January 14, 2018

What is Truth? There are no simple answers to complex issues…..

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:26 am by Aleksan

What is Truth? quoth jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer (Francis Bacon, Essays) – one of my favourite quotes particularly relevant to these times. There is a lack of trust in Journalists, Broadcasters and Politicians and no one knows anymore what is true and where to find the truth.

Accusations of Fake News are everywhere and communities are divided by populist demagogues with opposing truths and solutions, more often than not based on little or no evidence, but swayed by emotion, nationalism, racism or some other “ism” – populism is all about giving people simple answers to complex questions, and populist views are posed as truths backed up by threats of the fear of what terrible doom and destruction will occur if their often extreme and simple solutions are ignored.

There is no one single Truth – Truth is a complex multi faceted entity which looks different depending from where it is viewed. Let us beware of populist solutions, especially those on Social Media. Simple solutions to complex issues swallowed by the fearful can lead to serious indigestion and could prove fatal….

January 13, 2018

Clever dog!

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:20 pm by Aleksan

They say dogs have an intelligence equivalent to a 3 year old human and on average know 250 words. But this is using the sort of intelligence assessment appropriate to Homo so called Sapiens. Sammy has a deep wisdom and intelligence in dog terms, and I think he would survive an environmental disaster much better than most of us, as would all dogs. I bet a Human knows a small percentage of the smells a dog knows and is probably not so good at facial recognition. Let’s not forget that dogs have been training us for over 10 thousand years, rather successfully….

January 9, 2018

Woe is me! Goodbye Christmas Tree…

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:07 pm by Aleksan

Woe is me for there is a gap in my life! It is a cold miserable damp day and yet, despite my protestations the cruel womenfolk have switched off the sparkly lights and carted the Christmas Tree off to the very back of our big shed where it will be covered up, and sleep through Spring, Summer and Autumn. They let me say goodbye, but now say I must man up and get my fingers out. At least I can have my armchair back by the radiator and window….

January 7, 2018

Can Democracy deliver? Education and critical thinking may help….

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:50 am by Aleksan

Sometimes I look at the world and see so much ignorance, bullying, abuse and stupidity that I despair, and yearn for the appearance of the proverbial “Philosopher King” or should that be “Philosopher Queen”? I see the various Populist movements and Alt Right groups in the US and Europe, and observe that the very antithesis of a Philosopher King is President of the US – a man elected by many people in a Democratic process in his country.

I muse that when 50% of any population have IQs below 100 then perhaps the lowest common denominator is inevitable in a Democratic process. But isn’t it really more about information that can be trusted and education levels – both comparatively low in the US it seems?

Does this mean that Democratic countries will always fail and that Dictatorships like China must inevitably succeed? Because they don’t need to take account of Democratic views or human rights?

So how do we improve things….as Churchill said Democracy has many flaws but jaw jaw is better than war, war. If we are not to become ruled by the elite, or brought down by the ignorant we must find ways of making Democracy work better so we get good but strong leaders.

As an old fashioned Liberal (but a member of the Green Party) I believe the solution must always be education – and this means creating a fair environment so that the children of the future have equal and fair opportunities for education from birth, and are taught critical thinking skills early in Primary education. This is my Manifesto for 2018 and I commend it to the House!

January 4, 2018

A.D. 982. King Æthelred to Leofric; grant of 3 hides (mansae) and 30 iugera at Longstock, Hants. Latin with English bounds.

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:38 pm by Aleksan

For those interested in our ancient local history – this document is mostly in Latin, including a high powered bunch of signatories,one of whom is Queen Ælfðryð – who founded Wherwell Priory. Note especially the piece in Anglo-Saxon (early English) marking the bounds of the Longstock land granted to Leofric (husband of Lady Godiva) by King Æthelred, and you will also learn the correct way to pronouce Houghton – “Hohtuninga”

A.D. 982. King Æthelred to Leofric; grant of 3 hides (mansae) and 30 iugera at Longstock, Hants. Latin with English bounds.

Archive: Winchester, Old Minster

MSS: 1. BL Add. 15350, 67v-68v (s. xii)
2. BL Add. 15350, 68v-69r (s. xii; no bounds)

Printed: K 633; Pierquin, Recueil, pt 4, no. 53.

Comments: Grundy, Hants. 1926, pp. 177-9, on bounds; Finberg, ECW, no. 133, authentic; Hart 1970/1, p. 31 (nos 118-19), authentic; HRH, p. 231, subscriptions are consistent; Keynes 1980, pp. 240-1, authentic.

Ðis is ðara þreora hida and .xxx. æcera boc æt Stoce, ðæ Æðelred cing gebocodæ Leofrice on ece yrfe.

Creaturarum inuestigabili plasmatore ac earundum inaestimabili dispositore, qui natiua sua incomprehensibili dispositione cuncta a primordio sui regit atque disponit, in perenni saeculorum aeternitate regni moderamina coercente; eius inolita miseratione et gratiosa largitate, ego Æðelred totius Brittannicae nationis basileus aequa atque haereditaria sorte praelatus, ruris quandam sed communem portionem, quam huius nationis indigenae usitato æt Stoce nuncupant onomate, cuipiam michi pistica deuotione subnixo uocitamine Leofrico, tres uidelicet mansas ac .xxx. iugerum dimensionem, in aeternam possessionem benigne concedo, ut ipse uita comite absque ulla contradictione cum prosperitate meam hanc regalem donationem uoti compos aeterna possideat haereditate, et ipsam cum omnibus illuc rite pertinentibus pascuis, siluis, pratis et campis, aeternaliter possidens, post uitae suae lancem cuicunque sibi placuerit in perennem derelinquat haereditatem. Sit autem rus praenotatum ab omni terrenae seruitutis iugo liberum, excepta expeditione, pontis arcisue restauratione. Si quis igitur ausu temerario hanc cartam meo iure caraxatam in aliud quicquam proterue corrumpere praesumpserit, sciat se absque omni dubietate ab aecclesiae dei consortio in hac uita priuatum, et in futuro saeculo non se dubitet sed certissime sciat inter omnium pariter malignorum spirituum cateruas aeternis gehennae incendiis cum Iuda Christi proditore sine fine cruciandum, si non humili et congrua satisfactione poenituerit quod contra nostrum deliquit decretum.

Ærest seo landmearce lið of Terstan upp be Hohtuninga mearce oð hyt cymð to middanweardes eorðbyrig; swa hit geð to Heanbyrig; of Heanbyrig hit gæð to widian byrig; of widian byrig nyðer be ðære dæne oð hyt cymð nyðer to ðam mylenhammæ and se mylenham and se myln ðærto and ðæs mearclandes swa micel swa to þrim hidon gebyrað.

Anno dominicae incarnationis nongentesimo .LXXXII. indictione uero .X. scripta est haec carta, his testibus consentientibus quorum inferius nomina caraxantur.
+ Ego Æðelred rex praefatam donationem cum sanctae crucis impressione donaui.
+ Ego Dunstanus Dorobernensis aecclesiae archiepiscopus consensi.
+ Ego Oswold Eboracensis aecclesiae archiepiscopus consignaui.
+ Ego Æðelwold Wintoniensis aecclesiae episcopus confirmaui.
+ Ego Ælfstan episcopus condonaui.
+ Ego Ælfstan episcopus corroboraui.
+ Ego Æscwig episcopus conscripsi.
+ Ego Aðulf episcopus consolidaui.
+ Ego Ælfeah episcopus adquieui.
+ Ego Ælfric episcopus non renui.
+ Ego Æðelsige episcopus non abnui.
+ Ego Æðelgar episcopus compressi.
+ Ego Wulfgar episcopus consensi.

+ Ego Ðeodred episcopus conclusi.
+ Ego Ælfðryð regina.
+ Ego Ælfhære dux.
+ Ego Ælfwine dux.
+ Ego Æðelwine dux.
+ Ego Beorhtnoð dux.
+ Ego Æðelweard dux.
+ Ego Eadwine dux.
+ Ego Godwine dux.
+ Ego Ælfwold abbas.
+ Ego Godwine abbas.
+ Ego Æðelweard abbas.
+ Ego Ælfhun abbas.
+ Ego Beorhtnoð abbas.
+ Ego Ealdulf abbas.
+ Ego Leofric abbas.
+ Ego Sigeric abbas.
+ Ego Ordbirht abbas.
+ Ego Ealdred abbas.
+ Ego Ælfweard minister.
+ Ego Ordulf minister.
+ Ego Wulfric minister.
+ Ego Ælfric minister.
+ Ego Wulfsige minister.
+ Ego Leofric minister.
+ Ego Æðelwig minister.
+ Ego Ælfric minister.
+ Ego Ordnoð minister.
+ Ego Æðelnoð minister.
+ Ego Leofsige minister.
+ Ego Æðelsige minister.
+ Ego Ælfsige minister.
+ Ego Wulfric minister.

An Open Letter to Test Valley Borough Council Community Governance Review

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:16 pm by Aleksan

Dear Reviewers,

I am writing to express my strong opposition to any border changes between Stockbridge on the East bank of the River Test and Longstock on the Right bank of the River Test. These two communities have distinct identities and it is important that Longstock remains a diverse community with its range of housing options and Community School. It should not just become a residential gentrified add on to Stockbridge. It must be remembered that in the Norman Doomsday book Longstock is called Stoches and Stockbridge is White Somborne – later becoming Stockbridge because of it association with the older community of Longstock, created by the West Saxons.

The River Test has been a boundary between the two communities for thousands of years, and marked the boundary between the Ancient British Tribes of the Durotriges, West side – Danebury and Houghton Down based. and Belgae on the Left Side – Winchester based.

To summarise the Ancient boundary marked by the River Test has been used by Ancient Britons, Romans, Saxons, Norman’s, and historically right up to the present time. The Ancient Britons called the River “Terstan” meaning Fast Waters and the Romans called it Trexula. The Saxons referred to it as Terstan In their records. The River Test is an Ancient and natural boundary – and still marks an important divide between the two distinct communities of Longstock and Stockbridge. As a resident of Longstock for 73 years I say let us honour the Ancestors, Ancient and Modern and let the Boundary stand.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Alexander J Burnfield

Terstan Longstock

January 2, 2018

Four Doctors help with Healing – or are there more?

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:30 am by Aleksan

Well it’s a New Year and my progress continues – each day a little better, a little more energy and an improving appetite. My four Doctors have been a great help – Dr Wholesome Diet, Dr Regular Walk, Dr Plenty of Sleep, and Dr Laugh…Sarah J tells me that I have forgotten a certain Dr Nuts – I guess that he, or she, is probably an important Medico – but there are also lots of great friends, family, my ever patient wife Penny, and my dog Sam who have contributed to my healing as well as my connection to the Gods and Goddesses of Nature and my special friends in the Forest who mean so much to me – a multi dimensional Web weaving though time, space and and the realms beyond….Thanks to you all, and have a great year xxx

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