Have courage and be MORE kind

I miss read the quote in the photo above when reading it the first time around and though it meant and said have courage to be kind instead of have courage and be kind. I think it can and does take courage to be kind at times. Men more often than not there is talk of courage in the context of a threat of violence, rather than being brave enough to speak out and be kind and have courage in our conviction of what we do we see courage as means of facing down violence with an act of risking physical harm to oneself.

One such circumstance I remember being involved in when I lived in Abergavenny many years ago was being a witness to an assault taking place to a mentally disabled young man. The girls I was out with that night were walking down a road after being to a local night club and we were on our way home,  I then had seen down another road there was a group of guys that looked at first to be having a group fight or some such ruckus going on. I stopped and stared at them to see what was happening I hate and hated fighting but instinctively wanted to see if anyone was hurt or anything like that. Then the young man that was in the middle of this group staggered out from the middle of the group it then became clear that the group were assaulting him and no one else.

I slightly recognised the guy now I did not know his name I just knew him as a local mentally disabled young man I walked towards him and could hear him saying ‘I’ve got blood on my shirt, I’ve never had blood on my shirt before’ I walked up to him and said something like ‘your ok, you have done nothing wrong, walk over there and they will look after you’ in the distance from the road we had just walked up from was the nightclub that we had just come out of and I pointed to him to go to see the police that were outside the nightclub.

I was drunk while all this was going on and when I woke up the next day I thought, bloody hell what were you thinking stopping and getting involved in that situation, I was firstly lucky that the young disabled man did not lash out at me thinking I was part of this group and I was also lucky that the group did not attack me as it just would have taken one of them to start on me and like a pack of wild dogs I could have the group on me but I was lucky I guess and able to with an act of care towards that young man help him too.

Jacinda Arden is a living legend of emotional and political sound judgment and progressive thinking and leadership, unfortunately as with Obama possibly leading sadly to the rise of Trumpism in the US, New Zealander’s just need to hope and vote in for no anti Arden, Trump like figure to rise up on the side of the opposition of her party when she steps down.

I like to think of myself as an effective human-being and love the fact that i don’t need to be aggressive in order to express myself or be myself or in order to do the right think. In work during training this week I was told I can be too helpful to customers of the council – I can’t really see how I can be too helpful. If they need the help and I have the knowledge, time or power to provide it then why not?

There is a phrase about random acts of kindness in my mind acts of kindness are not random it is the consequences of those acts that are random.

Sometimes if not all the time I want to express acts of kindness because we live in a cruel world and not decide to be unkind because of that cruel world, I’m not a push over and have values, ideas, opinions and boundaries. There are things I will help to happen and things I will help to prevent and my views will most likely differ to yours in what I consider to be an act of kindness as opposed to an act that will cause more harm than good.

The system only dreams in total darkness

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.

Song The System only dreams in total darkness by The National

You need your eyes testing!

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.

You ain’t seen nothing yet by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Happy New Year 2023

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.

The Phoenix Foundation – Buffalo

Christmas is a time for giving    

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.

U2 – Desire

Life, Love and Loss

A lot has been happening in my family’s life over the last month. My mum has now moved into her new built home which is lovely place and I must get some photos of it too. But as for now I don’t have any yet.

Her dog that is a rescue dog called Milly and absolutely loves the new home and is even after nearly 3 years is beginning to trust me a little more too and not see me as a person to bark at and be fearful of all the time, which is great.

Mums dog Milly

Just got back from a weekend in mums new home after visiting with a friend who was helping us do stuff in the house too. The house is looking much more like a home now with a lot more of mums boxes from the movers unpacked. Her place is looking lovely now.

My friend Justin that was helping us with the move has also just started a new job as a mental health support worker. One of the area of guidance and advice that he will be offering to people is talking to people who are suicidal and providing them with help and support or offering interventions where necessary such as hospital or 999 calls.

This leads me onto something that I have been avoiding talking about on this blog, to friends or family or anywhere to be honest for about a month. But a wonderful human being that used to be a supporter of my blog called Ashley Peterson took her own life in October and I very much feel like the world has lost one of its brightest lights. She had a lived experience of depression and was an author, former mental health nurse and wonderful human being, with great warm, kindness and humanity.

She commented on one of my blogs on the 16th October and then on the 18th October took her own life. There was no hint on her blog or in her comment that she was in any way at that time suicidal or in any way struggling. Its often those that you lest expect or at least at unexpected times are the ones most vulnerable. Having lost an aunt and a brother to suicide already I am so very sorry for her family and what they must be going through now because of the hole left in their lives and the light going out of such a bright and loving soul.   

I always try to keep an eye out for certain people that I worry suffer in the emotional waves of their life and where possible and practical try to support friends and strangers alike for want of a better description help to help those in need and keep them in the land of the living rather than let them prematurely pass into the land of the dead.

I find it upsetting that not all that fall can be caught and that not all that feel lost, can be found in time to be saved. It’s hard enough to know one day everything must pass and all will one day will be gone, but it is particularly sad to me to know when those that commit suicide often feel like they had nowhere to turn instead of taking their own life there is always another option and it is sad when they depart that they did not know at the time what the other option was.

Eric Clapton – Tears In Heaven

New Tory Govt crash and burn the price of the £

The beautiful political landscape of a democratic nation in a state of flux right now!

The new UK Conservative Government announced a load of tax cutting and borrowing policies this week that resulted in a crash of the pound against the dollar to an all time low as even the stock markets reacted to the UK government as if to say ‘what the hell are you playing at, doing that with your economy’.

When a governments or political parties boast about tax cuts to benefit your wallets, what there really saying in this day and age is their actually trying to reduce the amount of goods, services and support that they are trying to provide to you and others.

You might feel good to have a few pence or pound in your wallet each month but what there really trying to tell you is all those ongoing government problems that they have not solved concerning how to hire more doctors and nurses and reduce waiting times for health services for the one in five over-50s who have dropped out of UK workforce who are on National Health Service waiting list for treatment are not going to have an improved system of care anytime soon to help get them back into work and be healthy contributing members of society anytime soon.  

Over the first 46 years of my life I have had the support of my government at times its shelter and protection and healing as well as an opportunity to again be given the chance to stand on my own two feet and live, work and be free to make my own way in life once again.

I don’t expect something for nothing or to live off handouts. I work full time, pay for my own food, shelter and life expenses. But there have been times in my life where I have needed the help from the UK government to enable me to again be in a position where I can look after myself once again and be independent.

I don’t know where or how well or even if I would still be alive today, had my life not occasionally  been injected with some government support in order to help my become well again, once sick or fed and sheltered again when at risk of being homeless or unemployed and impoverished.

Benefits, health services and provisions of homes for the homeless are in no way god given rights in any country to any citizen and due to an inherent mental health condition that I was most likely born with, I will always be at risk of losing everything due to an illness that can trigger potentially at any time and under the right circumstance.  

I do my best to look out for myself, do all I can to keep my mental health stable and well but ultimately I am potentially blind to when or how I might become unwell again and whether or not my life will be structured with enough safeguards in order to come out of my illness on the other side at an as yet undetermined time in the future. Having a national health service really has kept me alive and mentally well. Had I been born in a different country or at a different time I just don’t know what support and assistance I would be able to have in order to maintain a good quality of life for myself.

I have personal lived experience of when a society decides to invest in its people rather than just its banking system, the huge gains and returns on that investment and I am very grateful for the assistance that I have received. At the very least I wish to vote, fight and advocate for others as well as myself to have a reasonable quality of life and social support in order to help them when they are down and not just help them to help themselves when they are rich and assume those that are not wealthy must just fend for themselves and hope for the best health, endure the worst poverty or die trying.

The Killers – Human

This is how I feel

Congress woman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated in a debate in congress once that ‘Religion and faith are not about exclusion’. This is also my faith and my comprehension of God that I understand and believe in, hope for and have faith in, that can answer prayers or force us collectivly to work to answer our own prayers within this life for this world and for those who come into this life in the future. A force for goodness and justice that will enable us to answer our own prayers and give what we can and should to others so that they may be clothed, sheltered, fed and loved.

I just thought I would go onto Twitter and have a look at what other people views and expressions were at this moment in time and came across a lovely clip of democrat congresswoman from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez relating to faith, humanity, god and taxes!

AOC Flips the Religious Freedom Argument on Its Head

I found the clip above emotionally and spiritually empowering and refreshing to know there are people that believe so passionately in views that I can respect and agree with concerning faith and conviction of what others are entitled to or should be protected from. I don’t buy into a Church that sells it’s belief in the good are Godley and are deserving of their wealth, good health and power status. I feel if Jesus were alive, preaching and teaching today there are many aspects of my society, its systems and institutions and mechanics of wealth and poverty creation and sustaining of that wealth and poverty which would deeply concern and anger him on how humanity treats its fellow humans. Christ would discuss matters of economics, politics, scoail justice and equlity were he around today.

If you’re not born in the right country with the right type of passport and amount of money at the right time you risk a whole lot of pain and suffering due to global inequalities and dependent upon the degrees of latitude and longitude that you were born on the globe.

These inequalities look to become far greater this century than they have been for many a year and those that look to escape the poverty, starvation and move to a place where they may have a chance of a better life will have walls built to stop them, boats sailing to catch them and be imprisoned in migrant camps, once they arrive on a foreign shore and be blamed for wanting a better life.

We don’t look to a future of greater food resources or medical resources for the people on this planet but instead one in which there are depleting resources for people and planet on a more hostile environment.

Though knowing there are advocates in positions of authority and power such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does spring forward hope and optimism for the future.

Placebo – Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) (Cover) Official Music Video

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

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