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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 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.

I am he as you are he and you are me and we are all together

See how they run like pigs from a gun see how they fly. In 1967 just after christmas there was a short film shown on BBC1 for the first time, made by The Beatles and not released in the cinema’s it was the first (at least the first I remember) that a film was made specifically for a television audience.

I watched it with my mum and dad, and during the stripper sequence my mum turned round and said “Why didn’t they just show that instead of putting CENSORED all the way across it?” when she turned round to face the camera. I recently bought the film on blu-ray disc and guess what… CENSORED still comes up even though women have been used to advertise everything from cars to condoms and creams in more states of undress than that. Now I’m no prude but did that have to be left on the screen or could they have shown more of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band at the point she turned round? If a woman is prepared to strip off then it should be her choice how far she is happy going. But that is not the point I’m trying to make here.

The point is, if the woman was stripping in front of the camera while the Bonzo’s were singing death cab for cutie why show her turning round at all? Why not just leave her back view or side view when she started to turn around and zoom in on the band playing or even the Beatles themselves sitting in the audience? Why did Paul McCartney think it necessary to have her turn to face the camera and place a sign across her chest saying CENSORED? Especially now when the censor is you, me and every thing is permitted. The Beatles pushed the boundaries in so many ways during the 1960’s and I grew up with their music and inspiration to change the world for the better.

I still feel we have a long way to go but we are still heading in the right direction, in the main. Yes there are some people who preach hatred as though it is a good thing, it never is. There are those who preach that their religion is the only true religion and all others are false, how do they know this? There are those who preach that violence and destruction is the only way the human race will ever grow, it isn’t. There are those who teach intolerance and hatred of anyone who is different to their children. We have to eradicate this intolerance and hatred but how do we educate those too stupid to realise they have become lodged in the past when history has shown how division only ruins nations and never proves stronger than unity?

I would like to take those who refuse to accept that people are all the same, we all bleed red and have the same inside us as everyone else, put them on an island somewhere and leave them to their own devices for a month then go back and see if they have all survived and whether or not they have learned anything from being there.

We need to concentrate on sharing our similarities and not fighting over our differences. The differences are what make us unique, and we are all unique. If someone hurts one of us it hurts us all, whether it is done deliberately or accidentally an injury suffered by one at the hands of another is not going to end there it has ripple effects. Every thing we do, every thing we say, everyone we meet has an influence on us for good or ill. The feeling we go away with affects our attitudes towards others from that point onwards, ripples on a pond.

If we show someone that we are pleased to see them by smiling at them, saying hello or some other small token, it will make them feel better and it also makes us feel better. If we glare at someone as we pass them in the street will it make them feel bad for their behaviour? Probably not, will we feel better for having glared at them for some perceived action? Probably not, will it disturb our attitude for the rest of our day? Very probably.

If we share some love around, believe me dear reader this does work, then the receiver of this love will feel better and will go on to share this with others. We will also feel better that a smile, hand shake or kind word has gone on to make some one else feel appreciated. Back stabbing is never a good idea, this only succeeds in spoiling our own day while those affected will feel bad for a little while, but not forever and, probably, not for the rest of the day.

Please remember that Love is all you need and all you need is Love. Spread it around and it comes back to you with sunshine instead of rain. As always the music is from YouTube and is not owned by me, hope you enjoy it anyway.

It’s a little bit me, a little bit you.

I finally heard back from HP Customer Services and, surprise surprise, they still won’t deliver at a time to suit me. They did say they would use any address I chose to pick up and deliver back to. Problem is, I have lost touch with my family left down here, my step-kids work and when they don’t work they go out. I have therefore got 2 problems to contend with, finding out when someone will be in for the day and getting the laptop to them for a repair (the 5th repair to sort out the boot up times and also to correct the issues from the last time they had it). None of this is really acceptable so I was wondering what my other options would be when I remembered the Citizens Advice web site. Lo and behold they are breaching the Consumer Rights Act, which states that they have 6 years from date of purchase to correct the defects. If the defects aren’t corrected within a timely period then I should be given my option of a replacement product or a refund of the purchase price.

I have mentioned this in my reply so here’s expecting to hear nothing further from him, or else to reiterate that he cannot offer me a replacement without proof of purchase which was sent to an email address I have not had access to for years. Apparently, even though they are supposed to keep records of sales for at least 6 years for audit purposes, they don’t have the record of my purchase.  However, they do keep repairing it as they have the record of the extended warranty.

Surely if they have the extended warranty they must also have attached that to the purchase date of the laptop as it increased the warranty period from 12 months to 36 months. How can they find one and not the other?

Answers as always on the back of an unstamped elephant to the usual address. Replies welcome my dear reader.

You can tell by the way I use my walk

Well, no surprise I haven’t heard anything from HP about my laptop being replaced or repaired any time soon. I keep being offered a pick up Monday to Friday but they can’t guarantee that it would be picked up at a time I could be in. However they will pick it up from work address, my work won’t allow that, or I can take it to the nearest DPD depot, which is 2 hours bus journey away. Needless to say the depot closes at 7 which is about an hour before I could get there. I have even offered to have it repaired locally if they pay for it, still only offering me a pickup on a day to suit me which they won’t offer (Saturday is the only day I can guarantee to be in).

Anyhoo I won’t go into that further as I’m up for my dad’s 90th birthday bash of a high tea in a posh restaurant, more later when I return from it. I don’t know what to expect so it would be interesting to read if any one else has been to one.

Well, high tea starter was toast, butter, jam or marmalade. This was followed by a main meal, choice from the restaurant menu, steak pie, steak, fish & chips or mac & cheese. This was followed by cakes, tea or coffee. Then we decamped to the bar area for the birthday cake and chats, as well as family pictures of dad and various family members. Everyone started to disappear about 5:45 and dad was being taken home by my youngest brother before he took his eldest daughter home to Aberdeen.

Hope to get some pictures soon to post here. I was too tired to run around and take any myself.

Here we are and here we are and here we go.

It may have taken a little while to get things moving with the complaint but it looks as though my laptop issues are finally going to be resolved. I told you last time, dear reader, that I had replied to the email asking me for a convenient time to be called when I’m at work and on the phone, so couldn’t be contacted. I received a reply saying that someone would deal with my complaint via email and he could offer me a little something to ease my issues (the company didn’t want any more bad publicity reading between the lines). He offered me a wireless mouse (I bought one with the laptop), a case for the laptop (I bought one with the laptop) or a printer (I bought one two months before the laptop).

I replied and told him that none of these solutions would be acceptable as I already had all of those items. I also told him that my laptop had not been returned in an acceptable condition so could he offer me a replacement? I then told him the one I wanted as a replacement (£1200 worth of laptop) and he didn’t send me the expected reply which would have been telling me to take a running jump from a very short pier. He asked me for my proof of purchase email (sent to my work email address) in order to replace the laptop. I checked through my personal emails to see if, by some miracle, I had sent this to myself from the work email address which I lost access to in 2016 following the company split. I hadn’t so I thought I’d ask if he could look up my details and see from the store records the proof of purchase. Again expecting a reply in the negative, he told me he couldn’t but he had asked the sales team for company purchases to look through their records and would be in touch when he heard from them again.

This was totally unexpected so I will wait with bated breath to see if anything comes of this and will update you all later with any outcome to this ongoing saga.


On another note, I’ve noticed a lot of activity in the US this year following President Trump’s inauguration and his spread of hatred against minority groups in his country and the armed forces of the USA. As a human being who respects everyone and feels that human rights are not given to a select few but everyone has the right to be treated as a valuable member of society regardless of age, sex (gender if you prefer), skin colour, sexual preference, religion (or lack thereof) or where they live in the world, this strikes me as abhorrent.

I make no bones about declaring myself a strong advocate for the rights of black Americans to be treated equally with the white Americans, I stand alongside my gay friends and the gay community to promote their right to be treated as equals and given the same right to employment, education and higher education as everyone else. I think that human rights apply to everyone on this planet. I agree that some people think this is strange but the majority of people today are becoming very loud in shouting for an end to discrimination of any kind.

Diversity is what makes us unique, by accepting everyone, that makes us more human. We live in dangerous times but have to show that we will not disrespect anyone who works within the law, regardless of their religion. The terrorists want us to view all Muslims as dangerous individuals and if we go down to their level they will find it easier to recruit people to further their cause and bring down the Western democracies. I count Muslims and Christians among my friends, I also have female friends that I respect and will ask their opinions as often as male friends. I respect everyone’s right to follow which ever religion they want to, some of my friends are pagans, others atheists, I’m an agnostic. I feel that too many wars have been fought under the pretence of religion since the dawn of time. Romans, Greeks, Egyptians all had their own gods and every country the fought and defeated would have their own religions usurped for the gods of the conqueror. Since the early days of Christianity, wars have been fought, and won or lost, in the name of religion. Everyone in both World Wars thought God was on their side (both sides were mainly Christian) but He couldn’t have been on both sides at the same time, could He?

Fighting wars is wrong, however, there are times when those rising up against you see an unwillingness to go to war as a weakness to exploit. Today, just as happened in 1939, there is an evil afoot which everyone has to take a stand against. Cancer spreads through the body to destroy it and the evil around in 1939 and 2001 has to be stood up to. War isn’t the answer to all problems but when someone sees an opposition to war they try to exploit this to further the cancerous spread of their poison.

From the heart let it start to spread to everyone

Well, I’ve finally got my laptop back at the cost of a week’s work, I said I would need it delivered on a Saturday and kept getting told that it will be delivered on a weekday to suit me. So I ended up having to put my start date back a week for the remainder of my training, this is not a satisfactory conclusion to the tale of my laptop but it does get worse.

I raised a complaint on September 21, 2017 and was told someone would get back to me within 2 working days. I found the next day the estimated delivery date for the laptop was changed to September 29, 2017.  Then at 20:00 when I checked my email the laptop had been picked up for onward transport to me at 16:54. I had no option but to ring in and advise the team I would not be able to do the training on the Monday as my laptop was being delivered on the Monday between 06:00-22:00. Because I wanted it back I decided to wait for delivery and if it arrived before 08:30 I’d also go into work, later than that and I’d take the day off and then contact the heating engineer to have the shower looked at again as it’s still not working as it should.

When 08:30 came I rang my manager and told her that I would not be in that day, then I contacted the engineer and asked if he could call in later that day. I got a text message from DPD to advise my laptop would be delivered between 10:47 and 11:47 so I went out and did the shopping I would have done on my way home had I gone to work. Arriving back home at 10:45 I knew I was within the delivery window. 11:30 the laptop was delivered and it had had a lot of work done to get it working again.

The screen had been replaced and was not attached properly, the mother board had been replaced but the keyboard had not been fully fitted and a few other bits and pieces had been done before the laptop was shipped, had I not complained they would have refitted everything and then shipped it out to me. Had they told me that it was still in the process of being fixed then I would have waited. On the service page it clearly states that if there are any issues with the repair then I would be kept advised of the delays, anticipated times to get parts and kept advised of when to expect the return of my repaired laptop.

No surprise then that I had been the one chasing for information, never got a straight answer from anyone and, of course, no call regarding my complaint. By Wednesday I was tired of waiting for someone to contact me so I contacted the CEO and told him the full story of my complaint and repair. Then on Thursday I received a reply saying it had been passed to the nearest English speaking customer care team to try and resolve. The following day I was asked to provide my contact details to someone in Ireland who would call me at a convenient time between 09:00-17:00 Mon-Fri to discuss my issue and attempt to resolve it. Needless to say my reply re-iterated my working times of 09:00-17:30 Mon-Fri and asking for details of someone I could contact outside working hours or when I arrive home at 18:00.

No surprise I’ve heard nothing back since. They could always pass my details to someone in the US who works when I’m at home but, apparently, that would be too sensible a solution to deal with a complaint. Let me know what you think in the replies section.

And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make

If only people would care about each other and help each other in any way they could, how much better would humanity be? I know that this seems to be a regular topic for me but I hear it from others as well. I’m not going to try and change anyone’s perspective but my own, that’s the only person I have control over anyway.

The more I look around me at the hatred and bigotry everywhere today the more it hurts to see that this is still spreading outwards from the top of the USA to the UK and beyond. Everyone shouts down someone who has a different view point to theirs. I’m not even proud these days to call myself British because the hate has been allowed to permeate every corner of our society.

I used to consider myself European British but since we’re on our way out, at a very high cost I wouldn’t be surprised, hate has raised its ugly head again. We have reached the point where people who have lived and worked here for more than a decade are becoming frightened to leave home because they are being abused by their neighbours, their children are being bullied and mistreated at school purely because their parents were not born here.

I’m seeing racism rising again but this time it’s not about skin colour, it’s about nationality, religion and religious beliefs. When are we going to wake up and see we’re all human, we’re all together here and if we work together we can conquer most, if not all, of the diseases plaguing us today. If we were to realise that different is amazing and essential for our growth as a species would that not make us better humans?

People are afraid of that which they don’t understand, but why not try to learn rather than push it away? We have all been put here and surely it’s better to support each other than fight with one another? My opinion was learned during the 60’s when blacks in the USA were fighting for the right to be treated fairly. The Beatles and The Stones refused to play to segregated audiences and let those oppressed by the Immigrant White folks know they weren’t alone. Someone once said imagine there’s no country, nothing to kill or die for and no religion too. Only to be shot 8 years later with hollow point bullets designed to destroy every organ in their path, peace is still some way off today but enough of us are changing our perspectives to embrace everyone.