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Tony Grist

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Don't Tell Me There's No Evidence [Oct. 30th, 2014|09:57 am]
One of the ploys of the UFO deniers is to say, "But there isn't any evidence".

Which suggests they haven't heard about the Internet- a little known and occult source of heterogenous information which is simply bursting with the stuff.

Please, Mr and Mrs UFO denier, you can argue that it's all fake but you can't say it doesn't exist because that insults my intelligence ( and, incidentally, suggests you haven't done any research whatsoever).

For example, here's an interview with a very old chap called Boyd Bushman- who was an engineer with a number of top aeorospace and weapons companies including Lockheed Martin. He also held a nifty number of US patents. Bushman was dying when he gave the interview and it's rambly and rather difficult to follow but what he's saying is that there are aliens coming and going at Area 51 and their technology is being reverse engineered there. In support of what he's saying he keeps waving photographs of UFOs and aliens at the camera.

So what do you say to that?

That the whole thing's a scam and Boyd Bushman never existed? Oh but he did. No doubt about it. Here's his obituary.

That he was perpetrating a hoax? Possible- but would a man with a reputation to trash really want to be doing that on his deathbed?

That he was the victim of a hoax himself? Well, again it's possible, that this wasn't some gullible hick. Count the patents.

And, well, I can't think of any other possibility but that he was telling the truth...
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Boom And...? [Oct. 30th, 2014|08:55 am]
We were drinking afternoon tea when there was a noise like an explosion. I did a tour of the house to see if anything had toppled over. Then Ailz had me check the car.

According to the authorities the cause was two RAF fighters breaking the sound barrier as they rushed to intercept a Latvian cargo plane that had wandered away from its flight path.

So the glow on the horizon- that looked like something big was on fire over Pembury way- was entirely unrelated.
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Lady Of The Manor [Oct. 29th, 2014|11:53 am]
On the day she hands in her notice Kirsty comes through the kitchen and greets me with, "Hello, Boss!" No-one's ever said that to me before- or, at least, not anybody who meant it.

Actually I'm not really her boss because she's going to be self-employed. Ailz will help her with the paperwork. There's a pleasing reciprocity about the arrangement. Kirsty says looking after my mother is her dream job and I think she means it.

There's a similar reciprocity about our relations with Matthew. He sees to my mother's garden; Ailz sees to his tax teturns. Money travels in both directions.

What do I contribute? I make everyone cups of tea. I'm the lady of the manor.

Matthew's outside now, dismantling the greenhouse. The wood is solid on one side and mush on the other." It's had a good innings" he says, He remembers it being blown across the garden in the great storm of whenever it was and my parents putting it back together again. No second chances this time.
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Hiring And Firing [Oct. 29th, 2014|08:52 am]
We sacked the care agency we'd been using and hired one of their workers to be my mother's dedicated carer. Ugliness ensued- as might well be imagined. I'm not going into details, but I believe we were fully justified. The agency was rubbish- both as a service provider and an employer.
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UFOs [Oct. 28th, 2014|12:32 pm]
"They" say interstellar travel is impossible, but "they" said the same about powered flight and supersonic flight- and all sorts of other things- so I simply don't believe them.

And if interstellar travel is possible it's more than likely there are civilizations out there that have cracked it.

And if that's the case what's so implausible about aforesaid civilizations wanting to pay us a visit? If we had the technology (and I believe we will eventually) we'd be raring to go.

I'm not saying UFOs are for real (though I think they are) just that I see no very good reason for dismissing them out of hand- apart, that is, for an understandable reluctance to surrender our current (rather cosy) view of the universe.
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Putting Some Thoughts In Order [Oct. 27th, 2014|12:17 pm]
If you think the universe is so much dead matter you'll consider it an amazing fluke that self-reflective life has emerged on planet Earth.

If, on the other hand, you think the universe- down to its tiniest constituent parts- is a living thing you'll expect to find life everywhere- and everywhere developing in the direction of self-aware intelligence.

Brian Cox- TV's newest science bod- is a dead universe man. Or seems to be. (I'll allow he may have been misrepresented in the press) He is reported as saying (in a programme I'm not bothering to watch because I can see I won't agree with it) that we could be the only civilisation in the galaxy.

Cox's position represents scientific orthodoxy as it exists in the year 2014. It's based not on scientific evidence but on a philosophical premise or presupposition.  Dead universe, living universe: Neither thesis is- scientifically speaking- any more respectable than the other.

At present the evidence simply doesn't exist to prove either case. I have my prejudices and can call up evidence which I know my opponents will dismiss out of hand ( Near Death experiences? just the last ditch convulsions of the dying brain.) so I'm not keen to get into arguments.

But I've very few doubts. Ask me how I can be so sure and I'll say because I'm sure. How annoying of me.

I am not, by the way, arguing for the esistence of God. God- as far as I'm concerned- is a distraction, a mistake- the artefact of minds accustomed to think in hierarchical terms. The universe isn't a concern that needs to be created and then bossed about but an endless unfolding. Think fractals. Think depth not height.
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Estate Management And So On [Oct. 27th, 2014|09:47 am]
I walked round the fields to see if any of the trees had lost boughs to hurricane Gonzalo and none of them had- not even the ones that are half dead.

Earlier this year we had lots of blue tits coming to the feeders, now we're down to one or two. I'm thinking the older birds will have died out and the juveniles moved to find territories of their own. We're seeing quite a lot of starlings- which is, it seems, contrary to national trends. I saw a piece in the paper this morning which said that wildlife- and starlings in particular- are being killed off by Prozac leeching into the food chain.

The weather is remarkably mild. Ailz says night time temperatures are equivalent to the day time norm for October. I wear a cap to go out but I've not been bothering with a coat.
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Home Is... [Oct. 26th, 2014|06:40 pm]
That may have been our last protracted stay at the old house. We've left essential furniture in place, but it's looking denuded and sorry. Emotionally I seem to be coping. I keep asking myself if I'm OK and the answer thus far has been, "Sure".

Last time we put the house on the market I had to choose between withdrawing it or having a nervous breakdown. The difference this time is- I suppose- that selling up is only part of a larger plan. Last time we didn't really know what we were going to do next.

Also the old house no longer feels like home. Question: What is there left to keep us in Oldham? Answer: Ailz's mother. Quite.

Today I've been processing the things we brought down in the car. Our pictures are going up on the walls, our books are filling the cupboards. The farm isn't exactly home, but it's getting to feel more and more like it.
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Having The Courage Of One's Convictions [Oct. 26th, 2014|09:33 am]
I was telling Keith about reincarnation and angels and ETs and so on- and clearly he thought it was nonsense so I was adopting an ironic, jokey tone and then I suddenly heard what I was doing and said, "I don't know why I'm laughing because this is what I actually  believe."
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The Past Couple Of Days [Oct. 25th, 2014|09:39 am]
Ailz spent twenty minutes in Newark about thirty years ago and wanted to take another look. First time round she hadn't got to see the castle. It was a Royalist stronghold- one of the last to fall- and the Parliamentarians gutted it but left much of its rind intact. We stayed the night at an Indian Restaurant with rooms attached. The website said bed and breakfast but the bit about breakfast was a lie.

I read a translation of Rilke's first Duino Elegy in the hotel. I want to get a handle on Rilke. All that business with angels is where I want to be right now.

We'd aimed to stop off for a cup of tea in Grantham- famous for Mrs Thatcher. I trotted round the church- which Simon Jenkins says has the finest spire in England- but we couldn't find a parking place in the town centre-which looked dull anyway- so we carried on down the road into Melton Mowbray- famous for pies and Stilton- which is much jollier. I came across this wonderfully preserved young person in the church. It's not often you find an alabaster effigy that hasn't been Killroyed by generations of bored choirboys. I understand she's a 14th century member of the Brandeis family but time, that thief, seems to have walked off with her name.


Then we went to Leicester to see Alice and Jaymz and Ivy. We handed over black and orange Halloween balloons and a witch's outfit.


As usual the M25 was a succession of queues and congestions .

And here we are again. Barbara the carer is in charge and I'm letting her carry on as she chooses (which includes having the radio on at breakfast- Gah!) because it's easier for everyone.  I wished my mother "Good morning". And she turned to Barbara once my back was turned and asked her who I was.
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