Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you

From Little Acorns

Posts are not organised in correct date order as I want the first three posts to be top. So I have rearranged them. Go to Recent Posts in the sidebar to view posts.

There is a PowerPoint presentation here a video of it is at the end of this page.

From little acorns mighty oaks do grow. There’s talk within the community of older citizens being lonely and isolated. So I thought to myself as you (us, I’m 67) are a great resource in both knowledge and experience I would encourage them to blog. So I have set up which contains tutorials for getting started. The overall site (in progress) which I will use as a directory will be which seems to be an inoffensive name. Know any older citizens? Get them to get in touch.

Anyway the plan is for me to contact as many older citizen groups that I can, initially in Ireland (I know how to do this) and take it from there. I’ll set up (countryname) so Ireland will be, that should work , do a map as well. In fact create a network. We can be global.

If you are an older citizen and have a blog please let me know (any country)

Or Skype: dude.starship smiles there is only one (Philip Finlay Bryan, Tullamore)

Call me! - Skype Test Call

» Get Skype, call free!

I’m in Tullamore Co.Offaly, Ireland – Mobile: +353 (0)894297539

Do not go gentle into that good night..

Here is a video of the PowerPoint presentation I am using to promote the site :

And there you have it. Keep coming back as i should be updating soon!

Leave a comment please……

Keeping Some Kind of Record

Album: Famous Blue Raincoat (1987)



It’s four in the morning, the end of December
I’m writing you now just to see if you’re better
New York is cold, but I like where I’m living
There’s music on Clinton street all through the evening

I hear that you’re building your little house deep in the desert
You’re living for nothing now
I hope you’re keeping some kind of record

Leonard Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016)

Keeping some kind of record and no better way of doing it is a blog! I have clear memories of the 1950s – was it better then or was it because I was a kid; maybe maybe not, things were beginning to boom. Education, Health The NHS, teddy boys, Guernsey, I was 8th in my class in primary school and was given a shoe-in to Willesden County Grammar School. These are all topics that make for good blog topics. (I feel guilty in having only blogged a few snippets) AND I know one person who will be interested, my daughter she nags me about histories!

Women kneeling
Woman kneeling

I was trawling the net a few months ago and I came across this. I had this poster by Egon Schiele  up in my room when I was at Uni, oops another story. 1982 I think.


If you are not on Facebook I heartily recommend it. I can help too.  Its a great way of making new friends and the news feeds are very helpful for keeping up to date. More topics for your blog!

Here’s a music interlude Love this tune. I got 5 lovely girls to dance for me!!!

The venue is Junkyard Blues Club in Second Life. Cool club with a live DJ most times. People are very friendly. I was a host there for a couple of years, taking a break at the moment. If you have a few hours  spare its fun. I’ll blog about it later. You have enough on your plate as it is. You’ll be able to research it yourself. I can help if you need me to. Another chapter.

What I am trying to do is to stimulate ideas. A blog is in many ways a personal endeavour, you have to find a place / space. I have a good few subscribers on my various blogs, getting on for 5,000. I will happily put a link to your blog from those high traffic ones. I mean 1% response is 50.

I love computers had my first one in 1981 a ZX 81 . That’s more than 30 years ago (sigh) . It had 16k of memory I have 32 gigs in my desktop now. I also have two screens. My main screen is 27 inches its gorgeous!

I had my first website up and running in 1996 its a bit neglected at the moment but I feel more awake these days so will work on it. Did you know there is a web archive  in Internet Archive: Wayback Machine

Explore more than 279 billion web pages saved over time. If you think your website is lost then is the place to look. I have found sites from 16 years ago.

We were  first with ISIS (lol) Irish Secure Internet Services, of course this was before the other ISIS was around. Oh lets work towards a happier world. Lets make it our mission to bring smiles to those who serve and those who are served.

 A blonde and a lawyer are seated next to each other on a flight from LA to NY.

The lawyer asks if she would like to play a fun game? The blonde, tired, just wants to take a nap, politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.
The lawyer persists and explains that the game is easy and a lot of fun.

He explains, “I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $5.00, and vice versa.”

Again, she declines and tries to get some sleep. The lawyer, now agitated, says, “Okay, if you don’t know the answer you pay me $5.00, and if I don’t know the answer, I will pay you $50.00.”

This catches the blonde’s attention and, figuring there will be no end to this torment unless she plays, agrees to the game. The lawyer asks the first question. “What’s the distance from the earth to the moon?”

The blonde doesn’t say a word, reaches into her purse, pulls out a $5.00 bill and hands it to the lawyer. “Okay” says the lawyer, “your turn.”

She asks the lawyer, “What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four legs?” The lawyer, puzzled, takes out his laptop computer and searches all his references, no answer. He taps into the air phone with his modem and searches the net and the library of congress, no answer. Frustrated, he sends e-mails to all his friends and co-workers, to no avail.

After an hour, he wakes the blonde, and hands her $50.00. The blonde says, “Thank you,” and turns back to get some more sleep. The lawyer, who is more than a little miffed, wakes the blonde and asks, “Well, what’s the answer?” Without a word, the blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5.00, and goes back to sleep.



As You Surf The Web

As you surf the web

you will reach a place where no pages exist. This is called a 404 Error. While out surfing somewhere can’t remember where I reached this splendid 404 Error…..

…..can I get a hug? So sad……Next time you get a 404 Error maybe, just maybe, think of the server!

Now you know what a web server does, it serves web pages, you need also to know about Domain Name Servers or DNS.

Domain Name Servers (DNS) are the Internet’s equivalent of a phone book. They maintain a directory of domain names and translate them to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

This is necessary because, although domain names are easy for people to remember, computers or machines, access websites based on IP addresses.

Information from all the domain name servers across the Internet are gathered together and housed at the Central Registry. Host companies and Internet Service Providers interact with the Central Registry on a regular schedule to get updated DNS information.

When you type in a web address, e.g., , your Internet Service Provider views the DNS associated with the domain name, translates it into a machine friendly IP address (for example is the IP for and directs your Internet connection to the correct website.

After you register a new domain name or when you update the DNS servers on your domain name, it usually takes about 12-36 hours for the domain name servers world-wide to be updated and able to access the information. This 36-hour period is referred to as propagation.

Well yes mine are done immediately even if I have to tell a tech to kick start it which i frequently have to. I do it via chat.  I run my own web server through HostGator an excellent company been with them for oooo ages years. I also have my own DNS Domain Name Servers. I have two, ones for back up.

It literally takes minutes to set up a new domain.

Phew it made me sweat: Watch Full Screen.

As you may have guessed I like the blues. I blog about them in snippets and I usually make videos to blues music. However its not all video I take the odd still shot.If you want access to stunning art work join Here’s a picture I created its on my deviantart site:

If you want to create graphics yourself a very good program that I use as my main image editor is Microsoft Expression Design  The download link and tutorial is on my Useful Programs page and its so much better than paint. There are tutorials but just simple stuff like putting text on a picture its very cool. Worth learning though it takes some effort. But be brave you wouldn’t have got here now if you weren’t secretly as tough as old boots.

Probably the best blog post I ever created IMHO  its called (link below):

The O2, Niel Young

If you have a moment some feedback would be helpful. Email addresses are always kept private and never given out to third partys.


Forum for OlderCitizens

Global F

Forums are a great way of facilitating communication. The RSA* is currently evaluating forums for use of fellows and not-yet-fellows.

A lively (sometimes) conversation has been initiated. We are testing various platforms to host the forum. Slack, Discourse and ZetaBoards have been touted. We are using Slack at the moment as our main forum. I like ZetaBoards, it is fairly simple and robust. I like the layout and I have used such a board in the post.

You can see it in action at become a member to see all the features though you can view it as a guest. I am also looking for admins if you have an interest. Become a member first and have a tour round.

There is an instance of Slack set up at

The RSA Fellows test forum for discourse  is at

If you are a group or organisation wanting to facilitate members communicating then setting up  ZetaBoards could be the way to go.

The RSA are planning to come to their decision by 15th March? We will see however whatever their decision I will persist with ZetaBoards.

So come join our forum (s) and get yourself known, increase your digital literacy level.




*The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) mission is to enrich society through ideas and action.

We have been at the forefront of social change for 260 years thanks to the support of our Fellows, a global network of 28,000 people who share our values.

Today our impact is greater than ever. Fellows have access to the brightest new ideas, innovative projects, a diverse network of like-minded people and a platform for social change.

If you support our mission then we want to hear from you


Research (1)

Here are a few documents I have found so far with help from a Fellow or two from The RSA Getting Older Citizens to blog may not be as easy as I thought and I need help. One of my goals is to try and muster a team from The RSA to assist. Perhaps we can publish a paper? Unfortunately f2f will not be easy for me but with the help of the forum I may not need to. However I am learning lots and enjoying this immensly.

“The latest stats show that in 2010, around one in four of the working age population was aged 50 and over, and this is projected to increase to one in three by 2022” Damian Hinds (DWP).

Older Citizens need a voice and that can be through a blog. If you have come to this site to learn about how to blog go here.

Abstract  from a study of digital literacy in the older population.


Cognitive decline is a major risk factor for disability, dementia, and death. The use of Internet/E-mail, also known as digital literacy, might decrease dementia incidence among the older population. The aim was to investigate whether digital literacy might be associated with decreased cognitive decline in older adulthood.


Data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging cohort with 6,442 participants aged 50–89 years, followed for 8 years, with baseline cognitive testing and four additional time points. The main outcome variable was the relative percentage change in delayed recall from a 10-word-list learning task across five separate measurement points. In addition to digital literacy, socioeconomic variables, including wealth and education, comorbidities, and baseline cognitive function were included in predictive models. The analysis used Generalized Estimating Equations.


Higher education, no functional impairment, fewer depressive symptoms, no diabetes, and Internet/E-mail use predicted better performance in delayed recall.


Digital literacy may help reduce cognitive decline among persons aged between 50 and 89 years.

Digital literacy is defined as being able to navigate the Internet and use email.

Internet Users in the UK 2016 by Philip Finlay-Bryan on Scribd


Below is the data from Pew on Internet usage in the USA.

Run your mouse over the charts to view date

Media literacy and digital exclusion in older people

Media literacy, digital exclusion and older people uploaded by  Philip Finlay-Bryan on Scribd

And worth reading is:

Doctor Know a Knowledge Commons in Health uploaded by  Philip Finlay-Bryan on Scribd


 Harvard Health Blog – Learning a new skill  can slow cognitive ageing.

“Active aging involves more than moving your body. You also need to move your brain. “When you exercise, you engage your muscles to help improve overall health,” says Dr. Ipsit Vahia, director of geriatric outpatient services for Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital. “The same concept applies to the brain. You need to exercise it with new challenges to keep it healthy.”

The burning question (s)  is how to contact older citizens and get them to a level of digital literacy where they can blog.

Joan Langrick aged 86

I was born in 1949 and I remember the 1950s. Life was pretty good. This came from my facebook feed via Graham Smith dear old friend I lived with him in the 1980s.

Joan Langrick to We trust and support Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour

Yesterday at 03:20 ·22/1/2017


At the end of the last war I was a young mother with a husband and two children and we were living in terrible accommodation.With so many people bombed out of of their homes we knew it would be years before we could have any sort of decent accommodation Then, amidst all this doom and gloom old labour came into power and we witnessed miracles taking place before our very eyes.

Council houses were being built, prefabs (temporary homes) sprang up like mushrooms almost overnight. Then, although only my husband was working and that was for a very modest wage, we managed to get a mortgage for a home of our own. Schools were built, family planning and baby clinics where I could get free orange juice and free milk when my children started school. They didn’t call “Margaret Thatcher the milk snatcher “for nothing! Factories re-tooled so they could return to peacetime production. The NHS was born, roads and railways rebuilt after so much excessive bombing.Because my brother didn’t pass for grammar school he went to a technical college where he learnt a trade. There were jobs,for the first time in years and we had that wonderful thing called “Hope” life was good.

Owing to us having to fight a very long and expensive war we were far more in debt than we are now. However, old labour put people before money and so decided that although we would have to repay this massive debt we would take our time and not make the savage cuts our government is making now. So, there were no people sleeping on the streets or visiting food banks. Instead they were busy working at re-building Britain’s infrastructure and getting it moving on the roads and railways. True we took a very long time to repay our debt, but we did repay it and our country didn’t suffer the terrible austerity .and cuts it is suffering now.

This is why I am supporting Jeremy Corbyn, it is because he represents the old labour which literally saved our lives all those years ago. Of course he is ridiculed and hated, because his enemies realise he is a very real danger to them. Although I am now eighty six I am actively engaged in trying to get the homeless off our streets not only for their sakes, but also for the sake of my nine great grandchildren who will shortly be needing a home of their own. I can hardly walk, but I can still use my computer and speak at council housing meetings, when someone gives me a lift..I also regularly phone radio stations and open people’s eyes.Finally, this is not just Jeremy’s fight, it is also ours because we are in a serious fight, if not for ourselves, for our children and grandchildren. All too often people think they can’t do anything to get rid of this dreadful government, but believe me they can if they sincerely want to. Also, they believe that they have to wait for a good many years, however this is also not true, the fact is it could happen in a matter of days. So, we must be prepared and focused on putting this amazing Mr Corbyn into number ten, Now wouldn’t it be great if old labour came into power and put the country back on its feet as it did when I was a young mum?
Now there’s a thought!. Joan Langrick… . .

Article on Widows

For Widows, Life After Loss

In some cultures, the death of a husband has meant exile, vulnerability, and abuse. But bereaved women are beginning to fight back.  



Worth a read: National Geographic

1. RETURNING TO LIFE, Vrindavan, India

Long before sunrise the widows of Vrindavan hurried along dark, unpaved alleys, trying to sidestep mud puddles and fresh cow dung. There’s a certain broken sidewalk on which volunteers set out a big propane burner every morning and brew a bathtub-size vat of tea. The widows know they must arrive very early, taking their place on rag mats, lifting their sari hems from the dirt, resting elbows on their knees as they wait. If they come too late, the tea might be gone. Or the puffed rice might be running out at the next charity’s spot, many alleys away. “I can’t rush in the morning—I’m not well,” a widow complained. “But we have to rush. You don’t know what you will miss.”

It was 5:30 a.m., a cool dawn, a sliver moon. A few widows had wrapped themselves in colorful saris, but most wore white, in India the surest signifier of a woman whose husband has died, perhaps recently, perhaps decades ago. In the dim light they moved like schools of fish, still hurrying together, pouring around street corners, a dozen here, two dozen there.

No one has reliably counted the number of widows in Vrindavan. Some reports estimate two or three thousand, others 10,000 or more; the city and its neighboring towns are a spiritual center, crowded with temples to the Hindu god Krishna and ashrams in which bhajans—devotional songs—are chanted all day long by impoverished widows who crowd side by side on the floor. The sanctity of bhajan ashrams is sustained by steady chanting, and although this is nominally the role of pilgrims and priests, the widows earn hot meals, and perhaps nighttime sleeping mats, by singing these chants over and over, sometimes three or four hours at a time.

They live in shelters too, and in shared rental rooms, and under roadside tarps when no indoor accommodation will admit them. Vrindavan is about 100 miles south of Delhi, but the widows come here from all over India, particularly the state of West Bengal, where allegiance to Krishna is intense. Sometimes they arrive accompanied by gurus they trust. Sometimes their relatives bring them, depositing the family widow in an ashram or on a street corner and driving away.


Even relatives who don’t literally drive a widow from the family home can make it plain every day that her role among them has ended—that a widow in India, forever burdened by the misfortune of having outlived her husband, is “physically alive but socially dead,” in the words of Delhi psychologist Vasantha Patri, who has written about the plight of India’s widows. So, because Vrindavan is known as a “city of widows,” a possible source of hot meals and companionship and purpose, they also come alone, on buses or trains, as they have for generations. “None of us wants to go back to our families,” a spidery woman named Kanaklata Adhikari declared in firm Bengali from her bed in the shelter room she shares with seven other widows. “We never talk to our families. We are our family.”

1965 Lloret De Mar, Spain

Lloret De Mar
Thanks to Roy for the photo

We were 16 and for all of us it was the first holiday on our own Me, Martin Jennings, Roy Clayton and Keith Taylor, all working class boys, well Keith was a bit middle class. (All grammar school boys so we were quite bright). We decided to go to Lloret De Mar just north of Barcelona. Can’t remember how we decided, one of us must have heard about it. Google maps  just about shows our route.

google maps London to Lloret De Mar
London to Lloret De Mar

Spain in August 1965, it was the year before it was discovered by tourists, virgin territory! We were all practically broke I had a few quid saved up so we thought we would hitchhike how difficult would it be? I had £30 I had saved from my  job as a delivery boy and we planned to stay for a month. (School summer holidays were 6 weeks). We would camp. We had a couple of tents. So we all piled into my dads estate car and he drove us to Dover to get the ferry to Calais. I hate Calais 😆 . We decided to split up into twos as four hitchhiking would be daft. I went with Roy and Keith and Martin went separately. We planned our route avoiding Paris and took reasonably good  A roads avoiding motorways (couldn’t hitch on them)

Getting out of Calais was a nightmare. We tried and tried and ended up walking out of town. We were off the main road. I remember it was a dark and stormy night and we hitched for nearly 8 hours without a lift. BUT we wouldn’t give up and return home, failures, we would bloody well walk there if we had to. Then we got a few lifts and made it to  Rouen, not too far but it was a start….. We lived on bread and cheese from local patisseries

A few names linger in my memory Clement Ferrand, Limoges, Toulouse, Carcassonne the walled city,  we glimpsed them but didn’t linger. Our school boy French worked surprisingly well. We made it to Perpignan and got a bit stuck but just outside we got a lift from a Spanish priest who was going to Portbou just across the border. He had an old 2CV van full of apples he was taking home. Portbou was on the coast and out of our way but ” Senors you must come it is fiesta” so we went for the night of partying and I had my first taste of paella. We slept for a bit and then someone gave us a lift to Gerona the following morning. OMG we were nearly there…But lifts were a bit hard to come by, dribs and drabs on side roads until we were a few miles from Lloret. F**k it we would walk, so we did. I can remember arriving at the campsite and there were Martin and Keith waiting for us, they had had a much easier time. It had taken Roy and me 3 days to travel over a thousand miles!

Lloret De Mar

This was the time before the tourist invasion and the beach was practically empty…..sometimes there were 10 people. No hotels had been built, it was unspoilt.

Lloret De Mar beach
Lloret beach

It was absolutely brilliant. The camp site , which was on the beach practically, the bar served us alcohol and we drank……a lot. A Coubralibre rum and coke cost a shilling, we were a bit drunk most of the time and whooped it up in the practically deserted camp site. We could afford to eat out, Spain in those days was dirt cheap,  but we did a bit of cooking. Hot dogs and stuff. The Med was gorgeous. We stayed for three weeks. Aww but I fell in love three days before we were due to leave with Marcella De Geode a sixteen year old Dutch girl. Blonde blue eyed a drop dead gorgeous figure . *Sigh* . She was camping too and the excitement was intents!

Thanks again to Roy


I left in tears and Marcella waved us off. It was decided we would change partners I went home with Keith. I was totally broke. Keith still had some money. We did ok hitching but found ourselves stuck just out side Paris. We were pretty exhausted so Keith suggested we go into Paris and get a train to Calais ( we all had return tickets for the ferry) . Keith would pay and I would pay him back once I got home. One of the dads picked us up from Dover from what I remember. We had been gone a month.

What an adventure! We returned to school heroes!

The following year I went back to Lloret, Mum Dad and girlfriend. The beach was so packed you could barely move.

To come  later:  my tour of Italy when I was 11 and Malta when I was 12 but these involved the Rev Millins of Kensal Green who sexually abused me when I was 10. I’ll blog about that one day. It still hurts. But I’m a survivor!! I hitchhiked to Spain when I was 16!!!!

Here’s a hit from 1965. I can rememberr most of the top ten in 1965 when I looked them up. Here is a tune close to my heart,


Coming soon to a blog near you ” 1971 six months in Torremolinos coz I bought a land rover instead of a boat “

If you liked this or your name is Roy Clayton please leave a comment.