Author Archives: Jeremy Stocks

About Jeremy Stocks

I'm a stay at home Dad into gardening, cooking, self-sufficiency, and like to observe and film the Bavarian countryside and its traditions.

Establishment Science Proven Wrong Again: Study Suggests High-Fat Diet Healthier Than High-Carb

This is why you should never trust establishment science.

Source: Establishment Science Proven Wrong Again: Study Suggests High-Fat Diet Healthier Than High-Carb

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Bollocks to Barbara Woodhouse!

So here I am this morning, attempting to walk my dog in an “orderly” manner along the pavement for her morning download. She’s almost a year old, we took her in in November though. My attempts to train her are patchy. We’ve had a hot summer in Bavaria, and the poor baby has been lethasrgic and sleepy with my attempts to accompany her on the “Lucy Loop”. Shei is nameed afterthe Frank Zappa song “Lucille” and I love every second I spend with her. She healed all the grief and guilt I suffered following the death of my parents. Whilst at dog training school, some of the trainers are rough with dogs, following I believe the German authoritarian streak still. This was fashionable in the 1980s in the UK wth the abovementioned, but in my opinion “positive” training is now the way forward. Some Germans seem to think their methods are advanced but I reckon the US, a nation so nuts it even has dog crematoruiums, is the lworld leader in training. I own Zak George’s book and am reading Karen Pryor’s “Don’t Shoot The Dog”. We are now post-Barbara and into a fascinating, more loving world of “operant conditioning”. Here is Babs. She seems obssessed with the “choke chain”.  I’m uncertain whether she meant to put it round the dog’s neck or the owner!

What if Oasis had written a song about toilet training?

Source: What if Oasis had written a song about toilet training?

Should a German in Berlin expect to be served in German?

This is the gist of this Telegraph article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/14/would-never-find-lunacy-paris-german-politician-attacks-english/#comments

In the comments below there lies this gem:

“This article gives me a little angst but also some shadenfreude.It made me sneeze over my wurst breakfast (wife said gesundheit!).

I’m looking forward to this evening’s fest for some schnitzel, pretzels, sauerkraut and strudel dessert washed down with lager sprintzer and schnapps. The zeitgeist is wonderful although I don’t really eat delicatessen.  As usual I will take too much food and the doberman, dachshund and poodles will be happy.

I need to go now as I have to take the little one to kindergarten.  She really is a wunderkind. I went to fill the Volkswagen up with diesel now but it’s kaput so I have called an uber.  I mustn’t forget my rucksack.”

Sadly a lot of Little Englanders go on about “We won” but fail to note who really has the better country after the war. Cleaner, neater, swept streets…..

A Guide for the new Stay At Home Dad

Right then,

It seems there are a load of new dad bloggers out there relieving their boredom (as I do) by writing a blog. For those bringing up their tiny ones, those days spent with pooey fingers on nappy tables, maybe bottle feeding at 2 am, maybe midnight runs to hospitals with some injury or other, drives down autobahns with kids arms in an L shape at 160km, days spent feeling in deep despair at the life you lead – well they do get easier. In fact, the phase where the small ones need you wanes. What fills that void? In my case, it was finding some kind of outdoor work such as gardening for old ladies, and lately getting a dog (another topic). As a veteran of this lifestyle, I’d love to pass on some tips for those sailing in my boat today. What would I advise? Here I assume you start from Square One as I did. I had a pretty cool life before children (we refer to life before kids as BC!!).

The first thing I would advise is to get your nutrition under control. This means learning to cook. Get hold of a book like Jamie Oliver’s “Ministry of Food” and in there he teaches enough to get started. With that book, I was able to present decent enough fare on the table. Once you can d the basics, you may begin to see patterns in the stuff you make, like the 5:3 ratio of flour to water when you make a pizza. Go then to Michael Ruhlman’s “Ratio” which pretty much teaches the principles underneath all food prep. You may have heard of the “clean” eating thing. Reducing carbs is a good thing, not necessarily eliminating them, but watching your intake, is to be recommended.

Secondly, once you figure out what you are eating and can reduce the packet stuff, is to get a small veg garden together. Start in spring with a few tomato plants from Aldi, then maybe a herb bed, or some spuds in a pot. I’ve been growing my own a decade now, and love the quality of stuff we eat.

Make no mistake, this gig we do is unusual, and I may be wrong but I think we’ll always be a niche in the family way of things. The pressures we Dads are under are invisible, and when you sit here as I do kind of watching the news and Youtube stuff, days do indeed drift. The constant “do this do that” does wear at you, and yes you will gain if you didn’t before, a respect for the mums who always look utterly haggard on the shop runs. This is where some kind of meditation helps. Yoga, Progressive Muscular Relaxation, Tai Chi or my choice Qi Gong, can ease the way and switch off from the crap at times.

Many of us get so worn out we neglect ourselves, especially with the isolation. The lack of structure and order can take their toll on fitness Some would say go to a gym, but in my case, I found the cliquishness off-putting. Besides, I now prefer to exercise on my own using callisthenics. What’s that? Old fashioned push-ups, pull-ups, squats. Aren’t they hard? No, if you progress along from easy to hard in a structured way. Get a copy of Convict Conditioning (Google this) to see what I mean. Much of this long lost art is coming back, having been preserved in the most unusual of places – prisons!

Many of you are lucky enough to have kept your old employment, at least in a part time capacity. When I began this, I lost my job owing to outsourcing to India, so I lost absolutely everything to do with my old career. I began from scratch about five years ago. I started to do lawn care and landscaping for an old lady. Then I helped a lady in her greengrocer’s shop. An accident at the market made me realise with huge respect to those market stall peeps that this wasn’t for me – I am an office rat. So I began to learn to program in Java. I’ve spent the last two years learning this at the “Cave of Programming” site owned by a kind Britt John. I’ve coded one site but am looking for more and even Android apps to write.

So here are some of the things I really wish I’d known before I embarked on this journey over a decade ago.

 

 

 

 

Who killed Gaia?

A week ago I rejected the methodology of polyculture in my garden. In so doing I returned to scientific methods of planting, measured distances and selected breeds. In short – agronomic based gardening. I read carefully the instructions on the seed packets and planted accordingly.

What I am thinking is that the Gaia idea has run its course. If you read herehere and here it seems there are parallels between the belief in climate influenced by humans which parallel the ancient religions. I was/am a lover of the philosophy of permaculture, but it seems that some of the movement has been hijacked by zealots. For the record, I am no militant climate denier, neither am I a rabid believer in AGW.

Ideology shattered into ash

“All that we amassed, sits before us shattered into ash¨ Bastille, Things we lost in the fire

In my opinion, part of this post-2012 phenomenon has involved the waking up process where many of the ideologies which have governed our lives the last few decades have been proven to be well, bollocks. I’ll outline some of them:

– A diet low in fat is the way to lose weight. Proven wrong since the sugar-leptin link has reached the masses.

– A gym with an instructor teaching you what’s best for your body on machines. The new functional exercise movement – Crossfit, callisthenics, prison fitness, is leading to real strength and fitness gains impossible in a gym on 1970s ¨nautilus¨ shell machines.

– Methods in permaculture such as polycultures have at their heart, a philosophy which annual plants emulate some kind of ¨natural¨ ecosystem. As a practitioner of this system for many years, I’m now abandoning it, in favour of more scientific systems.

– Beekeeping using top bar hives. Hugely popular on the internet, rejecting experienced beekeeping systems in favour of some kind of ecological nirvana for complete beginners. The reality is, I am told after chatting to a traditional beekeeping shop owner, is that only experience beekeepers ought to undertake this when they know what they are doing, not a complete novice.

– Dog training using ¨positive reinforcement¨- after we got a dog, I bought into this concept, having Googled and found a bloke on the web with multiple hits. Further research showed this system to never take into account the breed, the instincts of the dog, and furthermore, the scientific approach to dog behaviour which has been practised for generations.

I’m sure there are others. What I think these ideologies have in common is that they all seem quick, easy and cheap but in practice are quite the opposite.

Why I left Toytown Germany

So it wasn’t just be who voted with his mouse…

Toytown is full of condescending, bitter expats who love tearing down curious newcomers and anyone who doesn’t already have a full working knowledge of the German system. I recently saw them chastising someone for asking a question, because apparently Toytown is a forum for people to discuss German life, not ask questions. Um, okay…?

I had the same problem with my account not getting verified. After a while, I realised it was a blessing in disguise. This forum and /berlin can get a little heated, but it’s nothing compared to Toytown. It’s basically an archive of outdated threads from 5+ years ago, thus a lot of the information on there isn’t very relevant anymore- probably because no one is able to post anything.

 

A beginner’s guide to Queen…

This post is from a good friend of mine who was in Stoke Poly with me…

Source: A beginner’s guide to Queen…

The rise of the Middle Age Traveller

If you were one of those who did the “Dordogne Dream” in the 1980s you’ll have an acquaintance with France and the mini-property boom which ensued as we Brits bought up old ruins and renovated them. The French on their side, saw just ramshackle old barns and weed filled land which they were only too happy to get rid of. This surge back in the 90s is no longer so. For it seems there is another kind of invasion underway across France, with couples driving vans the same colour as their hair across the land.

I have just returned from an awesome holiday in my tiny caravan touring France. For us, it was a test to regain faith in the car and van as we’ve had some disasters, part of my own making – not checking tyres enough and yeah….driving too fast! Our main regions are France and Spain. We usually don’t take a site the first night, we rather stay at a motorway rest stop, buy croissants then drive on to where we put down on a site for the night.

Here is our lst of fave sites:

France

http://www.campingfrance.com/uk/find-your-campsite/aquitaine/dordogne/brantome/camping-brantome-peyrelevade Camping Peyrelade Brantome

Pyrenees Orientale

http://www.lescriques.de/ Camping Les Criques Argeles Sur Mer

Tarn Camping Les Prades

http://www.campinglesprades.com/

Spain

Playa Montroig

http://www.playamontroig.com/en

Los Madrillos

http://www.campinglosmadriles.com/es/index.php?

Camping Javea

http://www.campingjavea.es/