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Toyohashi

The evening was spent in Toyohashi a city that is an export hub for motor vehicles but seemed to have little else to recommend it.  But the hotel was good with a panoramic view revealing the surprising presence of two large Christian churches.  I was moved to look these up on Google and one turned out to be the Toyohashi Japanese Orthodox Church, St. Matthew the Evangelist. 

 


St. Matthew the Evangelist - top center

There are over a dozen Christian churches in Toyohashi.  So much for the Shogunate's attempts to outlaw the religion.  Although, to the probable posthumous chagrin of the Pope's Iberian evangelists, should their unlikely belief in an afterlife be vindicated, most have turned out to be Protestant.

Toyohashi was one of those places that we needed to find our own place to eat.  Most eateries in this largely industrial town looked a bit dismal but after a few approaches and retreats, usually due to a lack of a wine list, we eventually ended up at a very acceptable Korean style barbeque restaurant and felt very like being back in Korea.

 

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Travel

Spain and Portugal

 

 

Spain is in the news.

Spain has now become the fourth Eurozone country, after Greece, Ireland and Portugal, to get bailout funds in the growing crisis gripping the Euro.

Unemployment is high and services are being cut to reduce debt and bring budgets into balance.  Some economists doubt this is possible within the context of a single currency shared with Germany and France. There have been violent but futile street demonstrations.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The McKie Family

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

This is the story of the McKie family down a path through the gardens of the past that led to where I'm standing.  Other paths converged and merged as the McKies met and wed and bred.  Where possible I've glimpsed backwards up those paths as far as records would allow. 

The setting is Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England and my path winds through a time when the gardens there flowered with exotic blooms and their seeds and nectar changed the entire world.  This was the blossoming of the late industrial and early scientific revolution and it flowered most brilliantly in Newcastle.

I've been to trace a couple of lines of ancestry back six generations to around the turn of the 19th century. Six generations ago, around the turn of the century, lived sixty-four individuals who each contributed a little less 1.6% of their genome to me, half of them on my mother's side and half on my father's.  Yet I can't name half a dozen of them.  But I do know one was called McKie.  So this is about his descendents; and the path they took; and some things a few of them contributed to Newcastle's fortunes; and who they met on the way.

In six generations, unless there is duplication due to copulating cousins, we all have 126 ancestors.  Over half of mine remain obscure to me but I know the majority had one thing in common, they lived in or around Newcastle upon Tyne.  Thus they contributed to the prosperity, fertility and skill of that blossoming town during the century and a half when the garden there was at its most fecund. So it's also a tale of one city.

My mother's family is the subject of a separate article on this website. 

 

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Opinions and Philosophy

Electricity Pricing

 

 August 2012 (chapters added since)

 

 

Introduction

 

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Industry experts point to looming problems in supply and even higher price increases.

A 'root and branch' review of these mechanisms is urgently required to prevent ever increasing prices and to prevent further potentially crippling distortions.

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