Wednesday, 27 October 2021

THIS BLOG IS NOW ARCHIVED

Hail and be blessed.

Although I have no intention of deleting this blog, circumstances now necessitate that I cease to post new material here. Therefore, this blog is now officially archived.

This blog will remain online to allow public access to all the material stored. There is a great deal of work saved here and I have no intention of removing it from the public arena.

Some of this material I will be moving to my new wordpress blog and all new material will be posted there in future or on tumblr.

My active blog can be found here - https://chatteringmagpie.wordpress.com/

My tumblr site is here -

https://chattering-magpie-uk.tumblr.com/

By flesh, blood and bone. Daniel B. Griffith the Chattering Magpie.

Saturday, 18 September 2021

GOOGLEBLOGSPOT EMAIL NOTIFICATION STOPPING

 If you are reading this via an email notification from Google, congratulations but very soon you will cease to get any such notification. Google are stopping or potentially by the time anyone does actually read this, stopped; the email notification to blog followers. This simply put, means that you will not be alerted to any future postings to my Google Blog.

Although Google have not stated so in any announcement, I strongly suspect that the next step; will be the closure of their blogging platform. Therefore, if you wish to keep up to date and be notified of my activities, my articles and any other such thing. I strongly urge you to follow me on FACEBOOK (I know I'm sorry) AND follow me on my WORDPRESS blog. The links to both are below.

In the meantime I will endeavour to transfer some of my archive over from Googleblogspot to Wordpress but this is likely to take sometime.

Thank you for reading this and thank you for following.

Daniel.

Daniel Bran Griffith - The Chattering Magpie ON FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100025530907172

Daniel Bran Griffith – The Chattering Magpie ON WORDPRESS

https://chatteringmagpie.wordpress.com/

Also on tumblr

https://chattering-magpie-uk.tumblr.com/

Saturday, 11 September 2021

CONJURATION OF THE BLOG ~ paraphrase from the Book of Ceremonial Magic by Arthur Edward Waite (1913).

I conjure thee, O Blog, to be useful and profitable unto all who shall have recourse to thee for the success of their affairs. I conjure thee anew, by the virtue of the Blood of Jesus Christ, contained daily in the chalice, to be serviceable unto all those who shall read thee. I exorcise thee, in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity!

*****

I conjure and command you, O Spirits, all and so many as ye aye, to accept this Blog with good grace, so that whensoever we may read it, the same being approved and recognised as in proper form and valid, you shall be constrained to appear in comely human form when you are called, accordingly as the reader shall judge. In no circumstances shall you make any attempt upon the body, soul or spirit of the reader, nor inflict any harm on those who may accompany him, either by mutterings, tempests, noise, scandals, nor yet by lesion or by hindrance in the execution of the commands of this Blog I conjure you to appear immediately when the conjuration is made, to execute without dallying all that is written and enumerated in its proper place in the said Blog. You shall obey, serve, instruct, impart and Perform all in your power for the benefit of those who command you, and the whole without illusion. If perchance some of the invoked spirits be unable to come or appear when required, they shall be bound over to send others vested with their power, who also shall swear solemnly to execute all that the reader may demand, and ye are all hereby enjoined by the Most Holy Names of the Omnipotent Living God, ELOYM, JAH, EL, ELOY, TETRAGRAMMATON, to fulfil everything as it is set forth above. If ye obey me not, I will force you to abide in torments for a thousand years, as also if any one of you receive not this Blog with entire resignation to the will of the reader.

9/11 Twenty Years On

Do you remember where you were? Do you remember your feelings and your thoughts, as the news reports came through? I remember very well. I remember where I was, I remember my confused thoughts and feelings. I remember a total sense of bewilderment. Looking back over twenty years, I remember much more than I expected. The media reports and public reaction after the event, being most likely responsible for those seared memories.

It was Tuesday the 11th of September 2001, being English we put the numbers before the month. The day began with an early start and a meeting with two of my friends for a trip out. We were all at university back then. I was a mature student, Maxim and Adam were younger.

We changed buses at Derby and headed out on the Manchester route, reaching the village of Rowsley in the late morning. It was a slightly overcast day, with patches of bright sunlight in competition with small formations of cloud. The countryside about us was speckled by these patches of shade and sunlight. The day was neither cool nor too warm, it was an ideal day for a hike across the lower Peak District.

We began the slow but enjoyable climb from the village, up to the plateau of Stanton Moor. We meandered our way, passing other quaint English villages, attractive gardens and fields of sheep. We were completely cut off from the outside world. That sense of peace was then, as much of an attraction as it is now. We were away from the busy roads, very few aeroplanes went over us and we saw only a few fellow ramblers. Our mobile telephones, which were still something of a novelty in 2001; had long ceased to receive a signal.

We almost stumbled upon the Nine Ladies Stone Circle, the heather and trees obscured our view as we came up from the north side, the Reform Tower standing far off to our left. This stone circle which may technically be a henge; as there is evidence of what could be an eroded bank around it, is ancient. It was built during the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age, it is believed to be between three and six thousand years old. The lower figure being favoured by the majority of archaeologists, places the structure in the Bronze Age.

It was the first visit to this part of the Peak District for my friends, so we spent a short time exploring the immediate area and viewing the stone circle. We spoke very briefly to other hikers, all equally oblivious to the death and destruction now taking place across the Atlantic. The peace, tranquilly and emptiness of the moor, would stand in stark contrast; to the horrific chaos of which we were soon to learn.

We began to head south for Birchover, walking across an expanse of deserted moorland. We entered the village looking for a suitable public house or perhaps a shop for snacks. We came down from the hills to enter an equally deserted village. The school bus had not yet been through, so there were no children out and the Red Lion was closed. We found the village shop and I remained outside. Max and Adam entered.

They came out with snacks and news. Adam was pale and concerned. Max was rather flushed. His words, 'The Russians have dropped the bomb, New York is on fire.' One can never really tell with Max whether he is joking or not. I really had no idea what to make of his words or his expression. I went into the shop myself. There was a television on a shelf in the corner, two shop workers and two, perhaps three customers were watching it. This was the largest group of people we had seen since we left Rowsley. It was not a modern television like we have now, flat screen and colour. It was an old portable black and white. On the small fifteen inch screen the news played over and over, showing at least one Boeing jet hit a tower.

I was speechless. I turned to Max and Adam saying, 'Is this real?' I thought I was watching a video, it looked so much like a Hollywood blockbuster. I could not accept the reality of the situation. Someone said, 'It's real.' Another said, 'It's a terrible accident.' Max said, 'It's the Russians.' I was mentally paralysed by a deep sense of disbelief and resentment. The latter caused by fear. How dare Russia start a war and ruin our lives.

We stayed there for a few minutes, long enough to ascertain that it was not the Russians or the start of a Nuclear war. We left the shop and headed out of the village to wander home. We believed that there had been a terrible accident, the full enormity of the situation would not become apparent for quite some time. It was all so distant and faraway, a tragedy yes but not really touching us.

No doubt many people reading this piece will now laugh but prior to the 11th of September 2001, I had never heard of the Twin Towers. I was in complete ignorance of the existence of the World Trade Centre and why would I not be? It had no bearing or relevance upon my own existence then. I can however, assure the reader that I did know that New York did exist. I am not that insular nor oblivious, to the greater world environment.

We made our way out across farmland in the general direction of Winster and the river Derwent. Here my usual lack of any sense of direction and my poor map reading skills, became a minor hindrance. We missed Minster, got lost and eventually found our way back to the river Derwent by a ridiculously convoluted route. Not that it was a major issue, we were still walking through the beautiful Derbyshire countryside, the weather had improved. It was warm, we had bright sunshine and magnificent views across the Derwent valley.

Our journey home once we had found the correct bridge and the main road, was uneventful. True that we had passed through some dense woodland and a field of collapsed mine workings, carefully avoiding the pits as we went. It was perhaps not the safest route out but we lived to tell the tale. There was little or no mention of the events in New York on the journey home. Our fellow bus travellers, many on their way home from work in Bakewell and Matlock, were as oblivious as we were to the details of the event. It was only once we were all safely back home, with access to others, the television and news reports; that the true catastrophic nature of events became clear.

In those first few days and this may seem quite at odds, with what many of the younger generation will now know. There was not a universal outpouring of grief and support for the USA. Many in the UK and in continental Europe, while expressing sadness at the loss of life, observed that US foreign policy was at fault. It was suggested that decisions made by successive US Governments since the fifties, bore some responsibility for the radicalisation of terrorists across the world.

Others observed that while countries such as the UK, France, Germany and Spain had suffered acts of terrorism, the USA had not always been as supportive as the people of those countries would have wished. These views, expressed not by Government officials but by citizens; illustrated that USA foreign policy had been frequently viewed with suspicion.

These opinions which we rarely hear today, should not in any way detract from or devalue the tragic loss of life. Approximately three thousand people lost their lives that day or died of their injuries soon after. Whatever the politics, the blame or the cause, people died. Innocent people died. The full impact, the importance and approximation of victim numbers, was not fully appreciated in those first few days after the event.

Whatever the politics and whatever the consequences that followed, the attack of the 11th of September 2021 was a criminal act. It was an act of terror, a catastrophe and those that died were murdered. Rather than apportion blame and make vain inappropriate excuses, we should remember the victims of terrorism, before, then and since.



Friday, 3 September 2021

Facebook Weirdness

Regular readers of my blogs, assuming there are such a thing as regular readers; will be aware of my love-hate relationship with the World Wide Web. Some of you may even be aware of my disappointment, apropos my failure to extricate myself from Facebook.

I resent our forced dependence upon the electronic environment, made all the more necessary post-COVID. Throughout the pandemic we have out of necessity embraced a new way of communication. Gone have the face to face appointments with doctors, to be replaced with webcam meetings and medications are now ordered on-line, not always smoothly. Even before COVID we were often required to email companies, apply for jobs on-line and if using the telephone, we must press buttons. Gone had the personal touch then and now post-COVID, this is more apparent.

It has frequently been observed that I am Internet aware and that I am quite capable of using the computer for my day to day needs. This is flattering, because I do not think of myself as being Internet aware. I am indeed capable of maintaining blogs and photography portfolios. Yet I frequently find some web based activities, such as ordering medications and making appointments on-line, something of a challenge. I know enough to 'get by' and to use the Internet for my necessary needs. I am left wondering how others less 'aware' than I, manage today.

It has also been observed that my approach to Facebook, is distinctly different to that of others and that I regard the platform as a tool. Facebook is superficial in its general content and is therefore, used for my own selfish needs. My approach to Facebook is that it satisfies certain basic requirements. I can communicate with family and friends by private message. I can also network with professionals. I can promote my websites (links below) and finally, I can share miscellaneous links and photographs as the need arises. I am far less reliant on Facebook and other forms of (un)social media than many are today.

Although I have failed to remove Facebook from my life entirely, finally recognising that it is or rather can be, a useful tool. Facebook is an adjunct to my life needs, rather than a replacement for them. I have succeeded in reducing my activities and reliance in some areas. Although my group activity is minimised, I do find the notification of local events from 'Like Pages' to be of benefit. I do observe however; that without the use of Fluff Buster and Ad-Block, Facebook would be near unusable. I recommend them both (links below).

I am equally successful in maintaining a manageable friend list, hovering at around the five-hundred mark. I am not a friend collector and unless there is active communication, networking or some other benefit, I see little point in contact. The idea of a friend list measured in the thousands strikes me as unnecessary and quite peculiar.

I am not altogether familiar with what is fashionable regards Facebook etiquette today, being a rather old fashioned gentleman myself. Which means that 'text-speak' and other colloquialisms are relatively unknown to me. For which I am grateful but Internet behaviours still leave me puzzled.

If I receive a friend request from someone unknown, I send a polite 'who are you?' message. If I do not get a reply, I delete the request. I will not add people for the sake of collecting. Sometimes my message is left unread but I still delete the friend request. If a person is not checking their messages, then they are unlikely to engage and sometimes, these requests come from 'bots.' There are other times when one gets a friend request or a message that is best described as spam. These are usually of the begging for financial aid nature and are best ignored, as any other form of spam.

I was reminded of my lack of reliance on Facebook earlier this week, as when randomly checking the platform; I discovered two account restriction alerts. In the first week of August I was given yet again, a Facebook ban. I had uploaded an inappropriate image. There is no argument that it was inappropriate, I shared a file as a mass upload and I did not scrutinise the content carefully. If I had, the file would have been deleted and not shared. A bad taste cartoon slipped through my usual careful checks, I was careless. I was at fault and I was banned from posting on Facebook for up to forty-eight  hours. Since I was still able to use messenger however, the inconvenience was minimal.

I thought nothing more of the ban, until earlier this week; when I discovered the two alerts. I have been banned for thirty days from the 7th August 2021. I can neither 'go live' nor 'advertise.' I had not noticed these bans. I am not entirely sure what 'going live' is anyway and as for the advertising, I am still sharing links to my Ebay site (yes you guessed it, there is a link below). I have apparently been banned by Facebook, from using services I have never used and that I have no plans to use. I was unaware of the bans, because my normal use of the platform was then and still is, unaffected.

Clearly Facebook considers the two actions I have been prevented from using, to be of some importance. A ban is meant to be a punishment, is it not? Clearly some users of Facebook, do actively use the two options and I assume, must find them to be of benefit. I find myself simply perplexed and quite amused. I am banned from doing something I wouldn't do, I had not even realised I was banned until the last week of the ban and it confirms to me; that Facebook regards itself as being far more important than it really is.

OUR ELECTRONIC DEPENDENCE

https://chatteringmagpie-summonerofthehearth.blogspot.com/2019/02/our-electronic-dependence.html

FACEBOOK AND THE PUZZLE THAT ARE FRIEND REQUESTS

https://chatteringmagpie-summonerofthehearth.blogspot.com/2018/05/facebook-and-puzzle-that-are-friend.html

GAMBIAN SCAMMERS

https://chatteringmagpie-summonerofthehearth.blogspot.com/2018/05/gambian-scammers.html

The Toxic Internet & Intolerance

https://chatteringmagpie-summonerofthehearth.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-toxic-internet-intolerance.html

FAREWELL FACEBOOK?

https://chatteringmagpie-summonerofthehearth.blogspot.com/2018/12/farewell-facebook.html

A failure of Intuition

https://chatteringmagpie.wordpress.com/2021/02/01/a-failure-of-intuition/

IN PRAISE OF FLUFF BUSTING PURITY

https://chatteringmagpie.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/in-praise-of-fluff-busting-purity/

IN PRAISE OF AD-BLOCK

https://chatteringmagpie.wordpress.com/2020/12/06/in-praise-of-ad-block/

My Photography

https://www.deviantart.com/chattering-magpie

My Ebay

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/chattering-magpie