“The Boer War”

Seen as I’d lived in the country for 15 years, and knew a lot more about the Zulu War than I did about the Boer War, I thought that it was about time I read about it.

This is where the problems come in. Yes, it looks to be meticulously researched, but some of the geography, especially in my “home” province of Natal, was plain wrong. Also some of pronunciations. But I can forgive them that. There was a lot say about the battles, which was good.

Two of the most controversial incidents of the war are of course discussed: the scorching of the Boer farms and also the concentration camps that were set up by the British. That was part of the British strategy, to get the Boers into an ever decreasing area to fight so eventually they would surrender unconditionally. The scorched-earth policy was dealt with quite well.

I was expecting the authors to be vitriolic towards the British regarding the concentration camps, given their role in World War II. And I expected a whole chapter or two about this subject. Nope, how wrong I was. It was just described, to me, as just another tool of war, that any of the participants of any war could use. That’s where I have a big problem with the book.

There is more said in the book about the fact that the non-whites were not given the vote, and were naturally treated badly by the Afrikaaners. But surely the point is this: based on what happened before and afterwards, it was always going to be an issue. But treating the concentration camps as just another tool of war, which could be seen later on in 20th Century history as genocide, was treating like it was some sort of everyday occurance when two countries go to war.

I know that the Afrikanners, especially after 1948, got and still get a bad press, and for good reason. I just feel that the authors portrayed the use of concentration camps as a way of saying, “Well, there’s 3000 less Afrikaaners.”

Old prejudices die hard, don’t they.

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Time To Relax

This last weekend I went with my parents to spend the weekend in Sheffield. We have old friends (friends for 31 years and counting, and a friendship forged 6,000 miles away as next door neighbours). Their parents live in Blackpool, and they live in Sheffield, or more to the point, their daughter does.

She has a terrific family herself, and has three adorable daughters. One is growing up quite quickly, one is a creative sould who likes playing the guitar, and the other is an aspiring gymnast, and winner of quite a few medals.

So, the grown-ups drank, ate a good meal and talked some more, until about 1am on Sunday. It’s the old cliche, talking can be therapeutic.

A fantastic weekend.

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Write, Damnit!

Wow. Another couple of weeks, and no progress in increasing the number of posts…

I’m not as prolific a poster as I can be: after all I’ve been paying for the website where threelightsnews lives. I know I may not have a lot to write about, but I want to write.

To me, my writing seems clipped, like I’ve lost interest half way through writing. It’s true I’ve got loads of distractions when I write, but not that many.

It would be an easy excuse to blame the hours I do at work, and I suppose, in a way it is correct. All I would write about is what happened whilst I was on my shift, which would be really boring.

Maybe I should just write…

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Sheesh.

Sheesh. The past three days have been busy in my line of work.

All of a sudden, because of the warm weather, the demand for our services increases.

But I’m glad I have three days off, so I can enjoy my new car.

 

 

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Car…

Well, that idea of a post every day for the next few days starting yesterday went to pot, didn’t it? My excuse is that I was a bit too tired when I came home last night. I arrived home at 9pm and went to bed at 10.30pm, absolutely shattered. I slept for 9 hours flat…

Anywho…(and I only hope the posts don’t appear forced out of me).

Last Friday, I went out and bought myself a new car. I’d done the legwork, compared prices, looked at reliability, and settled on a Hyundai i10. The key here, I think, is reliability. I’m long past the age of getting a “flash” car. The car isn’t the best in looks, but it’s got good reviews.

And the more I drive it, the more I think I made a good choice. I have power steering, air con, electric windows, immobiliser, all things I didn’t have in my last car, a VW Polo. I paid a reasonable price for it, but it handles like a more expensive car.

 

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Bloggy, Bloggy, Bloggy

My interest in this here blog has been woefully waning as of late.

I’ve done all sorts of things, but I have always seemed to have forgotten to mention it on here. Not that I don’t think that it should be posted, this blog is the last thing I want to turn to. Maybe because my last batch of weird hours at work ended up being late finish hours (11.30pm). Maybe.

I’m active on Twitter, which serves a different purpose, but I’m also active on the dreaded Facebook. I don’t like Facebook even at the best of times, but why do I keep on going back to it just about every single day then?! I don’t post my whole life on there, but it’s good to keep in touch with family and friends. But i hate using it…Oh well.

What I’ve just decided, anyway, is to try and do a post a day for the next few days (starting tomorrow), and see where that leads. I like my blog. I’ve been writing a blog for about 8 or 9 years now, and I don’t want to stop posting.

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A Case Of “I Told You So”

Well, the World Cup is fast approaching the knock-out stage, and England, maybe predictably, have come home with their tails between their collective legs. Their plane landed in Manchester to drop off the players whose clubs and homes are up norf, and went to Luton to drop off the rest of them daaan saaaf. And quite rightly, there was absolutely no fanfare whatsoever.

I had a post planned to go through everything, but I’ve just changed my mind. This picture sums it up correctly:

Yup, Correct

Yup, Correct

That is all.

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World Cup? Meh.

It really makes a change that I am viewing the coming World Cup with a feeling of not caring what happens at all. Because I’d lived in South Africa, a place where World Cups were not shown, it was all a bit new when the TV schedules in 1990 had the World Cup. I have been following them ever since, especially when the tournament went to South Africa, and even to my home city.

But now?

I suppose it may be because the same players that under-performed when picked – indeed, the same players were always picked, or the fact that playing for their club is more inportant playing for their country, that there is a certain section of “fans” (me included), who see England as an under-achieving team, and not worthy of any sor of lordly status whenever they play.

I know that as a result of changes made to the England setup that the pressure is off the players, but I just feel, well, meh.

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“Is This All Wrong? Yes. It. Is!”

Now there’s one thing I’m sure of: that I like reading about history. It’s quite a sad fact that I chose Accountancy at school over History. A long story, that goes all the way back to writing an essay in a History exam, where our class had not been even shown how to ride an essay, let alone one arguing historical fact. I don’t know why accountancy: I couldn’t ever balance the balance sheets for the exercises and tests we were given…

Anyways, I also like watching history programmes, especially the ones churned out by the BBC (BBC4, mostly). I tend to go to the documentary channels that are on. They even had a channel called “The History Channel”, which should loads of interesting series and programmes, and even repeated classics like the seminal “World At War”. They’d organised a “History +1″ channel, which eventually morphed into “The Military Channel”, as about 40% of the output was about warfare.

About 18 months ago (maybe more, maybe less), this all changed. They started showing “Ice Road Truckers”, a reality series, on History Channel. It was quite a hit at the time. And then more and more reality-based programmes came on. Now the History Channel is full of them – “Storage Wars” (about buying other peoples possesions which have been left in storage companies), “Car Wars” (renovating and fixing cars) , “Ax Men” (what lumberjacks do all day) etc etc.

I absolutely hate reality programmes, loath them with a passion. I honestly do not see the point of them. I’d read somewhere that there are fewer American sitcoms now than what there ever has been because the cost of producing them is expensive, whereas reality programs are cheap to make. I understand this because of the economic situation, but still.

The Military channel changed itself into “H2″, no doubt meaning “History 2″. This channel shows the occasional history programme, and war programme like the Military Channel and the original History Channel did. But then you have “Ancient Aliens”, “UFO Files”, “Conspiracies: Unsealed” and “Alien Files: Unsealed” – or something like that. They are all a load of crap. You have to assume that aliens exist, and also that conspiracies exisit at every turn, and that the Ancient Egyptians were really worshipping aliens, and that just about every other ancient civilisation worshipped aliens too.

One of the main people they interview is George Gsoukalos, a guy who, quite frankly, is a bit of a phoney. I suppose he’s trying to do his best with very little proof, but everything he sees, oh, it’s aliens. aliensHis favourite phrase is “Is such a thing possible. Yes, it is.” Everything has to do with aliens, and worshipping things from the sky. But where he thinks it’s all aliens, the rest of us are thinking, well, maybe we need proof, which we are unlikely to get, so you dismiss it from your thinking.

I wish it would stop. You find the documentaries you want to watch, but these, where they are nothing but fantasy, I can do without.

So, why then is the History Channel called The History Channel, if there is no history on it.

But, I’ll have to admit. H2 is trying it’s best, when it does do History. “Americal Presidents.” and also a series about how recent movies were made. I suppose it’s how far back you want your history to start – recent or further back.

And I wonder why I don’t watch that much TV…

 

 

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When’s The Next Holiday?!

Even though I’ve been back from my holidays for about 2 weeks now, it’s only today that I’ve felt the need to visit my blog, and write something.

I had the holiday I wanted: one where I could completely unwind and relax. It had the desired effect. Added to that, even though the weather was gloriously warm for about 99% of the time (rained once for about 5 minutes, and even then, just spitting), I’ve now perfected a way of staying out in the sun and not burning, but coming back looking a lot healthier and tanned than when I left (2 weeks and the tan is still there! Excellent!).

I took my Kindle with me, and managed to read two books (“Invictus” – the one they based the movie about – a review about it will undoubtedly follow soon, and “Plagueis”, a Star Wars Expanded Universe novel, which I wish they would film, as it explains what happens in the first Star Wars movie, “The Phantom Menace”. It explains things a lot more, and what caused the events of that irst movie to happen. A review on that might be up soon).

And then, it’s back to the grind, serving the Great British Public (GBP), working quite weird hours. Luckily, the day’s haven’t been that busy, so it’s a bonus. I still get shouted at and sworn at by the GBP, but that’s par for the course).

Anyway, got two days off. So, I’m happy about that, but just feeling that I need another holiday!

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