Grumpytyke is back, I hope fairly frequently, after a long absence, and I’m trying to decide whether to resume with the wide ranging subjects which I wrote about before – Romania, VW campers, classic minis, haiku, Yorkshire and food and cooking, and a few more as the mood takes me – or to limit myself to one or two themes. That might be difficult for me.

I just ploughed through emails going back to February this year – helluvalot of spam – and was glad to see a lot of ‘old friends’ still posting, though some seem to have disappeared in recent months. Apart from one short post in February ‘explaining’ my absence I haven’t really posted or looked at emails for about a year.


Much of my absence has been due to a major health problem. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, had my first ever stays in hospital and spent a while with tubes and bags limiting my movement. Hopefully it’s under control for the moment. I might have something to say about the wonderful overworked nursing staff in the NHS, but the often abysmal administration, management and systems, in a future post. (more…)

There is nothing wrong with the Media Museum except that it is in Bradford. It’s a wonderful museum which I used to visit frequently. As a very keen photographer but also someone fascinated by photographic history I would visit it several times a month – it’s a pleasant 20 minute train ride from where I live – if I didn’t have to cross Bradford’s depressing city centre to get to it.

Of course it should not be closed; it should be moved. As one of the three museums of which it is said one must be closed, its low attendance figures compared to those of the other two, the Railway Museum in York and the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, have nothing to do with the museum itself; they result from where it is.


I have a solution. Move the museum to Leeds, a vibrant, bustling Yorkshire city of which West Yorkshire can be proud. We’d then see the attendance figures rocket. In fact, if I won one of the multi-tens of millions on Euromillions I’d offer to finance the move myself.

Why has Bradford been allowed to self-destruct? The politicians can answer that but I believe that it is now beyond redemption. It is not the ‘multi-cultural city’ as often claimed, it is a collection of cultural ghettos so that it has little Yorkshire left about large swathes of it and all the demographic projections show that in a very short time it will become an imitation foreign country in the middle of Britain. Parts of it are that already. What is worse is that now the immigrants who arrive with little English and few if any skills are being packed into these ghettos too. It’s a chain reaction which is now beyond control. The immigrants who have something to offer – and there are many of them – go elsewhere.

Before I’m accused of racism you should know that I’m firmly of the opinion that a big factor in what makes Leeds such a great place is the strong Afro-Caribbean community. They have had a major effect on the city but have not imposed an alien culture on it. It is still very much a Yorkshire city and they, while retaining the many valuable and exciting aspects of their culture and allowing us to share it, have become ‘Yorkshire folk’. In no way is this true of Bradford.

Wasted £30 million – a year?

Someone on the tv this evening gave as a reason that the museum should not be closed was that it brought £30 million a year into the city. If that is true it is a disgrace. What happens to that £30 million? There is no sign of it in the increasing slum that the city has become. So move the museum to a place where this substantial sum would not be wasted.

But any reasonable sales or marketing man could tell this idiot that arguing how much the museum does for Bradford will not save it, what would is what Bradford does or could do for the museum. Put fountains on the forecourt and flood it on demand? Stage a Bollywood buggered-up Carmen in the IMAX theatre instead of the real thing it the Alhambra (where I first saw the original some 65 years ago)? I don’t think so. The answer is “zilch”.

So I say again, don’t close it. Move it!

I don’t have a lot of time for blogging at the moment – the weather is superb for walking and photography but unfortunately that means it is also ideal for some much needed ‘tender loving care’ for Lofty, our beloved VW camper. However, having just cooked and eaten the obligatory full English breakfast I thought I’d use the 15 min ‘digestion’ pause to get this off.

The Romanians are almost uniquely able to have a joke on themselves and, being far better generally educated than the majority of people coming out of UK schools, are able to do it with a wit and substance sadly lacking in much of what we see from British commentators. I just love the poster campaign launched by the Romanian paper Gandul (‘The Thought?) in response to that from the Guardian. The posters are in English so English speakers can understand them even if the accompanying text is in Romanian.

So here are some of the Romanian poster words, each of which has a postscript “Why don’t you come over. We may not like Britain but you’ll love Romania”. There are many more gems.

Your weekly rent covers a month here – pub nights included

Our Tube was not designed with sardines in mind – sorry sardines

Our newspapers are hacking celebrities’ privacy, not people’s phones

Our air traffic controllers have seen snow before. They were unimpressed

We don’t have a congestion charge here. We believe congestions are punishment enough.

Our draft beer is less expensive than your bottled water.

And my favourite – almost absolutely true:

Half our women look like Kate. The other half, like her sister.

Most of my followers will know I have a serious love affair with Romania and Romanians and the majority of Romanians coming here so far are very well educated, hard-working and an enormous benefit to our society. But this doesn’t mean my eyes are closed to the problems: corruption is endemic (but worse in Bulgaria) and certainly a large number of Romanians coming here have come to commit crime and will do so in the future (the Romanians would say that they are not Romanians, but gypsies, and while I cannot support this racist statement there is an underlying truth).

So, much as I love Romanians and their country, the concern about freely opening the door to them is well-founded.

But it will be great for Britain to have a boost to the population of people who can actually speak English!


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