A Request for Action to Support Standing Rock Water Protectors

This situation is getting quite serious and I urge all who read this to contact the President of the USA and show support for the Indigenous people and the Standing Rock call for action. It reminds me VERY MUCH of the news reels I saw in the sixties when the American government treat the black population in such a disgraceful manner when they struggled for civil rights. I thought the American Nation had moved on…sadly I am mistaken.

Voices from the Margins

Carol A. Hand

My heart is heavy with the news coming from Standing Rock, ND today. It’s led me to do something I rarely do. I’m posting a request for the help of all of those who follow this blog. For the sake of the health of our earth and future generations, I ask you to consider voicing your concerns about the situation in Standing Rock, ND.

The voice of the Protectors:

Standing Rock Update and Indigenous Call to Action – Bioneers 2016

An example of the mainstream media portrayals:

Dakota Access Pipeline Standoff Lapses Into Violence (Huffington Post)

Consider contacting the White House today at 202-456-1111 or sending a message to whitehouse.gov/contact. Ask President Obama to support the peaceful Water Protectors and act on behalf of the 17 million Americans who depend on the Missouri River for their clean water. Ask him to honor treaties and…

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‘GUNFIRE’ …at Balaklava.


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OCTOBER 25th … BALAKLAVA DAY. (a link to the ‘GUNFIRE’ Vlog)

Amongst the cavalry regiments of the British Army…Hussars, Lancers, Dragoons, Light and Heavy, there is a proud tradition of celebrating /remembering the famousCHARGE OF THE LIGHTunknown BRIGADE’ ..As immortalised by Alfred Lord Tennyson in his epic poem. MY first experience of ‘GUNFIRE’, a la ‘Balaklava Day, was on the morning of October 25th 1969 in the then, West Germany at Munster, Swinton barracks, home of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (QMO) or, Queen Mary’s Own. I was awakened by a vicious prod to the shoulder and as I sat up realised it was the RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major) and the Squadron Leader (Major) pushing a tea trolley with a Tea urn on it … “With or without”? said the RSM. Thinking he meant sugar, I said, “With, please Sir”…I was baffled and still half asleep. The Major poured a ‘little’ tea in my tin mug and the RSM ( Jack Hatton, or ‘The Badge’ as he was affectionately known…R.I.P.) topped it up with issue rum. The instant I tasted it I was wide awake, much to the merriment of the two ‘Gods’ serving it up to a lowly trooper…and the tradition continues to this day in regiments which took part in the charge, on the morning of October 25th, the other ranks in a cavalry regiment are woken up by the RSM and another High ranking officer with a mug of ‘Gunfire’….black tea and dark rum. Traditionally given to troops about to go into battle as   ‘Dutch courage’…and lets face it the Light Brigade needed courage to charge the might of the Russian guns that day …  October 25th, 1854.


13th Hussar on picket

Here is a first hand account of the engagement from a Commanding officer of one of the lead regiments … which one I know not;

Preparing for ‘GUNFIRE’ in the morning….October 25th 1854

“We advanced down a gradual descent of more than three-quarters of a mile, with the batteries vomiting forth upon us shells and shot, round and grape, with one battery on our right flank and another on the left, and all the intermediate ground covered with the Russian riflemen; so that when we came to within a distance of fifty yards from the mouths of the artillery which had been hurling destruction upon us, we were, in fact, surrounded and encircled by a blaze of fire, in addition to the fire of the riflemen upon our flanks.
As we ascended the hill, the oblique fire of the artillery poured upon our rear, so that we had thus a strong fire upon our front, our flank, and our rear. We entered the battery—we went through the battery—the two leading regiments cutting down a great number of the Russian gunners in their onset. In the two regiments which I had the honour to lead, every officer, with one exception, was either killed or wounded, or had his horse shot under him or injured. Those regiments proceeded, followed by the second line, consisting of two more regiments of cavalry, which continued to perform the duty of cutting down the Russian gunners.
Then came the third line, formed of another regiment, which endeavoured to complete the duty assigned to our brigade. I believe that this was achieved with great success, and the result was that this body, composed of only about 670 men, succeeded in passing through the mass of Russian cavalry of—as we have since learned—5,240 strong; and having broken through that mass, they went, according to our technical military expression, “threes about,” and retired in the same manner, doing as much execution in their course as they possibly could upon the enemy’s cavalry. Upon our returning up the hill
which we had descended in the attack, we had to run the same gauntlet and to incur the same risk from the flank fire of the Tirailleur as we had encountered before. Numbers of our men were shot down—men and horses were killed, and many of the soldiers who had lost their horses were also shot down while endeavouring to escape.
But what, my Lord, was the feeling and what the bearing of those brave men who returned to the position. Of each of these regiments there returned but a small detachment, twcogsinwallo-thirds of the men engaged having been destroyed? I think that every man who was engaged in that disastrous affair at Balaklava, and who was fortunate enough to come out of it alive, must feel that it was only by a merciful decree of Almighty Providence that he escaped from the greatest apparent certainty of death which could possibly be conceived”.”

And of course the famous Poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson;

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,

All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made,
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.


survivors of the Charge

On this day I raise a glass to the brave Hussars, Lancers and Dragoons, who courageously did
their duty….”theirs not to reason why…” … HUSSAR  !!!



If you are a ‘watcher’ of the steelcityman vlogs on You Tube, you will no doubt have heard me saying, more than once, that I need new , better equipment … well, that day has cogsinwallarrived and I have replaced my trusty Nikon D3100 for a smaller, better, faster and altogether more super model to both blog with and photograph with. The sond quality of the Nikon was very poor with NO external mic jack … therefore only suitable for inside/studio work whilst being very close to the mic. The brand I have replaced The Nikon with is CANON … much better suited for video work and it has the added benefit of having a mic
jack so I can connect an external mic for much improved sound quality. The Model I chose wasn’t my first choice or even my second choice due to budget constraints … my first choice was a Canon 80D coming in at £999.00…way too much for my meagre means !!! … second choice was a Canon 70D, a model I aspired to use ever since I started watching ‘CASEY NIESTAT’ on You Tube, but even that was beyond my means at £700.00 … so, I settled on the Canon 750d … the price only made me cry from one eye and it is still a very useful cogsinwallcamera and excellent for filming videos’ for You Tube. So There you have it, or rather, there I have it…external mic in the post (it will probably arrive whilst I’m at the hospital with my wife but, Hey Ho! better vlogging is on the way …. so tune into the steelcityman vlog on You Tube, and catch the next visual (and audible) treat from yours truly. catch you all later folks ….

Early Morning start at the Hospital …

Christine…the ‘wife’

Here we are at the Northern General Hospital in the Steel City (Sheffield) … booked the wife in at 0700 hrs for a Cardio Inversion .. In short, the medics are going to induce a rapid heartbeat and then shock it back to normal with the Defibrillator/Pacemaker she has fitted. If it doesn’t work correctly then they will make adjustments to it and try again, then, hopefully, the next time she suffers Ventricular Tachycardia (very rapid heartbeat) the defibrillator will work correctly and bring her out of it. They say it will be only a 5 minute procedure, she’s been gone nearly an hour now, but then she will have to come round from the anaesthetic and wait for full recovery before she is allowed out and home. Fingers crossed it won’t be too long …. It’s a wonderful hospital the Northern General, a jewel in the crown of the National Health service, without which, both Christine and myself would be in a wooden box by now pushing up the daisys, so, a big up to the great doctors and nurses of this establishment.

It really gets me fired up and angry that this black hearted Tory government are hell bent on privatising the National Health Service and trying to hive it off to private enterprise (it’s worth noting, and it’s on record, that many Tory MP’s have a financial interest in the Private Medical companies that cogsinwallare vying for contracts to take over the different departments, and eventually all, that make up the NHS. God forbid the day comes when we all have to take out medical insurance to cover our health needs in this country. At the moment, even though the NHS is struggling to survive due to the black hearted Tory cuts in funding, the service is free at the point of use for all. If this ship of fools remain in power for much longer, then the NHS will be nothing more than a money making machine for the MP’s and other investors who have a financial interest in the privatisation of what should be a sacred institution for the care of the population, regardless of status, class or wealth.
I personally wish Mr Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party, God speed and fair winds in his fight for social justice and fairness, particularly in saving the NHS from the privatising Dogs baying at the door of profit …..

Lancashire ‘Nana’ threatened with prison during Buckingham Palace protest

An anti-fracking campaigner has been served with court papers during a tea party protest opposite Buckingham Palace.

Source: Lancashire ‘Nana’ threatened with prison during Buckingham Palace protest … from an article by Ruth Hayhurst in the ‘Drill and Drop’ publication

I’ve jucogsinwallst caught up with this update  of the Lancashire ‘Granny’s Tea Party Protest’ out side Buckingham Palace … the subject of one of my last Blogs and Vlogs. If you  saw my last Vlog, you may remember me giving odds on wether Diamond Lil (aka the Queen) would actually condescend to attend the tea party and converse with the wonderful women of the Northern Climes about the concerns expressed over Fracking, and the dangers, explicit with the concept of pumping chemicals into the water table, thus putting their/our grand children in real danger. Well, well … guess what ? She didn’t think it would be proper to converse with the Northern Plebs whilst drinking tea with them..(probably out of cracked jam jars she may have thought) … No… instead she sent the police to block attempts to give her a report/petition, not quite sure which, and one of the protesters was threatened with arrest and prison ….. This is democracy ???? this is Freedom of speech ??? This is freedom to lawfully protest ???  What is this country coming to when Grand Mothers are threatened with prison for trying to protest …  nay!! .. PEACEFULLY protest … about multinational companies putting the health and safety of ordinary people at risk, all for the sake of PROFIT ???

I urge you to use the link and read the story…..and then send a letter to ERIN BROKOVICH … tell her the peons of England need her !!!!cogsinwall

Grannies write to the Queen to stop fracking for the “health of their grandchildren”

What an amazing group of women …. words of wisdom, from the heart of a genuine concern for our youth. At the risk of appearing cynical, I can guess the Royal response will be Zilch, Nada, buggerall …. the rattle of money and a free bottle of Champs at the Bullington club will ease the conscience (that’s assuming they have one ) of the wretched politicians who may get their greasy palmes greased again. I will watch the developments of the issue, especially as the Labour party have announced that they will ban fracking in the UK if they achieve a majority at the next general ellection …. I’m also running a book on wether or not there will be a ‘royal’ place filled at the Tea Party outside Buck House. What are the odds of that not happening ??? …. you’ll need to put a few grand on to win a penny.
GRANNY POWER RULES !!!!! I’m supporting them all the way

Link to the Vlog of the Blog, with a little more content and visual excitement  …… 

Pride's Purge

A group of grandmothers in Lancashire have written an open letter to the Queen telling her their concerns about fracking.

And from 2pm tomorrow (Tuesday) the nanas will be delivering the letter and having what they call Nana Tea outside Buckingham Palace. They assure they will be bringing their “best crockery” in case she “pops out”.

Here’s the letter:

*The Grandmother Elizabeth,

*Please note that we address you in this way, out of respect for what we consider to be your noblest role and highest obligation: to protect the young.

We recently contacted you about the plight of Lancashire residents who have used every democratic channel available to them in the fight to stop fracking coming to their communities. If you recall, our elected county councillors refused planning permission for two fracking sites in rural Fylde: Cuadrilla then appealed and the decision will now be made by the Secretary…

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Am I too old to VLOG ??

AGE AND VLOGGING…. ( a link to the ‘steelcityman’ Vlog #4 on You Tube )

Welcogsinwalll.. What a torrid time of late … My dear wife, Christine,  has been Very ill (Ventricular Tachycardia) culminating in a Cardiac arrest, but between the pacemaker/defibrillator she had fitted 4 years ago and the magnificent National Health Service we are so lucky to have in the UK, along with the doctors, paramedics and excellent nursing staff … not forgetting the Emergency Ambulance service … she has returned home after a week in hospital and is progressing her recovery nicely, though it will take some time and TLC … time to slow down Mrs. P. !!! ….. (and a quick message for the Tory government “GET YER THIEVING, PRIVATISING HANDS OFF THE NHS !!! …rant over…

  Another reason I have been off the  Blogging and Vlogging scene, and its something I’ve been considering for a while, is my age … Am I a bit too long in the tooth at 68 years old, to be emulating a raft of much younger You tubers who seem to be very keen to document their everyday lives on a You Tube channel?. Being young , (10-40 years old is about the average age range of active You Tubers), they are so full of energy and sap, they make me look the age I am !! … The Vloggers I follow on You Tube seem to be making quite a bit of money from their efforts too …  I think my get up and go has got up and gone !!!. I’m not physically fit, having certain conditions which really limit my mobility, I’m overweight, No hair (or very little), wear glasses, Not very photogenic, and I would look rather stupid in a back to front baseball cap saying, “Yo” and “Wassup?” and trying to sell myself as COOL and HIP….. (there!! my language has betrayed my age !!! ) So, I find it difficult to get out and about  and use the energy the younger ones have, to film in various locations around the ‘Steel City’, indeed, around the country… thus making for a more interesting Vlog with  more varied themes and backdrops. I just don’t know how they manage to do a Vlog every day along with running several other You Tube channels, I’m sweating just thinking about the effort required. I think I was born too early !! If I was about 16/17 years old nowadays, I would be more at home with the technology and would be a dedicated You tuber with channels galore …. but I’m not, I off times struggle with the technology and certainly with the outdated equipment I have…. But, Hey Ho !! you use what you’ve got and hope for a win on the lottery … lol…. I think I’ve got the lighting right, using two bedside lamps and the natural light from my ‘Studio’ window. When I say ‘studio’ I really mean the ‘Cupboard’ I use to compile my Vlogs. I call it a cupboard, it used to be an extremely small room … now used as an extremely small ‘office/studio’…. 

So…back to the Age thing … As well as not being able to ‘keep up’ with the younger generation of Vloggers, I’ve searched and searched for some decent ‘Senior Citizen’ Vlogs and found ……… NONE …… that float my boat. There are SOME senior citizens out there in the vloggosphere, not many at all, but some. Mainly Americans, not many fellow Brits. I can’t relate to the American ‘oldies’ who Vlog, because our lifestyles are so very far removed from each other … I know,  it’s good to learn about other cultures and all that, but I just can’t relate to the white American Dream … I have learned a lot about the        REAL American culture, the NATIVE AMERICAN culture,  from a fellow BLOGGER,   Who writes her words of wisdom and reality on a WordPress .com Blog. You really should give some time to look at her work, she is one impressive woman. The Blog is called …. 

‘Voices from the Margins’ CAROL A HAND is her name and she WILL captivate you.cogsinwall


Anyway, I have concluded that I will continue to write my Blog, and make my Vlog, run them alongside each other and AGE BE DAMNED !!! There must be a niche audience of ‘older’ people somewhere out there … I just need to connect with them and hold their interest so they can get to know me and maybe… just maybe … start to produce a Vlog themselves …. I for one WILLsubscribe to that !!

A more comprehensive  insight into the Vlogging and age debate is available on the           You Tube link in Vlog #4 fuzzy tv



Vlog meets Blog…

On the 1st August 2016, I decided to produce a Vlog as an outside broadcast rcogsinwallather than in my office or front room. I had thought about doing this ever since I saw the work of a New Yorker named CASEY NEISTAT who produces some awesome films on You tube (check him out )… I know, I’ve mentioned him before, but he is cool and inspirational. Before I retired, I worked as a Detached Youth worker, so I naturally thought I would have no problems walking around meeting people and talking to them …. with a camera on the end of a big stick !! In fact I found I was quite self conscious  and overcoming the feeling of embarrassment  was a bit of a hurdle. W
hilst I was filming, if anyone walked past or near me, I would stop filming until they had passed…not a good state of affairs for a wannabe You Tuber/film maker. Not overcome it yet entirely, but making progress.

yorkshireday2016  1st of August was, of course, YORKSHIRE DAY, when every Yorkshire person worth their salt celebrates the very YORKSHIRENESS  of everything appertaining to God’s own county, Yorkshire. We are a fiercely proud tribe, us TYKES, as we are known throughout the (non Yorkshire) land … anyway, the Vlog was started on the 1st August and bits from the 2nd August were incorporated . As I have said previously, the Vlogs at the moment are merely a vehicle for me to learn, how to Vlog, Edit in iMovies and find my niche in the Vlogging world. I’ve not found too many senior citizens active in the vloggosphere at the moment. I need to produce stuff that will encourage more seniors to take part … what form and with what content, I’m not sure yet…but as I say, I’m still on the learning curve. There’s plenty of good inspiration around, but they are in the main younger people who are generally quite photogenic, trendy and energetic … that should rule me out then as I am not very good to look at, certainly not trendy (I’d look a bit daft with a back to front baseball cap on !!! ) and energetic I am most definitely NOT, though I do my best. IF ANY OLDER PEOPLE ARE READING THIS, tell me, in the comments below, what would hold your interest in a Blog or Vlog.

I talked to some seniors in the park whilst making the Vlog, and a delightful group of ladies (and a gentleman) they were… all out walking the dogs in the sunshine (thanks again for sparing the time to talk to me.)

****  A LINK TO THE VLOG ON YOU TUBE IS HERE  **** should you wish to see the fruits of my labour. If you like it please give it a thumbs up and feel free to comment on it.

The next blog post will probably be on the poetry or music cogsinwall section in the next few days and the next Vlog (weather permitting ) will be another outside broadcast when time permits.

Into the realms of VLOGGING…

I’ve tried Blogging, and although I still enjoy doing it , (Who doesn’t  ? ..Vlogging that is !), I find my motivation slowly slipping away, with increasing gaps between my blog posts. I still feel as thoucogsinwallgh I have lots to say on many topics, and who wouldn’t with over 67 years of life experience behind them ? I’m finding that LIFE gets in the way more and more as I get older, and I am getting slower and less active too. Its like my ‘Get up and Go’ has Got up and Gone !!!    So …. I need something to motivate me and  get me going again.

Whilst surfing through the world of You Tube a couple of weeks ago, I discovered the concept of VLOGGING, which is basically, Blogging through the medium of Video, and I thought, “That’s different, I wonder If I could spice my Blog up with a link to my You Tube channel and Vlog what I Blog?”…. still with me ? Great!…. and here I am, struggling with the technology of Vlogging equipment, the software required and, for me, the  confusing medium of YOU TUBE with added interference from GOOGLE…must be a merger/buy out corporate thing !!…Anyway, as those who follow me know, that’s because Im a dyed in the wool technophobe, 1st class and bar and I don’t take much confusing nowadays. cogsinwallAnyway…I came across an American guy called CASEY NEISTAT and was immediately  impressed with his vlogging  technique . He is very inspirational and entertaining to boot. Admittedly he uses top of the range equipment like the best DSLR cameras, lights, microphones and even DRONES for aerial scenes (very impressive..and…very expensive !!) but it works, his blogs are very watchable and as I said before, inspirational if you have the slightest inclination to start Vlogging…even if you haven’t any inclination to vlog, you
may well want to after you’ve seen a few of his films !! He is a very skilled film maker who, incidentally , makes a good living as a Youtuber. After seeing what CASEY NEISTAT and his other You Tubing friends can do with Vlogging, I’m inspired to try it, and my ‘Get up and Go” seems to be “Getting up and coming back.”

My first posting of the Vlog is on my You Tube channel , click the link to view, …… All it  is , is a test piece to see if I have understood how to edit in iMovies, put on a sound track and mess around with Time lapse and Slo-Mo … there is so much to learn, especially as I am a dyed in the wool Technophobe who has only just come to terms with the calculator never mind all the electriconic stuff which talks in Klingon !!! Anyway, I plan to Vlog whatever I Blog and give you the best…or worst… of both worlds !!

I’ll tell you what though, I wish all this technology had been around when I was 16 years old (thats 1964) I would have embraced and conquered it. It is certainly the medium for young people (that’s anyone under 35 in my book !!) …. I spent some time looking at vloggers from the UK … not really impressed with what I saw … Not that I’m saying my Vlogs will be any better, just that none of the UK Vloggers floated my boat…. spunk49eems to me there are not many good ones around, mainly young teens displaying the daftness of youth..(I’m jealous, can’t you tell !!)  It appears the Americans have mastered it very well, that’s where I find the most interesting technique and content, CASEY NEISTAT and friends in particular…that guy is living the dream.

I also looked good and hard for any SENIOR CITIZEN Vlogs …. didn’t find cogsinwallmany at all, and those I did find, well, I will strive to be better. There is certainly a niche out there for SENIOR CITIZEN VLOGGERS … so come on fellow wrinklies , we need to fill that niche with INTERESTING STUFF….GET VLOGGING !!!