Don’t Look Up

When I was a child I went to a school assembly that taught a valuable lesson in a slightly violent and destructive way. That assembly stayed with me as a metaphor of what we have and how easy it is too loose what he have to this very day. It was a non
religious speech given by our very religious Religious Education teacher.

Basically she brought into the hall a few props one of which was a beautiful vase and a bag with something else in. she then talked about how to make vases all the effort that goes into making them what they are made of, how much they are appreciated and then she put the vase in a the bag and unusually brought a hammer out of the bag too and then placed the bag with the vase in on a table and smashed up the vase into many broken pieces that it was simply irreparable and showed us the broken pieces too.

The way that I still see this lesson that she taught us that day still today is that life is like that vase which is fragile and precious and we can and should appreciate it, show it respect and take care of it. But in a blink of an eye with the lifting of just one hammer and bang on the vase then that fragile thing shatttered into a hundred peices and just like life can be gone forever without any undoing or rewinding being able to bring it back.

This leads me also on to the film Don’t Look Up which I finally got to watch on the weekend a really great film, excellently written and with a fantastic cast. I had not wanted to see this film for a while as I was worried that there would be to many gags and an inappropropriate ending or horrifying ending. Well the film got me hooked and I don’t want to spoil it for you but I do recommend a watch.

It has a lot of paralels with how our leaders are engaging with climate change and how to many politicans, climate change adaptation is still appears to be a numbers game concerning what do opinion polls say I should say about climate change or what do opinion polls say I should do about climate change rather than seeing any politicans being elected yet with any actual conviction on how and why we need to adapt to a changing climate and the real fear that we could be headign for extinction if we do not change our ways and learn to live as a guardian of wild places and living orangisms and the planet rather than economic growth machines.

The Fire by Rosie Eade

To sing, to see and support

Went out to a local bar to sing karaoke last Thursday and met and sang a few songs with some friends There was also a lovely girl sitting on our table called Leanne and she was out with a friend of hers who was visiting from the states, he got up and sang some songs extremely well, you could say he had a certain X factor about him.

I feel that this should come with a disclaimer along the lines of if your offended by being termed weird then your not weird your just beautifully differernt

On the night Leanne did say to us that he was a great musician that was the lead singer in a band and had sung with many other musicians too. His name is Luke Spiller and he is in a band called The Struts’ I looked them up on spotify the next day and could not believe it that they have nearly 2 million downloads of his bands songs every month on the site and one of his last singles was with Robbie Williams too. It turns out he was over here to sing at a concert at the O2 Arena in Birmingham which is a massive venue in the UK. This was so cool too that him and Leanne just happened to rock up in our little bar and he sat on our table had a chat got drunk and sang songs just like the rest of us, but the difference being he could actually.

The following night I had an emotional reunion with a women called Kristie who is the daughter to the woman that was my brothers fiancé prior to when my brother took his own life, so had Andy not committed suicide she would have been a daughter in law. She was one of the people with my brother desperately trying to stop him from taking his life right in the horrible night that he took his own life, and it was such a horrendous experience for a lovely young woman to go through. I have not seen her in nearly seven years and so we had a good catch up hugged and exchanged memories and emotions about Andy and offered each other support and I got this photo of us to when we caught up.  

kristy and me catchup

I also do something which I dont normally do and made an implusive purchase on website from https://www.vkease.com/

I purchased 4 wooden carved animals with lights on them I hope to display them on my window sill one is a wolf and one is an eagle as pictured below I hope they look as good when they arrive.

New Radicals – You get what you give

WordPress.com has listend to its customers

Earlier this year WordPress.com changed its pricing table from five to just two plans (Free and a $15/month Pro plan). At the time I was worried that this would prevent new people from joining WordPress.com as the cost or reduced service would mean that less people like myself would be able to join and experience all the benfits people on a plan liek mine could have.  

WordPress.com has now bravely in my opinion reverted back to the previous pricing model that attracted me to join when I purchased my blog. Hopefully WordPress.com appreciating that what they have now and what they had before worked just fine and as with the invention of the wheel if it’s not broken don’t fix it.

Certainly in my present work place and places I have worked in the past prior to that it is very rare to get the chief executive of any organisation to listen and adapt to circumstance in a way that benefits others let alone me and that is exactly what WordPress.com have just done so respect to them for that.

Amy MacDonald – Slow It Down

Political leadership in the UK today and does it have what it take to survive this century?

Tonight in the UK there was a political debate concerning who will be the next leader of the Conservative Party and UK government. They will not be elected by the people for the people but rather chosen by the conservative members of parliament to then be voted for by the members of the conservative party members.

Therefore they are not trying to decide how to govern but who can out conservative vote each other. That is the most important point that they have reached in their political career to date. Sometimes politics does seem just like a numbers game where you have to convince enough people of your point of view and direction that it is just enough to get you over the next winning line.

I can’t argue that the British system is one in which is by any definition the best system of governance in the world. But it is one in which I am content to live within and be governed by and that is more than I can say than other forms of governance in the world.

The world in our life time faces some huge fundamental questions concerning why we are governed the way that we are is there such a thing as society, or a global citizen and if so what is the point of that society and the citizens that live within it and who should it strive to work for and in which way.

The machine that is human global system of production, destruction, pollution and poverty, wealth and power really has been a shambolic eclectic mix and mishmash of peoples working together and  against each other and also those not even being given an opportunity to work at all.  

What makes me liberal minded is that I respect your right to do what you do so long as it does not impact negatively on the lives of others.

What makes me conservative minded is my respect for what has gone in the past try to learn from what was done well and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

What makes me socialist minded is my belief in social justice and the rights and just treatment which we are all born into or must continually strive to work and fight for and defend.   

But mostly I am a believer in the right to life for the earth, humanity and those generations as yet unborn. Pro life and providing all creatures and peoples with an opportunity to exist on a planet that is not infested with humans hell bent & blinded by their own ignorance or greed in causing its potential destruction.

When you understand how we count economic success, productivity and all so called positive outcomes in our political institutions there all invariably deeply floored in many ways.

We don’t have a constitution or economic or political system in place YET that strives to protect all lives on earth and the earth itself. Imagine rather than how many dollars or pounds a country helped make each year that instead we considered success by how many species had been saved from extinsion or how many sustainable forests were being protected replanted and not being cut down or how many people did not have to feel that they had no way out other than to commit suicide. An eco economy or socially just policies for people and planet is where we need to be moving to but I just don’t see that kind of vision in any political leaders of our next government yet and i hope to see such vision in my lifetime though if we are to have a good chance of surviving the next 100 years of human and planetary struggle. We must strive to let people and planet live, thrive and be protected and respected.

These are the dreams and ideals I aspire to hope that can one day come true, these are the hopes and fears that I have that I pray to god about and these are the ideals that I hope an atheist or a believer in a righteous and just god could both hope and believe in living for and working towards too.

Birthday holiday cools

Well I have a well earned week off work this week and I also celebrated my birthday with a night out with friends too. Went to a local bar where we drank, talked, laughed and had a bloody good night out. Lots of people that I used to see regularly prior to covid where able to make it out although that is not to say that covid is not a risk in Exeter now though. But it was a real treat to see them all at the same time.

Its so hot in Exeter this week and seeing as how I was born in a heat wave in the summer of 1976 you would think I would be used to the heat by now but sadly the opposite is true. So I am in my somewhat cool lounge where I have a fan on through much of the hot part of the day. Typing away on my keyboard.

The week is not over yet so I am planning on meeting up with my parents tomorrow evening for a meal and then I will be going to the same local pub as I was at earlier in the week for a karaoke night where I might even get up and sing a song myself.

Sting – Desert Rose

Martin Luther King had a dream, what do we have today?

The Martin Luther King speech We All Need to Hear

Free at last, free at last, great god almighty we are free at last, such amazing words from an amazing man and orator and true visionary of the human spirit.

In these recent troubling times his thoughts and speech really have come to the forefront of my mind. It always troubled me as a child as to why the good people with god given strength and determination to enhance, change mankind and shape this world were more often shot down or killed in some other way before their time by those of hate acting in opposition to those of love and this still to this day deeply saddens my heart to know it could happen again and again.

I still have concerns for the future direction of the USA where it is going and who is taking it there and for what ultimate purpose and goal of that direction. Deep in my heart I feel now more than ever that those with money, power and influence seek to govern and control the masses and blame those without money, power and influence as being responsible for what is perceived to be their own misfortune and suffering in life and even their potential suffering in the afterlife too.

The so called victory of Roe v Wade being overturned will for many decades to come bring much suffering and pain to the poor or those without resources and a means of sustaining themselves and there will be some who will say well like all suffering that the poor and underprivileged go through they will have brought it onto themselves obviously and I could not strongly disagree with this sentiment as much as I already do.

More often than not social justice is born into this world as a reaction to the social injustice inflicted onto those that suffer and are damaged as a result of the judgments and laws of those with money, power and influence. Unfortunately and in many ways depressingly I would not be surprised if over the next 50 years the freedoms and aspirations that once united men will instead be replaced by chains to enslave them.

With China and Russia spearheading the none democratisation of this world and with Trump going for a second term, where he still to this day lies about the democratic result of the election by the people of the USA, if a democracy hater like Trump rises from, the right of the Republican party stating your views are more important and hold more power than the will of the people of a nation. Then oh boy, America will your freedoms and ability to live your lives the way you see to be fit be in trouble.

According to a recent poll Trump still has the support of 66% of the Republican Party whom believe he is an honourable and truthful man that had an election stolen from him. The truth often stairs people in the face but is more often too ugly to see or look back at in the eyes. The truth is he lost the election and he is not an honest individual and his lies and misdirection would be incredibly dangerous for your country and good god fearing Christians of the right would rather state that you current president is not really a Catholic or Christian come to that or that he is not the right type of Christian! As far as I was aware the right type of Christian is one that believes that your Jesus is your one and only true messiah.

But a Republican might misinform you that he is not the right type of Christian as he does not adopt the right type of Christian policies such as stopping abortion or gay marriage. This is just delusional nonsense  and if you think you can only vote for a president that takes away the rights of others and have such derogatory thoughts and views on those that don’t interpret your religious texts in a way that you see fit then maybe it is you that is not the right type of Christian and perhaps Christ does not live within you in such a way as you thought?  

Love Divine by Seal

Do we aspire to live as a Democracy or Theocracy?

Creation of Adam by Michelangelo

Does an individual or judgment of law take the moral high ground to insist that the life of all unborn children must be born into this world, even if the price of such a life is at the expense of the woman that is brining the life into the world? Though an abortion must never be taken lightly it is far graver thing in my mind to say that no women has the right to do what she sees as right for her own life and body.

Is it moral or ethical to demonstrate outside an abortion clinic to tell people that you are convinced that their actions mean that they are going to hell, this is not just about reproduction this is about peoples choices of sexual activity too or even the rape of a sexual inactive person and the consquences thereafter.

This is not just about saving the lives of the unborn; this is about condemning the life choices of those already here that live by a different moral code, to the ones that fought to see Roe v Wade overturned. Where is the love of others when they are acting as a judged and jury for fellow humans about their personal life choices?  

Effective free birth control for those that do not wish to have an unexpected pregnancy is a partial solution, to minimising the need for unwanted pregnancies. But not one state banning abortion will most probably adopt or has already adopted such a policy, as this law appears more to be about controlling what a women can or can do with her body not the consequences thereafter. Can I also assum that emergency contraceptive taken after sex might now also be outlawed as well as abortion due to the new legislation? 

I did a search on a US legal site about what rights women have in the USA concerning motherhood and what rights and responsibilities biological mothers have and it said they have basic legal rights and responsibilities. If the state is now legislating to keep unborn babies alive then surely the state also has certain legal rights and responsibilities towards said unborn baby too.

For example to see that a women is not at risk of losing her job, or life and sustaining her existence whilst she delivers a baby into thsi world that the state has said that she must deliver, until such a time when she can give it up for adoption. Without such legal and financial protection by the state the law to keep unborn child alive is incomplete.

Also if peoples within any given state or country begin to see the views of others as invalid or wrong based purely on whether we follow a certain god or gods or due to how we interpret and live or do not live by your chosen religions scriptures then it appears mans ability to reason with his or her fellow men and women appears to be waning somewhat!

People help the people – Birdy

Your Legacy on WordPress.com

There seems to have been a lot of changes to WordPress.com this year. With the closing to new potential customers of the now old ‘legacy’ type of plans which my present Personal Plan being no longer available to new customers. So they can no longer be attracted to take on a plan like the one that I opppened that still really appeals to me. Surely this means its only a matter of time before they shut down such a plan for me too.

Up until now the personal plan has suited me down to the ground and I have really enjoyed the creative freedom that it has given me to have my own website domain name and publish my views on issues on the site. Some people have even found what I had to say of interest which has been great outlet for me and really enjoyable to find a voice here.

I am concerned though that wordpress.com might be destroyed before its time, if it struggles to attract new creative people into the wordpress.com community and try’s to offer our pages as a product to display marketing materials on or so expensive to have your own page that individuals no longer see meaning or purpose in having a page and it is mainly businesses that try to make a page work for themselves on here instead. It all feels like the potential to be a shrinking market space no longer a growing community of creative people.

All business worth their salt have an agenda and wordpress are coming across as being disingenuous about what their real agenda is. Do they not like their current customers? Are they not making enough money from them? Are they trying to remove the customer base and replace them with one that has more disposable income? For those that remember the social media platform MySpace there is a lot to be learned and that lesson is you should not try to change a product that is successful and if you try to change it too much from what it was to what you think you want it to be you risk destroying that internet space completely. I would argue that the workdpress.com is still growing and needs nurturing and developing from the base that it has already developed from and should not try to force itself into being some kind of money stream sales pitch of a product that it is not.

There is a new type of account that has been announced recently too called a New Starter Plan For $5/Month possible £4 in the UK. But this plan still means you do not have ownership of a creative space as there will still be adverts on your page and those adverts might be completely incompatible with the views or opinions that you are promoting on your site and the only other option is so far wordpress pro for $15/month.

If you want a social media blog platform to play and develop that is not facebook and therefore unlikely to ever have something to make money from then $15 a month is a large amount to pay just to express yourself. It’s almost like having a gym membership which although is important to have and you could get so much value from but ultimately a few months in it becomes an expensive chore rather than an affordable hobby or interest.

I am interested to grow my network of people I could follow on wordpress at the moment and not sure exactly how to go about this and was wondering if anyone had any hints or tips on that subject that might be reading this post, please leave any advise you might have in the comments section.

Munford & Sons – Blind Leading the Blind

Racing Ahead in time

So I have been quite busy for me over the last few weeks, no major dramas, which is nice and working hard in the office and at home, socialising when I have the energy and ability to and also visiting family now that my mum is back in Devon. It’s been enjoyable but I need to make sure I look after myself and rest at times like this too.

I have a new colleague in work that I am training up. His soical life puts mine to shame he was off to a stag do last weekend and he is off to Glastonbury Music Festival later this week then he has a wedding to go to the following week. Where as I’m just chilling in the local pub and visiting family. Though to be honest post pandemic I am still enjoying the simple things and times of freedom that I get to spend with people that I enjoy the company of.

It’s my birthday in a few weeks and normally I just dont do anything special, but this year I am hoping to have a meal with friends and family in Exeter and I have also just seen there is a horse race at a place called Newton Abbot in Devon and so I might go there too.

Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill

Mobilty Aids?

I really was not sure whether to try and come up with some sort of snazzy or funny title to my post, but not sure I can or want this time. My mum has been having trouble for many years now with her knees and although I know its causes her a great deal of pain we have not really had a lot of conversations about what can make things less painful for her or what solutions there are.

She has had professional support from our NHS saying about having a knee operation and such scary things like that but she is just not ready for that kind of thing and even something as simple as a walking stick has yet to be considered or used really by her.

So I started searching on the internet for possible solutions for her and oh boy the list is endless and I am not sure how or even if they will be able to help her either. It would be great to try and organise an occupational health appointment for her where they could measure up the right height for a walking stick or sticks for her, or show her how to use them or provide other alternative to sticks for her.

I looked all over the place and even had a quick look at mobility scooters for her and they were not cheap costing about the same as a new little motorbike or second hand car. One of them was described as sleek and sporty with top speed of 6–mph. (photo below)

Sleek and sporty number

Well zoom, zoom and all that!

In all seriousness though I do need to try and do a little more research for what is the right size for her height and what will be the best grip for her too.

I have found the following from the great mamouth of a shopping sight in the digital sky that is Amazon which looks like this.

I am worried though about getting the wrong thing though as I would not want her to have a fall while holding a stability aid that I had got for her. But the more I think about it I would not want her to have a fall because I had not gotten something to help her too.  

The search continues!

Dire Straits – Walk of Life