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Hey fatty boom boom, sweet sugar dumpling

Hey fatty boom boom let me tell you something.  Music was my first love and it will be my last.  Lyrics can say so much about the way I feel, better than I can express myself sometimes.  I thought I would give you the latest update in the saga of my laptop and also sing out in praise of others.

I was told that the old laptop would be picked up on 12 January and my new laptop would be with me sometime between the 10 and 31 January.  I told them I couldn’t get time off so could they arrange to have it picked up from my step-daughter but let me know that had been done so I could get the laptop to her.  Next thing I know there is a card pushed through my door on 12 January saying they had tried to pick it up from here.  I thought no problem I can change the pick up address and have it picked up on Monday, oh if only it was that easy.  No option but to leave the pick up from here, so I thought let’s email them and let them know I can get it picked up once someone is in after 17:45 on Monday.

Again on Monday they tried to pick up the laptop during the day when no-one was home and no reply to my email.  Also, nothing from HP about the pick up or dropping the new one off.  Details said they would try again on the Tuesday for the last time, a courier had also tried to deliver the new laptop and it had been taken to a newsagent 3 miles away.  I rang for a taxi and went to pick it up before having a drink or anything to eat.  I am so amazed and impressed with my new laptop as it has biometric signin and that makes everything better and more secure.

On the Tuesday I had an email from UPS saying they had tried and would make the last attempt on the Wednesday.  HP emailed and asked if there was another address to pick the laptop up from if it wasn’t picked up the following day.  I replied to them and told them they could pick it up from work and gave them the address and phone number.  When they turned up on the Wednesday, once again it was during the day and no-one was in (no surprise there).  Then on Friday, they turned up but said they couldn’t take it away as it wasn’t in a box.  The courier firm they used last year when it went in for it’s 5th repair brought a box to take it in and brought it back in the same box following the repair.  The new courier company, however, don’t provide a box and won’t pick it up if it isn’t in one.

I had the box the new one came in so I put it in there and wondered if it would be picked up on Monday from work.  I now got the laptop booted up and when I signed into my emails there was one from HP saying they were going to pick it up from my step-daughter on Friday 26 January.  So this week I have to meet my step-daughter and make sure she has the laptop when the courier calls to pick it up and also that it is in a box.

I keep hearing a lot of bulls**t from the current POTUS who, in spite of winning the white house last year, has consistently spread lies, hate and seems to be willing to have the American people in fear of each other and foreigners. The only thing wrong with divisive politics is that it becomes impossible to reunite those divided by mistrust, lies and fears.  We need to show everyone that no matter what the press put forth about them there are places where everyone is welcome unless they come to spread hate. We don’t have to tolerate haters and I don’t see why we should.

If everyone who feels everyone alive today should be treated the same regardless of gender, sexual preference, skin colour, religion or any thing else which makes us unique and different, shouted down the haters we could not only stop them from spreading their hate but could shut them up for good.

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Say that you’re the one whose taking me home.

I have read some amazing books in my time but there are a couple of female authors writing love stories for the modern age who I have just discovered and thoroughly enjoyed reading their books.

I started thinking about this and wondered what makes an action tale different from the norm? Lots of action tales have a love interest in them just to try for mass appeal. But that doesn’t make them different. A lot of modern action tales have strong women in the lead role and the love interest is almost an aside.

So why do these tales work where others fail? I think the secret is in the style of the writing. Every author has their own style and tempo so the tale flows (look at Quentin Tarantino and you’ll see stories don’t have to start with the beginning or end at the end). Once the writer decides on the story, creates the characters and starts putting flesh on the bones and blood in the veins things start to happen. I’ve heard some people say that they create the characters but the characters create the story. They just follow where it all leads.

If only it were that easy for me, I’m still struggling with my life story for 1967, I put things down on the page and then I think “was that in 1967? Maybe it was 1969 or later”. Then I stop and think it through, delete what I have written and start again or, if its really late I delete it and go to bed. Of course not having my own computer makes it hard to write anything at all at the moment. Still I’m thinking about it so that’s something I suppose.

Anyway to progress this particular tale, the two women I’ve read recently have taken decidedly different approaches to story telling. One based her tale in the present looking to the future while the other set hers in the future looking at the past. The similarity between them both is not immediately obvious but both tales have strong women who are independent and followed by equally strong male characters. This does make the tales different and it also helps to develop the original story into a saga of 3 or more tales. One of the authors of recent times who has developed strong characters both male and female, of course, is Joanne Rawling, whose Harry Potter series of books took the literary world (and then Hollywood) by storm and made her a household name.

Women are becoming stronger on film, in television series and that is only right. We just need to make sure that there are no discrepancies in the pay for men and women. If you look at Hollywood there is still a big difference between how much women and men are paid for movies. When you think in terms of box office success this makes no sense at all. Why shouldn’t Angelina Jolie be paid as much as Will Smith for a movie? It’s about time that actors were paid less for their skills making them equal in pay, then topped up with a profit share of their movies. That way if an Angelina Jolie movie made a lot at the box office she would be paid in recognition of that.

The video below is from Vevo and doesn’t belong to me.

Another year over and a new one just begun

At this time of year there is a lot of happiness around, people spending time with loved ones, family and friends. However, there is a lot of sadness around too. A lot more people being evicted for rent arrears because they had their benefits stopped right before the Christmas closedown.

Others were made redundant from the end of the month and told not to bother working the notice period, only to find that no-one is hiring at this time of year. So maybe we should take some time out from the festivities tomorrow to think of those less fortunate individuals who have no-one and/or nothing to look forward to in the New Year. I am not saying invite them into your home, but could you spare a warm drink for someone on the street? Can you take a cup of tea and a sandwich to someone who is down on their luck? If we lose sight of our humanity now then it will be difficult to regain it when the season ends and work resumes in January.

This isn’t a lecture, dear reader, so many of us don’t see the homeless as they keep being moved along from where they try to get some warmth. The Salvation Army do a splendid job with the homeless all year long and do what they can at this time of year. If you can spare a coffee or tea and a bite to eat for someone who has nothing it will give them a sense of not being in their plight alone but knowing that others care may bring a little light into their otherwise dreary holiday no different from any other day.

The thing I find very hard to believe is that for all the festivities and love flowing around every corner there are still those who want to bring hatred and distress to others even at this time of year. Those who want to cause grief and misery at any time of year should pay attention to the mood of the people around them. In the face of adversity, thank goodness, we all tend to get together and make things better for everyone in our vicinity. During the dark days of the Second World War when London and the Home Counties were being bombed almost continuously everyone tried to get together and live through the bombs dropping with support from others they didn’t know before.

That spirit still runs through the entire UK, we gave so much to stop hatred and genocide between 1939 and 1945 what makes people think things will be any different today? Our friends and allies know they can rely on us to back them up no matter what. We always have, although they haven’t always been eager to reciprocate. When the Falkland Islanders asked for help because the Argentinian Army and Navy had invaded them and tried to change their way of life we went alone to the rescue of these out of the way islands when the USA was closer to them and their fleet could have blockaded the islands. They refused as they were also allies of Argentina. Our fleet had to travel half way around the planet to get to the battle zone, we lost a lot of ships, men and suffered a great deal of injuries as well to push the Argentinians off the islands and give the Islanders back the freedom they needed to continue with their way of life and be free.

Is there any greater deed anyone of us can do than to lay down our lives for another? Of course once we are dead we don’t know if the other person got away without any further harm or if, once our sacrifice was made they were too weak to get themselves to safety. I would hope that if I were to jump in because someone was being attacked or abused the abuser would not be able to continue with the abuse as others would also come forward.

Not everyone is as free of fear to do as I would, however, most decent people will jump in if someone else shows them the way. Once we can overcome our initial thought of fleeing and stand up for those who are being persecuted and terrorised then we can reclaim our humanity, spread our community to include everyone and exclude none, if everyone joins together for the greater good of humanity then we can make wars a thing of the past and wouldn’t that be a good thing to achieve for our children’s children’s children?

The love train rides from coast to coast

This time of year is really horrible, snow sleet and rain fall most of the days, temperature drops at night and then walking into work in the mornings with rain in your face all of a sudden your feet go out from under you and then you find yourself sprawled on the floor. You think it may have been ice but you always hope it’s not dog poop you stood on and lay in. No way to tell whether it is or not until you stand up and look around.

I hate the cold weather, dreary and miserable and the lack of sun brings on my winter blues, when all I really want to do is sleep all day and play all night without going too far from home just so I can remain warm. I have a good coat so wearing it with a sweatshirt makes me too hot, without a sweat shirt I remain comfortable, then I get to work and start to bake unless I’m wet through from falling on my backside on my way in. If only we could haul the anchor up on this island we call home and move it further south nearer to the equator so it would never get so cold as to freeze then going to work in the winter wouldn’t be such a chore.

If the winter wasn’t so cold and miserable then maybe there would be less mental health issues at this time of year. We could cut down on cold and flu medication as we do in the summer months, and queuing to see the doctor might become a thing of the past a lot quicker than this Government wants. However, we are unable to move this island south and that makes all this just a lot of wishful thinking. If we stop dreaming then we stop doing the impossible and will stagnate.

If we don’t dream then how could we continue to develop bigger and better things to help make lives better and leisure time more productive? If we don’t make better things then would we stagnate and become less than we are now? All this if we stop dreaming would it not come to pass that no new invention would be created? We have to keep dreaming to progress, some have ideas and will create designs, split up and show what is needed to be done. Others can take these ideas and designs and start to build them. It takes trial and error to bring the initial idea to life, a tweak here and there before it is ready to be unveiled.

While doing this, is it better to think of others or just to think of ourselves? Isn’t it always better to consider others when we dream? Civilisation depends on moving forward and taking care of those around us. We need to spread the love around us that we feel for each other, after all love will always trump hate. I don’t fear those who spread hatred, for eventually they will find that no-one is listening to them and no-one wants to follow their ideas of hatred and fear any more. People like Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Putin and Trump only learn the lesson the hard way.

Somebody brought the juicer I thought I’d take a sip

My last post upset me so much, I’m not sure if you understood what I was getting at by reviewing Mein Kampf (My Struggle) but as the most hated man in the world prior to 2001 I thought I would read his book to see if there was any indication of how such an evil man came into being. What I read shook me because his arguments were well discussed, he set out his reasons for believing what he was writing and, I think, he truly believed them.

A man like that who could do so much evil by controlling a country decimated by war and it’s aftermath could have done so much good had he had a mind to. The art of history is to teach the mistakes of the past which is why I don’t think his book should be banned by any society but not everyone who reads it will have my point of view and some may read his words today and be moved by them as the German people were in the 1920’s. The world was a much more violent place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, countries signed alliances based on marriages between Royal Families and hoped they would never have to honour them.

Europe could have been united before the end of the first World War had Germany gone to the negotiating table with a stronger representation. Because the French wanted reparation for the destruction of French fields and lands as quickly as possible they bled Germany dry. That mistake was not made at the end of the second World War, Germany was split in two by the Allies, half rebuilt by the West and the other half left in ruin by the Soviet Army. Since reunification of Germany it has once again become the most powerful state in Europe, this time though there are none who want to see another war destroying Europe at the hands of Europeans. In Germany or any other European country. The European Union has played its part in that, however, we Brits were never part of that because, as Winston Churchill himself put it in 1949, “Why would we seek to willingly join with 2 countries we have so recently defeated in War and 3 others who were occupied for so long by those 2?”

That has been our attitude here for so long we still take pride in defeating Germany and Germans at every opportunity. Now we are going to cut off our noses to spite our face because our leaders have never successfully negotiated with Europe since we voted to join in 1972. If they had then we would have not had a second referendum in 2016 which opted us for Brexit. If our Prime Ministers over the years had gone into a united Europe from the beginning then we could have used our position to better help to heal the wounds caused between 1939-1945, forging a much stronger Europe and one which could have helped to heal the scars left over from 2 disastrous wars when almost every country on this planet was involved.

The thing this time; with the third World War, which started back in 2001 on 9 November in the United States of America; is that the bulk of the fighting has been fought in the Middle East. Yes there have been the odd rumblings in Europe, a few skirmishes here and there, as well as the odd shots fired, planes brought down in the USA. For the most part however, the fighting has been in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. With pockets of fighting in Africa. The reason I call this a World War when the political stance currently in the USA that it isn’t is down to the fact that this time there are no neutral countries, every country has upped the security, closed borders, arrested immigrants and sent them back to the country they were fleeing or back to the country they were last welcomed into.

That was the reason behind Brexit, why a lot of places in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Greece and Sweden who took in vast numbers of refugees paid the price for this action by having some enemy combatants hiding in plain sight. Unlike the other two world wars where every soldier wore a uniform, this time it is only our soldiers who wear uniforms. Our enemies no longer wear a uniform because they are cowards and want to get innocent people to pay for their war. They refuse to make themselves known to anyone until they are wearing a suicide vest and carrying a gun yet they want us to imagine a big and powerful army is setting against us, why? So that we will kill people because of their religion or where they came from? Yes that is exactly their reasoning. History has taught them nothing except to hide, and fight then run. Our biggest advantage is that we have never bowed down to terror as a weapon, in the two previous World Wars there was terror deployed on both sides of the fighting to try and end the hostilities. However, after all was said and done the ones who wanted to enslave the others were defeated so what makes these terrorists today think they can win?

There’s nothing you can see that isn’t shown, nothing you can know that isn’t known

I wonder if anyone is still living today who has read the book “Mein Kampf” apart from me. I was curious to see if Adolf Hitler had actually stated his intention for the Holocaust before the start of 1939 and it is all there, written in 1923, that every ill that had befallen Germany following the end of the Great War (WWI) was the fault of the International Jew.

How much of an argument did he have with the Jew? Well, he set out his stall and argued that everything that had happened since the signing of the Armistice in November 1918 bringing WWI to an end was a plan to ruin Germany and bring it to its knees by the Jewish people. Complete poppycock but he argued so strongly for it and blamed the Jew for the rise of Communism and the fall of Germany, the rate of inflation in Germany was all the fault of the Jew and no blame was laid at the feet of any one German, well not true, he accused the Chancellor of signing away the rights of every German at the behest of his Jewish masters. He argued very strongly to wipe out Jews from the whole of Europe and then proceeded to get himself elected to office by creating disruption to meetings of the bourgeois class and then marching in with his National Socialist Party henchmen to beat up those party members dressed in the same manner as the German Communists. this won him praise from the German people so when he finally became Chancellor in the 1930’s he proceeded to declare elections illegal, the parliament was disbanded and he became the Supreme Ruler, or Fuehrer.

He conned the German people and the Governments of France, Italy, Britain and others to allow him to re-arm the German people so that they could protect their borders, as soon as the German Army became almost as powerful as it had been at the outbreak of the Great War he started plotting to take over Eastern Europe and sent a few troops into Poland wearing Polish uniforms to break through the barricade into Germany and gun down German soldiers wearing German uniforms. That way he thought he would get away with invading Poland. What he didn’t envisage was the Western powers seeing through his scam and promptly declaring war on Germany (again).

Had Hitler thought things through a little more he might have waited until Germany had developed it’s Nuclear arsenal, in 1942 German scientists were working on rockets and nuclear warheads but the war started to turn against them in 1942 so they were running out of time and the Allies were almost at the same place Germany was with nuclear weapons. Anyway, the point of this little exercise is that if Hitler hadn’t been in such a rush to try and conquer Eastern Europe and Russia while invading France and the Netherlands maybe the war would have had a different ending.

However, we are where we are today and we recognise jumped up dictators for what they are because of Hitler. It has to be time to educate each other and say enough of hate and destruction let’s work together to make this planet fit for everyone without exception. If we include everyone it makes us better citizens and better humans, gives us an edge and helps us to continue to grow. We need to spread love and understanding to every corner of the planet and see if we can work together to conquer all the ills that are still going around. Let’s not bury our heads in the sand and hope that the idiots will wake up to themselves because they won’t. Let’s educate them and teach them how to behave and think, without bitterness and blame. Everyone needs someone to start and a place to begin, let’s make that time now, today and not put it off any longer.

 

But you and me ain’t no movie stars. What we are is what we are.

It’s often said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but if we don’t choose to see beauty does that mean it isn’t there? I think beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder but exists for anyone who has a mind to see it, to drink it in and enjoy the view. There is more to life than work and sleep, we should all take times when we do nothing but enjoy the view, smell the roses, and give thanks for all we have. After all, there is beauty to be found in the streets, the hills, the skies. At night when there is no pollution from street lights there is a myriad of glitter in the sky around us.

Does anyone truly believe that in all the vastness of space this is the only inhabited rock? Or is there somewhere out in the great vastness of the unknown at least one other inhabited planet with intelligent beings living on it who are more advanced than we are? Or perhaps they are less advanced than we are, who knows for sure? When we look out with our telescopes (even Hubble) we are looking into the past and the further we look the further back we go.

Does anyone think that if someday we meet strangers they will be beligerent and look to conquer us? Just the way the Europeans went round the world in the 12th to 15th centuries and enslaved every native race they encountered led by the French, Spanish and English while being closely followed by the Dutch and German explorers. When the world had been carved up, India, Africa and the lands close by the explorers started thinking that if the sun and moon were orbs then it would make sense that this planet of ours was also an orb, wouldn’t it? One explorer set out from Spain with the blessing of the King and Queen to find another way to the Indies. Instead he found an entire new continent inhabited by natives using bows and arrows to hunt and fight their enemies. Columbus had three ships, crewed fully and canons, guns and muskets but he chose to try and negotiate with the natives not to kill them.

Can’t we learn a lesson from him? Better to try and negotiate and remain friendly than to kill and fight, even when you have the upper hand. Of course Columbus landed thinking he was in the Indies until he discovered that beyond the islands there was a huge land mass which was not India, nor Africa. He named this new world the Americas, and when he returned to Spain with his ships laden with gold, silver and jewels ever nation in Europe heard of his exploits and then the Europeans set sail for the New World and fought many bloody battles across the Atlantic Ocean to stop the others from increasing their wealth.

You would think that time would have taught us all that united we can remain strong but alone we become weakened and if we are weak then will we not perish at the hands of the terrorist? England has been threatened before and stood strong, we joined Europe and made her stronger but now we are leaving can that be a wise move? Only time will tell, the fact that the people chose an exit means we are on that route and will remain so until we make our divorce settlement then we stand or fall alone. I still think we can fight this world war united with our fellows in Europe and the USA but trade may become harder short term once our ties with our nearest neighbours are cut.

However, we will have to wait and see what comes forth in the future but the “Muslims” who follow their own religion will see that we will never lie down in the face of threats and death. We are stubborn and have never been afraid to fight against terror for those who are invaded, held under a jackboot or otherwise enslaved. (Yes we did begin the slave trade moving blacks from Africa to the New Land but we were also the first to end our involvement in it).

In the North East there were good people who saw the slave trade as the evil it was and decided to fight it in the water and in Parliament to put an end to the mistreatment of human beings just because they were primitive and uneducated and stop trading them as they were animals to be bought and sold. When there is enough love to go round everyone then surely war will become a subject in schools because it will have no place in our brave new world.

All you need is love, love is all you need.

Wow, right how about this for a complete turn around! Heard from HP about my laptop and, drum roll please, they have decided to send me a replacement after all… woohoo patience does work wonders sometimes.

On a less favourable note, and this is asked of everyone of you my dear readers, if someone works in a care home how long would you expect them to keep cctv footage for? A week, a month, longer, less? I’m asking because I’m convinced that any footage should be kept securely off site for at least a year. I’ve tried looking on the gov.uk and nhs web sites without any luck.

Just to give you a heads up the care home hasn’t been accused of not taking care of the residents, but a member of staff was sexually assaulted by a more senior member of staff in view of another female member of staff and the cameras, the senior member of staff and the female colleague both denied the incident took place and, apparently the footage has been written over since the incident so there’s no proof to back up the allegations. I find this very convenient and believe the woman who told me about this. I’m not prepared to stand by and tell her to leave, I told her to report it to the police because, if the care home should still have the footage and don’t that’s serious, also her underwear being cut off her body at work in front of witnesses makes the company liable under the health and safety at work act for a sexual assault going unreported and the perpetrator going unpunished. Let me know by leaving a comment whether you agree with me or the care home that cctv footage can be overwritten within a month. Thanks for reading.

One day I’ll fly away

Yesterday was the 99th anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles ending the Great War. Today is Remembrance Sunday and our thoughts (or at least mine) have been with those souls who gave their lives in time of conflict to protect our way of life.

Some, died in battle, others saving lives of their comrades and others died at the hands of cowards. However they died I am thankful for the sacrifice they made.

No music, no pictures because nothing can make up for the war which ended so many lives and we still fight today, not for Empires, not to force our way of life on others but we ask so much of our troops today to fight an enemy to scared and cowardly to wear a uniform and make themselves known to our children. They prefer to hide in plain sight, behind a facade of piety, saying they are doing God’s will. How can they be doing God’s will when every holy book preaches peace, love and understanding? They’re doing the devils work and this was told from the beginning when man first took up arms against himself, devils come in all guises and twist religion and religious text to suit their purpose.

How long do we have to wait for peace to come? Will it ever get here? All you need is love and respect for each other to stop fighting for ever, let’s join together and give peace a chance. We’ve tried war for millennia and it’s never worth the losses, the time has come to try something else. We can’t give in to terror or terrorists, they will never break us today and they could not break us before!

Here we all are, sitting in a rainbow

It’s really sad when we hear about people dying no matter how old they are. That’s part of human life though so we should expect it to happen at some time. There is one thing I hear time and again though that really makes me mad, and that’s someone in a position of authority who abuses that authority.

I hear from women all the time that they are subjected to all kinds of unwanted sexual advances and this constitutes sexual harassment under the human rights acts. I’m not saying that I have never made comments to colleagues that could be misplaced but I hope that they know me well enough to tell me if my comment was on the bad side of appropriate. To give an example one of my colleagues, who usually wears jeans came in on Halloween wearing the most wonderful pair of tights and her makeup was also brilliant so I commended her on her makeup and tights, I would have done the same if she had been a male colleague who had been wearing those tights and had the same makeup on.

I meant that as a compliment and it was accepted as such, however had she felt my comment made her feel uncomfortable I would hope she would have said something at the time. I’m not saying I don’t find her attractive, she is very beautiful and her boyfriend is a very lucky man, but I don’t think of her as anything other than a colleague and a friend. I support every woman’s right to wear anything they want and not to feel as though they are “asking for it” because of the clothes they wear.

Any man who sees women as sexual playthings has his head on back to front, women deserve to be treated as equals and they often work harder than any man to achieve recognition for themselves. This attitude stinks. Women who are made to feel uncomfortable because of a man’s attitude towards them should be able to tell him how he makes her feel without any kind of comeback. Men are not better, harder working, or superior in any way shape or form and if we, as males, don’t fight to change attitudes and behaviours then we are failing as human beings to protect our society.

No one deserves to be seen as a sexual object, even though we are all human we have different aspects to our character and we feel attracted to different people in different ways. I feel so strongly that, due to the time we spend at work every day that we should all feel comfortable being there. We’re all human with human needs and no one should feel uncomfortable around us.

Let me know if you agree or disagree, as always, dear reader.