host.  She lived in Newburn some five miles west. Her directions were too find and follow the BLUE bicyce signs west, route #74.
Again, I was able to find my way, and went to meet her, as she said she would ride out and we would rendezvous on the path.
II turned out, however, to be more challenging than I wanted.  And dealing with the traffic, almost frightening, Just the opposite from the NL.
I went and went, ending up in the countryside, and eventually there she was, Sandra Lonsdale.
She directed me to follow her a short distance to her row house.
There I fell into a reverie, a kind of ecstasy I would call it.  Ecstasy is what´s important wrote, Virginia WoolfI
 I had made it all the way, from Noorwolde, crossing the River Styx in the process!  But, then what is ecstasy.  Ecstasy, at my age is taking a good shit!
That evening Sandy made dinner for me and Bob, an old friend, and Tony her boyfriend, who I could never understand a word he spoke.  But, my saving grace, I´m a good listener, and can act like I understand, smiling when the speaker does, nodding in agreement.
I was finally, with a group of English speakers that could unterstand me, more than I had to understand them. Thus, I must have bored them with many stories, some almost too much to believe for they had hardly travelled.  Except for Tony, who amazingly, had been to Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China!  Thus we shared, while boring the other two, reminiscences of The Middle Kingdom!  Additionally, I went on and on, dropping my entire list as Richard coined, the next morning having to apologize for being so verbose!  I rarely get excited, but I was excited that last evening at dinner.
The next day, the usual, shower, laundry, dealing with Mr. Fetes, etc.  There is so much housework, when you have no house.
I had planned, asked, got permission, to stay two extra days, just to relax or try to in such normal surroundings.
I cycled with Sandy to a Lidl suppermaket,some distance, crossing the Tyne River several times, up and down, next to the railroad tracks, on streets, trying to remember had I had to go it alone — impossible.
At the market I found my kind of food, veggie drink which I sub. for cow´s milk, oh moo!  Someother healthy, if not decadent things, I can´t find when cycling through small communities.
On the way back to Newbum (almost as using the pillow), I stopped and had a woman barber mow my beard, and what little hair I have on my head to ground.  I´m lazy having shaving with a Gillette razor for years!  Now, I let whatever grow, cut it off, let it grow, in an endless cycle that seems to surprise people, I look older, I look younger, this confuses them.
One thing I´ve learned cycling the world, is people accepting difference.  They just can´t believe or accept that you might look different, or do things entirely different from them.  Are you crazy?  Thus, I rarely reveal who I truly am!  They would be shocked.  Sometimes I even shock myself.  But, then again I am a FRED SPIRIT! Still FOLLOWING THE LIGHT!
P.S. Next, part two (II) Newcastle, U.K. to Glasgow, Scotland.

Antonio Gramsci and the Hegemony

Gramsci and hegemony

Raul Leon 015The idea of a ‘third face of power’, or ‘invisible power’has its roots partly, in Marxist thinking about the pervasive power of ideology, values and beliefs in reproducing class relations and concealing contradictions (Heywood, 1994: 100).  Marx recognised that economic exploitation was not the only driver behind capitalism, and that the system was reinforced by a dominance of ruling class ideas and values – leading to Engels’s famous concern that ‘false consciousness’ would keep the working class from recognising and rejecting their oppression (Heywood, 1994: 85).
False consciousness, in relation to invisible power, is itself a ‘theory of power’ in the Marxist tradition. It is particularly evident in the thinking of Lenin, who ‘argued that the power of ‘bourgeois ideology’ was such that, left to its own devices, the proletariat would only be able to achieve ‘trade union consciousness’, the desire to improve their material conditions but within the capitalist system’ (Heywood 1994: 85). A famous analogy is made to workers accepting crumbs that fall off the table (or indeed are handed out to keep them quiet) rather than claiming a rightful place at the table.
The Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, imprisoned for much of his life by Mussolini, took these idea further in his Prison Notebooks with his widely influential notions of ‘hegemony’ and the ‘manufacture of consent’ (Gramsci 1971).  Gramsci saw the capitalist state as being made up of two overlapping spheres, a ‘political society’ (which rules through force) and a ‘civil society’ (which rules through consent). This is a different meaning of civil society from the ‘associational’ view common today, which defines civil society as a ‘sector’ of voluntary organisations and NGOs. Gramsci saw civil society as the public sphere where trade unions and political parties gained concessions from the bourgeois state, and the sphere in which ideas and beliefs were shaped, where bourgeois ‘hegemony’ was reproduced in cultural life through the media, universities and religious institutions to ‘manufacture consent’ and legitimacy (Heywood 1994: 100-101).
The political and practical implications of Gramsci’s ideas were far-reaching because he warned of the limited possibilities of direct revolutionary struggle for control of the means of production; this ‘war of attack’ could only succeed with a prior ‘war of position’ in the form of struggle over ideas and beliefs, to create a new hegemony (Gramsci 1971).  This idea of a ‘counter-hegemonic’ struggle – advancing alternatives to dominant ideas of what is normal and legitimate – has had broad appeal in social and political movements. It has also contributed to the idea that ‘knowledge’ is a social construct that serves to legitimate social structures (Heywood 1994: 101).
In practical terms, Gramsci’s insights about how power is constituted in the realm of ideas and knowledge – expressed through consent rather than force – have inspired the use of explicit strategies to contest hegemonic norms of legitimacy. Gramsci’s ideas have influenced popular education practices, including the adult literacy and consciousness-raising methods of Paulo Freire in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970), liberation theology, methods of participatory action research (PAR), and many approaches to popular media, communication and cultural action.
The idea of power as ‘hegemony’ has also influenced debates about civil society. Critics of the way civil society is narrowly conceived in liberal democratic thought – reduced to an ‘associational’ domain in contrast to the state and market – have used Gramsci’s definition to remind us that civil society can also be a public sphere of political struggle and contestation over ideas and norms. The goal of ‘civil society strengthening’ in development policy can thus be pursued either in a neo-liberal sense of building civic institutions to complement (or hold to account) states and markets, or in a Gramscian sense of building civic capacities to think differently, to challenge assumptions and norms, and to articulate new ideas and visions.

Refernces for futher reading

Freire, Paulo (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York, Herder & Herder.
Gramsci, Antonio (1971) Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, New York, International Publishers.
Heywood, Andrew (1994) Political Ideas and Concepts: An Introduction, London, Macmillan.