Woke up at 1:30am after having a dream that I was in my lounge in the house we used to live in, in Liverpool, in the dream I was half asleep and half awake just about to nod off in front of the TV. Then from the window I see an explosion of a mushroom cloud of a nuclear detonation going off in the background. Back in the real world I wake up and open my eyes just to make sure it is not really happening and so now its 2:30am and I am sitting in front of my PC/TV typing away about what I just saw in said dream.
Dreams and nightmares are very intrusive at times I can rationalise or come to terms with my waking thoughts but dreams can sometimes catch you off guard and inflict ideas and visions onto you that you perhaps would rather not think about or comprehend.
So then I went to twitter for some inspiration and that then led me to Pintrest where I saw this little iced gem of inspiration.
Speaking of icicles my heating stopped working yesterday and I have had no hot water or heating on since yesterday morning I was out most of the day so did not find out until getting home at 10pm and phoned the emergency number and reported it. They said they should be out in 24 hours or so and I am guessing they don’t work weekends so probably catch up with an enginner on Monday now.
I hope it stays like this as my home feels warm to me and I am wrapped up warm too with a hoody on my top and a blanket on my legs. Its about -3 oC outside and still about 15 oC in my flat so not to cold.
Well I cannot prove this for sure but this could be my first photo taken with me wearing glasses at the age of 47 in 2023. I also wore glasses as a young child to correct my sight when I was about 5 or 6 which fortunately worked well so I stopped wearing them up until the age of 45.
Just before Covid broke out back in January 2020 I got a covid flue like virus that also seemed to damage my eyesight and so arranged for an eye test where upon it was agreed that I needed some glasses for reading and mainly computer use. So now when in the office or at home doing computer work on our databases on small screens reading small letters and numbers of the screen I have been tending to wear my glasses which have been ensuring that I do my job correctly and write down and read the correct information off the computer screen.
I arranged for an eye test just before Christmas with an option and then had to cancel the appointment due to going out to my mum’s house to look after her dog while she went into hospital for a day. I was in no hurry to see the opticians and so I rearranged my appointment for last weekend. It was very busy and they had no record of my appointment when I turned up but were ever so good and still able to squeeze me in.
The optician said I have very good long distance sight still but my short sight distance had got a little worse again. But with all things considered I think my sight is doing ok. It’s one of my senses that I do hopes lasts the longest as I do enjoy to see more than I appreciate to hear, odd but true.
So how was your Friday the 13th, I hope it went off without any snags, accidents or panic attacks. Friday the 13th has not one but two unwieldy terms to describe it—paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia— supposedly the unlucky day.
Although my unluckiest day of the year so far kicked in on the evening of Thursday the 12th of January – so I seemed to be planning ahead when it came to my unlucky actions, thoughts and behaviours. Although I did not walk under any ladders, break mirrors or cross paths with any black cats. I did however fear for the safety of a good friend whose last post on Facebook stated they had no money to buy food that day and they were not looking after themselves physically or mentally. I was worried about them so when I left work I started to message them on Facebook, and text and phone them. Sadly there was no response and then my phone also died on me to.
I was out in the centre of Exeter trying to arrange to meet up with them so that I could buy them an evening meal treat them to a beer or three and give them some money for a food shop if needed. I have a reasonable disposable income at the moment and so offering to help a friend in need would be no trouble at all and a treat for me as well as them. My phone then went dead as the battery was flat and so I went to get out my charger in order to breath a little life back into the phone but sadly for the first time in years I had took the darn charger out of my bag so did not have it to charge up the phone.
I then thought it was best to catch the bus home and see if said friend had left any messages for me. So got home no messages from friend but I was a little more relieved to see that he had deleted my message from his Facebook page so at the very least I now knew he had read it and knew I was trying to get hold of him. He then messaged me saying he was ok and had actually sorted out some food and was getting paid on Friday 13th and was doing ok.
A big part of me wanted to give him a bollocking for frightening me probably his other friends and his family like that, but people that are in some way in crisis don’t realise the fear and fright that they cause to others and if he is vulnerable already any bollocking from me is not going to help him so I bit my tongue anyway and wrote this instead getting my Thursday evening experience of my chest in this way instead.
To be fare though things had gone well in work during the day on Thursday, a colleague had been struggling earlier in the week and due to some signposting and a little advice by me and also through their own resilience and determination to sort out their own problems, they were able to pull through and help themselves out.
People that struggle with life and their emotions that work at helping themselves, can be tremendously resilient and face battles that we might never see in order just to be keeping their heads above water or holding down a job or looking after a family or even finding the strength and time to look after themselves. I have huge respect and patience for people that do their best to help themselves and do right by others even when experiencing difficulties themselves.
January can be a tough time of year for some people that struggle and it is seen as the most depressing Month of the year or the Monday of all months. With a Friday the 13th occurring in January as well on the following Monday, statistically the most miserable day of the most miserable of months coming up which is the 16th of January this year being basically the most depressing time of the year, I kind of try and look out for people at this time of the year to see if there is anyone I know and care about that I can intervene with that needs any help that in my own limited way I might be able to provide.
MyBrother Andy Edwards
My brother died on 28th Feb 2015 and I am sure in the last two months of his life he was really grappling with his life, looking to get out of one job where he felt used and undervalued and start a new job where he could earn more money and have a stable future for him and hjis family, he was fearful that his then boss was not going to pay him for works that he had done, fearful that he could not pay the rent on his mortgage for his family home and also upset that he lacked the way out of the situation that he was in and perhaps did not know who to ask or what help was available.
There is an article link here which is more about him and his life and death here
His life was to my mind stopped short, I miss him and am sure he could have been still with us today had his choices and options been different and he had felt like he had more options than those he thought he had at the time. His life was a joy but his death was a true tragedy on which ripples of consequences across time still can be felt to this day and will continue to be felt into the future by many.
The people that were around my brother on the last night of his death feel tremendous sadness and pain due to his death and I wish they did not feel those emotions and worry so about this terible night that my brotehr took his own life upon, I think that many of us feel and wish my brothers actions were in some way preventable but people should not look ti blame themselves for what he did what we did not see coming or could prevent.
I don’t want another soul to go through what we all went through that night and the nights after, although I am not strong enough to save everyone or do everything all the time to help everyone or sometimes fail in seeing the warnign signs in even the peopel I am close to when they hurt. I can always try though to spot those warning signs in friends and family and keep an eye out and try to do my best to help people as and when I can. I little prevention is far better than dealing with the aftermath of a disaster or death.
So Harry has now published his first book and been caught up in a storm of media scrutiny and vitriol
I think the clip above shows clearly how Harry is happy to be able to laugh at himself and try not to take things to seriously.
On the other hand in the British press at the moment there has been a lot of hate and bile shouted out and spat out towards Harry whipping up a storm of hatred and vitriol towards him in quite some fashion. Which to my mind says more about them and their lack of judgement and taste than it does about Harry’s.
The British press and it’s attempt to tell us what to think and why we should think in a certain way is all too apparent during the present hate for Harry campaign, I’m so pleased that the majority of Americans have not bought into this whipping up hysteria that we get in Britain and I do hope Harry continues to have somewhat of an enjoyable and well lived life as he continues to live and be listened to and respected in the USA. He does not need little Britain’s press put they very much need him or who else will they pointlessly whip up a storm about?
It must have been an incredibly brave decision by Harry to stand up and walk away from the royal family and their wealth, protection and privilege. To stop suckling off the milk of the bosom of the cash cow that is the British monarchy.
I expect they have herd that one before!
I live in an old country with many traditions and rich vein of its own history and self importance. Though thankfully we no longer burn witches or float slave ships across the world. I love living in Britain and am pleased that I have the chance to be a citizen here but I am not a subject, I don’t hate the Royals (I just don’t see the Point).
I don’t see the point in Lords and Lady’s controlling our second chamber of government of a king being a ruler of Britain. It’s not common in the UK to be an out of the closet republican. We are all taught and meant to be Royal loving subjects happy with our lot and thankful for their privileges. I respect Harry for standing on his own two feet and stepping away from a monarchy it would be great if a few other of the inheritance heirs also want off and stepped away from the monarchy too. The bit that I most dislike is the democratic deficit. We are not allowed to elect the leader of Britain and it is likely to always be so in my lifetime but it’s a vote I would love to be able to vote upon.
I’d be annoyed if we elected Boris Johnson as our head of state for sure but if that was the will of the British people then on our head of state so be it!
I do not normally do New Year’s resolutions but I also find that this is the time of year to reflect on what has happened in the past and where I am now and what might happen in the future.
I am now 46 I have no children or partner I am in full time work, which is relatively stable and if I am lucky I might be able to retire in say 20 years or so. The combination of these facts got me thinking that I should try and do a little financial planning in order to make sure I have a roof over my head and a meal in my belly and can buy what I need not just today but for in the future too.
First things first and I have to admit I find having any money or planning what to do with it not normal part of my life, up until the last few years I have never really had a disposable income to have as savings for years and decades I lived within my means not earning a lot and not spending a lot.
When people were settling into university life and planning how there careers would develop, I went off the rails taking illegal drugs which although my brain loved the experience and times that I had, it did me no good academically and certainly did damage my mental health and long term financial stability. But even without the drug taking I don’t think my brain is made for academic achievement. I have tried a few times trying to study and I get lost in words and tremendously forgetful during exams regarding facts and figures. I’m dyslexic which I only discovered and had diagnosed at my first stint in university and when I undertook IQ tests they would show I have a high capacity for reasoning and problem solving but a low score on such things as memory tests. I find it much easier to remember things that I have an emotional connection to rather than dry facts or quotes of ideas and opinions from others.
Though this is no poor me story as I think I would not be the person that I am pleased to be today had it not been for the long and winding road I have travelled and continue to travel upon. Although there are times in my life I regret doing what I did and I hope I learned from those situations and decisions and there are also times when I think what I have done is something good not just for myself but for others to.
Well with this years planning for the future I am actually trying to find ways to save, invest and provide for myself in the future mainly trying to make sure I have some kind of income when I retire. During the first lock down I was still in work and with not going out and working at home a lot more I had a little disposable income that I wanted to experiment with and so I started putting savings into an ISA a (savings account in the UK that does not get taxed and you try and pay a monthly amount in to accumulate savings in). I also started to look at ways of buying stocks or shares. Now I love a little gamble but the idea of gambling on life savings where you do long term investments into things that go up and down feels a little bit of an oxymoron in other words contradictory.
Small time investors like me have no easy way of saving money and making a reasonably good return on funds that goes on to beat inflation and there for increase the amount of money you have (and after loads of research trials and tribulations I am afraid this is still very much the case.
I have tried slowly saving up a few hundred pounds here or there in a stocks and shares account purchasing a few stocks (the easiest way I can describe a stock is a fund where people invest your money on your behalf in the items they believe will make the most money for you and also ideally risk losing the least amount of money for you also). I also bought a couple of shares in a gaming company in the UK called Games Workshop ( a share is like owning a small amount of a company directly). I have played their games since I was a kid and still play some of their computer games and so thought it would be a good place to buy some shares in a company that had the potential to grow.
I am no venture capitalist but do with what little means I have still invested in my future. I am not used to having savings or thinking about pensions and so trying to make my savings and pensions work harder for me is still a new concept and this is very much an ongoing new thing for me.
I would not invest in crypto currencies and strongly don’t believe that they have any economic grounding or long term future at all. A digital currency not supported by a country, it’s just there for the sake of making someone more money, just makes no real economic sense to me it feels more like a modern day pyramid scheme where those that create the currencies will become exceptionally rich but those that try to follow on afterwards will at some time sooner or later get burned and lose whatever savings they have in said crypto currencies. I do realise that all financial markets and products are in many ways a gamble but I also want to have at least some sort of a chance that my little gamble might at least keep up with inflation and at best make some profit I am not looking to shoot to the stars of crypto currency highs only to fall back down to earth with a bang when the latest crypto currency goes bust.
Well I am still here and really enjoying being a part of a blogging community. I have done a few screen shots to show some stats about what has been viewed on the site over the last 12 months and which locations around the world were viewing the posts from.
I am pleased that my top posts are an eclectic mix of politics, perspective on society my own life and family.
I love that I can view blogs from people from all over the world and see there posts as well as they have a chance to see mine.
I still think what we have all been through over the last few years is crazy and speaking as a person that has personal experience of mental health difficulties I think if this decade was a person it would have been sectioned and heavily medicated by now so much so that it would be a dribbling wreck unable to identify the day of the week let alone the year that it was causing chaos within.
Good old blighty or err cough, cough, splutter, splutter, Great Britain really is a little broken at the moment. I remember when the last labour government got in the 1990s they had huge plans and a vision for good old blighty or err cough, cough, splutter, splutter, Great Britain! Though it all went to hell in a hand cart eventually due to a global markets crash and with London’s stock exchange being at the heart of global business markets when the markets coughed the whole of the British economy caught a cold, and by the time that that financial recovery was underway Corona Virus reared its ugly head and battered blighty further.
Well in 2010 the Conservatives gained a form of power and they had the not so genius ideas of austerity cutting services and support to the bone and calling for a referendum on our membership of the European Union which led to us leaving the EU and the Conservative are still in the middle of attempting (with ease) to dismantle any and all useful social, economic and environmental protection for citizens of the UK in order to cut so called red tape or as I prefer to describe it shaft people and planet for a few lousy pounds more in profit to themselves and their former school chums who are now in business.
The Conservative seem to have an obsession with a race to the bottom of the quality and functionality of society and will do whatever they can to cut corners in order to save a penny and make a further quid (£) in profit.
In the new year here in good old blighty, errr cough, cough, splutter, splutter Great Britain we are presently living though a very serious health crisis in the NHS hospital system. Many news papers in the UK were reporting today that there were 500 deaths each week presently due to the failures of our government to resource, plan and manage our health system during a major crisis not just down just to flue & covid, but also a lack of beds for patients and lack of staff resources and and an inability to recruit enough health staff and those poor souls working in the NHS are overworked and underpaid and their are simply not enough of them to nurse and treat patients or beds in hospital for patients or social service to support and discharge patients to once fit to leave hospital.
Hopefully this is all fixable but will take years and a serious resolve and financial input to fix and will not be done overnight or through gimmicks or political sound bites. Sadly the lack of fixing and investment shall also continue to cost many lives, Conservative blood money you might say.
Well we made it, another year turns to dust as a new one rises from its ashes.
I hope I’m right in writing that it is 2023! I feel like in some ways in the early hours of this morning I have woken up as a time traveler. Wanting to ask just one simple question which is ‘what year is it?’ hoping that the first random person I see will answer that it’s 2023.
As mum had to go into hospital a week before Christmas it kind of put us all out of kilt. We cancelled Christmas Dinner and dad’s partner had the flue so dad cancelled opening his presents this year, his are still under the darn Christmas tree. My dad has never really been excited about Christmas present opening though so having an excuse or reason not to open his presents in 2022 was something that he took all in his stride.
In his defence he does want to hopefully open his presents with his partner when he sees him when he is feeling better, which is fare enough but there was no way I could have the will power to keep my gifts unwrapped this long. We finally got around to cooking a Christmas lunch on new year’s eve and I am pleased to say I did most of the cooking and the food was lush even if I do say so myself.
The image above is of particular significance to me relating to many, many people I know love and respect in my life. And I wish them all a positive, prosperous and happy new year in 2023.
Friends, family, fellow bloggers and people I work with too. Sometimes I see simple random acts of kindness, courage and love from others that just show an insight into the depth of goodness in their souls that makes me happy to know that I know them and have them in some way in my life.
No one can no what tomorrow brings but built on the acts deeds and ideas of yesterday today can be another good day.
So last week the presents were bought, holidays were booked and plans were being made for family Christmas celebrations to begin this weekend. This time last week I was out with some friends at a bar in Exeter listening to and singing a little to in a bar on the kareoke night.
The following day I had the day off work all prearranged as a little Christmas treat to myself. I then get a call from my mum in the morning saying she had been awake most of the night in considerable pain and had seen her doctor and needed to go into hospital today in order to get some medical help. We both agreed I should get out to her house as soon as I could and Dad had kindly offered to meet up with her and driver her into hospital.
So I get to mums to look after her dog Milly while she is taken into hospital by dad. At this time we did not know if she was going to be in for days or for the day. Her dog is a rescue dog and normally barks when she sees me and certainly does not trust me. But in the time that mum was out the house I needed to let the dog out in the garden to do its business and then try and pursade her to come into house again. We did this little dance twice over a few hours. Though not sure how many times the dog would have listened to me.
So mum was able to be in the hospital and back in a day after having been examined and given more medication to help her. She was still in and still today is in a lot of pain but is gradually getting better and hopefully things are presently stable and going in the right direction. I’ve been staying with her since last Friday and though I try to help I’m not 100% sure if as a son I get in the way and make mess rather than be here as a help.
I was due to take some holiday leave the week after New year but cancelled that leave and booked off this week instead. So I’m still at my mums tonight typing this blog on my tablet. I have not tried writing on my tablet before so apologies if my spelling is poor in this blog post. Mum will not be well enough to eat Christmas diner this Sunday and the bulk of the food is in the freezer presently so we’re going to postpone the meal until next weekend when hopefully she will be feeling better. She asked if I wanted to postpone the present opening and I said, hell no. So we’re still going to open the presents on Christmas day.
I have offered and am well up for cooking Christmas Dinner when we do finally have it I love cooking and enjoy cooking for myself and others. One problem being is mum’s house is spotless and I am a messy cook but I will do my best to cook a good meal for me, my mum, my dad and his partner when we all get together to have the belated Christmas meal in a week or so.
I’m a natural born worrier and I do worry about my parents health. Ever since my brother took his own life I feared, worried and realised that more responsibility will be placed on my shoulders concerning trying to help my parents as we all get older. I guess you just try to do what you can, enjoying the good times and try to do your best to help in the not so good times.
Presents wrapped, cards written, items posted, pennies counted – One thing my Mum and Dad have both taught me is that giving is not about the joy of getting things back to you but its more about the pleasure in doing something for others.
My Mum is the present giver and my Dad is the charity donator. So after sorting out my Christmas cards and presents I turned to looking at renewing or donating afresh to a new charity or two for 2023.
Over the last 13 months I have been giving a small monthly payment to International Rescue Committee who are basically the good guys that go in and provide support on the ground or to people fleeing war zones and area of crisis across the world. It makes me feel like I can contribute to something and help people out in the world with a small donation that they then choose where the money goes to and to people in most need.
I also became a member of a charity called Moor Trees back in 2020, they advocate for and actively re-establish the planting of woodlands on and around Devon and Dartmoor. I really am impressed by the hard work that this charity does and the results they have achieved I worked as a trustee with them in the past and really am inspired by what they do.
I also nearly forgot – I am also a member of the Green Party of England and Wales and they are doing really well in Exeter which is great news too.
With regard to the International Rescue Committee my payment card that I used to pay them has just expired and I don’t know whether to renew my donation to them or change it and become a member of a charity that concentrates more on issue concerning climate change and the environment. If I were to change charities I would want to give to an organisation that is having a positive impact on tackling climate change and protecting the environment and not perhaps just worrying about it.
I am going to try and do a little more research on who is best to donate to prior to making a decision. Below are a list of the few I am considering contributing to.
I have today discovered a charity called Green Alliance they are also on WordPress so have signed up to follow them they are an independent think tank and charity focused on leadership for the environment. Since 1979, they have been working with the most influential leaders in business, NGOs and politics to accelerate political action and create transformative policy for a green and prosperous UK.
There is another organisation called the Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests to make responsible business the new normal. Who are building an alliance to protect forests, improve the livelihoods of farmers and forest communities, promote their human rights, and help them mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis.
Finally I have also just found an organisation called Cool Earth on its website it says Cool Earth exists because right now, the world is in a climate crisis.
The most effective way to fight back is to protect the best carbon-storing technology that already exists: rainforest.
And the best way to do that? Back, support, and listen to the people living there.
Indigenous peoples and local communities have lived in balance with rainforest for thousands of years and are the real rainforest experts.
They are people who face extreme injustice whilst living on the front line of the climate crisis.
We champion the relationship between people, rainforest and climate.
Cool Earth exists to give cash direct to rainforest communities, to fund projects that create choice, tackle the root causes of deforestation and protect vital carbon sinks.
Their mission is to back people, to protect the rainforest and fight the climate crisis.
I think I will probably sign up to donate to Cool Earth and probably renew my donation to International Rescue Committee.
I’m generally quite good at detecting phone scams and normally don’t fall for them or even give them a chance to speak before I hang up on them. But this evening I really felt like I got scammed.
I was on the phone to my mum just chatting about how the day has gone and checking what Christmas parcels that I had ordered to her house had arrived today when suddenly my mobile phone started ringing.
I instantly though oh I had better get that call and it was showing up as a UK landline number , real number, real human being and you would hope real place that they are phoning from.
So I answered the phone and they that they were phoning from Ofwat (who are the water company regulator for the UK) to do a customer survey about South West Water (my water supplier). My first and only sensible question that I asked them was, ‘do you know my address and who you are calling today?’ I figured that if this really was not a hoax call that they should potentially know my name and address. Right away the woman speaking told me that she did not have that information.
I would have and perhaps should have hung up there and then but I did not. The thing is this the second time that South West Water survey people have tried to call me and the last time a couple of weeks ago was in the day and I said that I would answer a survey from them but could only do so after 5pm and this call was just after 5pm. So I thought they were either a very dedicated or lucky scammer.
Sadly I also was interested in the questions that they were asking and also wished to express my views on those questions such as, what were my views on the pollution on the coastal areas and what South west water were doing about it and that kind of thing so if this was a real questionnaire I did want to provide my views.
There were 3 questions that I thought were dodgy but 3 questions is more than enough, firstly they asked me what my job was a just said officer for council (nice and vague), secondly they asked me for my annual household income, I said I was not prepared to provide them with these details it just seems the perfect kind of info a hoax caller would want to put me in a how much money we can extract form this idiot category on their hit list. Finally and the very last question they asked was my name, which I went ahead and told them to which after 20 minutes of survey I thought oh well I hope this is genuine!!!
So back to trusty Google, I searched about scam calls and South West Water and they had a 24 hour emergency phone line open for reporting water leaks on but you could also call them about scam calls and so phoned that number got put in a queue as you do waiting to ask a human being whether or not I had been scammed and who do I call about it?
So finally got through to a human and asked them if they knew of any surveys I was due to take and they confirmed that Ofwat were due to phone me and there was nothing to worry about. ARR FOR FECK SAKE!
On a plus note I found out I am in credit in my water account when I logged on trying to contact them so am going to cash in on that, well at least I should get some cash back in time for Crimbo, so long as that’s not a trap!
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