Saturday, January 13, 2018

Bright Side of life

The  weather in the UK  recently has been dull and sunless hence the need in darkest mid winter to look on the bright side of life.

For the UK the predictions of Europhile politicians such as  George Osborne, that upon voting to  leave the EU, the country would enter an immediate recession and unemployment would soar,  have so far turned out to be the opposite of reality. UK industrial growth continues and there is almost full employment  which  hopefully is being enjoyed also by our European neighbours.

There is no major war in the world. That is not to say that thugs such as ISIS are filtering away but the absence of a major nation against nation war is given  the history of such occurrences in the lives of mankind, is truly positive.

The world's population is on average being lifted out of poverty - there is still much to be done and the poor will always be with us. Nonetheless the mean poverty line in the UK is far higher now than a generation or so ago.

World trade, despite barriers  imposed by groups such as the EU, is  still increasing currently at 4% or 5% I believe.

Looking back, recessions caused by bankers' or politicians' greed prove to be temporary with the wish of most individuals to better themselves soon coming to the fore to overcome these.

Education Education Education as Tony Blair used to say is very much part of society and though there still seems much to be done, every child in the UK  up to the age of 18 may be educated to a reasonable standard free of direct payment.  University education is then possible for those who  wish  and/or have the  aptitude  with no up front  cost for university fees being required. A far larger percentage of young people in the UK today attend higher education at University than was the case only a generation ago.

Freedom - to do much as one wishes provided that that does not impinge on one's neighbour overmuch, is so prevalent that it is almost taken for granted in the UK.

Rationing - wiped out in the distant past.

Small pox - wiped out in the past.

Tolerance within society has increased - thus for example, what one dresses in, when and how, rarely raises a negative comment whereas even in the 1970s  the absence of say  a bowler hat for gentlemen working in London, at least caused eyebrows to be raised.

Finally  and most importantly, one today  has complete freedom to adhere to any religion or none.

Long may the above continue.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

London Stock Exchange/AIM Picks for 2018

2018 may prove to be a difficult year for investors in stocks and shares at least in the UK. Already house prices at least in London are showing signs of beginning to fall although so far quite gently. The fall may be caused partly by increases in stamp duty for some higher priced homes but even so, falls in house prices may be mirrored by falls in the prices of stocks and shares.

Additionally of course share indices in many Western countries including those in the UK and USA have reached record levels and many newspapers and experts, are predicting falls.

Bearing in mind the dark investing clouds that may be forming, my picks for 2018 are:

1. CLNR - Cluff Natural Resourses -  I hope will do a deal for its North Sea Gas interests this year.
Bid share price 2.75p
2. GGP - Greatland Gold - Results of one of its  Australian mining operations. expected this year.
Bid share price 2.23p
3. BLU - Blue Star Capital - the sum of its parts seems worth more than its share  price at present.
Bid share price 0.54p
4. MSYS - Microsaic Systems - Its sp has fallen over a couple of years  which fall seems overdone.
Bid share price 4p
5. CHAL - Challenger Acquisitions - President Trump's USA dash for cash may mean their NY wheel will be built in 2018.
Bid share price 0.55p

Of course the share prices of the above companies may be hit as hard as other share prices in a crash but my own view is that the above will see the year out at share prices higher than they stood at yesterday (the bid price given for each company is that at yesterday's  London Stock Exchange close). 

I do hold some shares in some of the above companies but largely for fun if not interest. 

Thus anyone who reads this blog post should certainly do their own research before buying the above or any other shares.

And a prosperous new year to all.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Predictions for 2018

Blogposts concerning prediction for 2017 and 2016 tend to illustrate that predicting the future is far from straightforward. Nonetheless my predictions for next year are:

British newspapers: Hopefully none will go under or even follow the Indy into online readership only. The Telegraph may be sold however  as the Barclay brothers could follow the partial lead set by Ruport Murdoch (The Times is still owned by Murdoch) and seek to  divest themselves of  the business of publishing.

ISIS: Their thuggery will continue especially hitting women and the vulnerable.

Roman Catholicism: The steps being taken by Pope Francis to liberalise the Church  will continue from Rome. However as an ongoing English employment dispute by a married CoE vicar who is separating from his wife, illustrates, the main if not only, reason for the Catholic Church not encouraging priests to be married is the cost of maintaining their families following the sadness of marriage break up.

Stock markets: After the records set in the LSE and other stock exchanges during 2017, I doubt that in the UK at least, 2018 will be another record year for shares. However Bitcoin companies may in 2018 prove to be more than the puff of hot air that many  in 2017 have described them to be. 

The EU: Will continue to fail to have a coherent, humane policy for responding to and dealing with migration across the Mediterranean Sea beyond paying Turkey huge sums to deal with most of the problem. There will be a Euro crisis and arguments will run and run as to the ability of individual nations to conduct their own affairs free from political interference by or through the EU's unrepresentative and non-elected president.

Transport: Consent will be given for the construction of Heathrow's 3rd runway;  sales of motor vehicles for private ownership will fall except for electric cars where sales will rise; following the successful completion of Crossrail 1, the go ahead for the construction of Crossrail 2 will be given.

President Trump will create  a crisis for the US$ through his over enthusiastic tax reforms. However he will not create a dsastrous crisis as regards North Korea.

China will retrench its economic growth.

Russia will hold a successful football World Cup and will begin to reform its athletes'  currently dreadful attitudes towards artificially improving performance by drug taking.

Brexit talks will be successful  contrary to the predictions of many in 2017.

Happy New Year to all who chance upon this blog.


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas 2017 and Hope for 2018

2017 has been a difficult year in a number of ways but Christmas time is always a time for hope.

Internationally, wars in the Middle East and Africa continue interminably, with all the anguish pain injuries and death to millions of innocent children women and men that they involve. 

The elected President of the USA seems unlikely to be much of  peacemaker either in the Middle East or as regards North Korea, which is led by an individual who appears extreme but hugely immature.  Many of North Korea's peoples  have to go hungry so that the money that might be used to feed them can instead be applied to developing nuclear rockets to threaten the rest of the world.

Then natural disasters such as  the storms yesterday and  today in the  Philippines, in which hundreds have died; global warming (probably man made rather than natural) and   the dying almost to extinction of a number of animals birds and amphibians can all give a bleak appearance to life on earth at present.

Nationally Brexit continues to  cause arguments often heated but they will in my view fade.

Personally, the great sadness is of the  deaths of the brother in law of Mrs Maytrees in April and of his widow her little sister - age hardly 50 -  two days ago in Ireland. May they R.I.P.

And yet... Today is the 4th Sunday of Advent with tomorrow being Christmas day, on which is  celebrated the world over, the birth of  mankind's saviour over 2000 years ago. The recollection and celebration of Christ's birth  gives reasons for optimism and joy.

2018 will surely be a year to celebrate and live to the full.

Happy Christmas to all who chance upon this blog at this time.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The King of Romania is Dead - Long Live the King?

The news created by ISIS thugs is given disproportionate coverage by the media probably because of those thugs'  criminal inhumanity to man, woman and child, hence the need to minimise blog-posts on that tragic topic.

This post is concerned with events affecting the monarchy in Romania during WWII when the country switched sides to join the allies in 1944, followed by its being swallowed up by the Soviet Union which  then abolished the monarchy after WWII,

The former King of Romania King Michael died within the past few days, aged 96 effectively in exile in Switzerland. Interestingly internal family quarrels and jealousies led to   the late king's only grandson, the English son of a Durham University professor being ostracised by Romanian (ex) royals.

 However  grandson Nicholas is engaged to be married to a glamorous Romanian Alina-Maria Binder and he and she have according to "The Times" newspaper, become as popular in Romania as have Prince Harry and fiancee Meghan Markle in the UK (and elsewhere).

The engagement of Nicholas appears to have substantially softened the  Romanian family dispute which at one time led to his being disbarred from his princely title. 

It appears that there is no immediate outcry in Romania for the restoration of the monarchy there  but there is nonetheless, substantial support for the royals within the country. 

Given that the monarchy's dissolution was a result of Soviet rule over Romania and given that that rule,  thankfully came to an end with the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the royal marriage in the UK coupled with a popular wedding of Nicholas to Alina-Maria who are of the same generation as prince Harry, might give the people of Romania considerable food for thought.

Monarchies  tend to be out of favour in C21. However when looking at the situations of presidents, chancellors Chairmen and similar rulers around the world - no names no pack-drill -  there still appears much to be said for royal families.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Global Warming

The scenes of  huge fires in California, dreadful floods in other parts of the world and even here in London SW20 heavy snowfall early in the morning on 10th December are beginning at least for myself, to confirm some of the predictions of scientists expressing concerns about the risks posed to mankind by global warming.

The Sunday Times this morning reports that by the year 2100 many cities around the world will be flooded including London and Miami because of the melting of huge tracts of Antarctic ice. 

Helpfully  the journalist points out that Birmingham (UK) will be spared the flooding as it is situate on high ground. That made me slightly sceptical again,  in view of current UK debate about creating a Northern Powerhouse in the UK to provide a more even balance of opportunities wealth and employment around the country. Nonetheless the issue of global warming is a serious one, surely  going beyond politics.

Calcutta in India is I understand the most polluted city on earth. Looking at some scenes depicted on BBC 4 TV recently, one can see a fascinating place with the Ganges being a wonderful river revered by many as a holy place. Calcutta  is growing fast though with huge blocks of flats rising around the centre though many children still sleep on the streets.

Countries like India and not that long ago China, with their huge populations are bound to create masses of CO2 and other pollution, in bringing their peoples into C21 although it is to be hoped that the pollution will diminish rapidly once more if not most, of their peoples, are reasonably housed and employed. The support especially in education, provided for many of the street children in Calcutta was impressive. 

Quiet praise of  the late Mother Teresa for her work in this area  of assisting children, which continues apace, was provided by some of the interviewees in this interesting BBC documentary although the Beeb of course itself commented on that so far as I recollect, not at all.

Overall I am left with the impression from newspapers and TV that global warming is a serious issue which sadly the USA government  is  now seeking to ignore, if not deny.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Everyday Life

I decided this morning that the photo maytrees min has of her finishing the London 2017 Duathlon in Richmond Park earlier this year, which I attended with her (spectator only!) should be framed.

 As one becomes older the more one appreciates photos like that of actions taken when young - at least that is what I find from an early London Marathon photo.

Anyway, early this morning I attended the first floor (art framing section) of Wimbledon Fielders which is a full art and framing shop, studio and premises.. 

There was no other customer there. at the time and I gathered that even on Saturdays during December, crowds only tend to arrive from 11am. 

The artist whose age I would estimate at about 35, was able to take his time in showing me the available frames mounts and prices. We chatted too; he told me that he and his girlfriend live in Streatham S London and that he sometimes walks from there to Wimbledon as the only exercise he does. They are thinking of buying a small house so we naturally discussed property prices. I told him how years back mrs maytrees and I lived in West Norwood SE London, which is or rather was, not attractive looking but full of interesting people. That is near to Streatham too and he said that they will also look there.

The second artist then came over, slightly older than his colleague but slimmer,  being he told me a professional hockey and football referee in his spare time though the studio kept him very busy at this time of year.

He saw the picture of maytrees min and then produced a very large framed photo plus medals, certificate and other items relating to a friend's daughter about the same age as maytrees min, who had just completed the Dubai Triathlon; maytrees min did a duathlon as she is like her father a slow swimmer. The simple picture of her finishing that a few weeks ago we agreed is ideal. 

I told them then about my wish to start running again once I am fully recovered from the cycling accident in early October. The referee said that rather than risk running too far too soon outside  on say Wimbledon Common, trying a gym treadmill for the first month might be wise.

After an hour and a half we also agreed the style of framing etc for  the photo of maytrees min!

When one has a chance to converse, most people are really interesting.

Bright Side of life

The  weather in the UK  recently has been dull and sunless hence the need in darkest mid winter to look on the bright side of life. For th...