Today marks the beginning of the six nations rugby competition for 2023, since as long as I can remember the family would gather around the TV to watch Wales play rugby against the Irish, Scots, English, French and Italians starting each year in February.
Watching Rugby is one of the few times when in my heart I know I am welsh. Having spent most of my life living in England which I enjoy and feel a part of and accepted as a citizen of the UK, there is no national event quite like it for me than when Wales take to the pitch and play a game of rugby in the six nations championship.
I don’t mean this unkindly but were not the best team in the competition and we don’t win all our matches, so there is always the underdog mentality. As much as we have the potential to beat every team they have the potential to beat us too. The buzz of seeing them play well and scoring a try or the drama of seeing them count down the seconds to hopefully win a game, there is nothing quite like it.
I have watched Wales win the six nations a few times sometimes even beating every team that is known as a Grand slam and there is nothing quite like watching them do well in the competition. But we have also had more than our fair share of beatings too.
I have just had a quick look at the betting odds for this years’ competition and Ireland are the team that Wales play today are favourites to win the whole thing and Wales are most likely to be predicted to come 4th out of 6 in the competition according to the odds at the bookmakers, so a win today for Wales would be a huge boost but again not likely buy I can always dream prior to the game and hope during it.
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.
From as long as I can remember as a teenager I always hoped and in some ways even took it for granted that I wanted to go out on dates with girls that I liked or was falling in love with that were falling for me too. I was a cute kid even if I do say so myself and so that part of the battle as a teenager was ok. But there is more to having just cute looks as a teenager to having strong and long lasting relationships with people that you want to fall in love with.
The photo is of me in my 20’s on a date on New Year’s Eve in Spreyton with a lovely girl called Robyn. She is the girl in the middle of this photo. It was all going so well until I tried to explain I was a bit mad in a bit of a mad way. She was lovely and I was upset that we broke up but there was a lot going on at that time so I could not focus all my emotions on our break up we were only together for a very short time like 3 dates over about a month anyway.
At 46 I know feel my lifecycle time to have a normal family life and life partner has now well and truly past and to be honest I feel more sorry for my parents than I do myself concerning the idea that their family line will not continue with me and I will not go on to reproduce. They do have one grandchild from my brother but we lost contact with him through Covid-19 and through his silence he has made it very clear that he chooses to have no contact with our family, and like with any relationship it has to be two way in order to work and evolve organically that just is not going to happen.
Back to my relationship statues and I have been happily single for what could be about 15 years now, I enjoy being independent of others and feel very much safe in my own skin and hopefully have a secure roof over my head, good friends and a life I enjoy living. I cannot say I have always had that in life and have found life tremendously hard at times when in relationships or when I thought I loved someone and that love was unrequited. I am sure I have emotionally matured in the last 10 years which could have happened had I been in a relationship or not and so don’t know if the comfort and ease that I have with myself and positive mental attitude has happened because I am single or because I am just older and have different outlook on life.
I have not even come close in the last 15 years to a date, relationship or anything further. I don’t ask and so I don’t get and that really does suit me fine for now (I am not saying I want to be like this forever but have no intention of changing or forcing myself to change for now).
I have been asked twice in the last few years to go on a blind date with a friend of a friend and even though the thought is very flattering when asked by women that I like and respect who likes and respects me enough to see about setting me up with one of their friends it really is lovely. Some other friends have also been trying to encourage me to go speed dating which I have done once in the past and it was a lot of fun. But there are a few reasons why I just don’t want to do the dating thing right now and I don’t think I will be able to resolve or square the circle any time soon.
I might be wrong but it feels like my life is a delicate ecosystem of a combination of things that work in union with each other that makes me content, happy and productive. I fear if I adjust or take one of those things away I could mess it all up. I don’t feel that I have to be in a relationship. I live in a sociable city with people that also have their own challenges and amongst the vast majority of my friends in this city being single is not uncommon or something to be feared, that really does suit me but it does not suit everyone.
I have had times in the past where just one thing going wrong has sent everything to mess up and that is particularly painful when risking losing, job, home, friends, freedom and hurting my health and so I feel in life and relationships I try not to throw caution to the wind and risk it all for what might just be an unobtainable fantasy or dream. Though all hope is not lost just writing this down does make me a little bit sadder about the truth of this situation and feel it’s my responsibility to try and change the situation if I want the situation to change.
I feel my generation of friends do not really feel comfortable operating in the network that is dating sites although many people just a few years or decades younger than me enjoy them and find it a great way to meet people. Alas I used to like to try and get to know a person before dating or telling them what they are getting themselves into which seems very old fashioned now.
When people like and respect get into relationships I am very happy for them and I think that is a positive outlook and I always hope they do well. You can’t really predict who will stay together for how long or how they do it. Though I am sure a great deal of patients, co-operation and understanding is required by both sides.
A momentous time in British history is presently unfolding with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the closing of the Elizabethan age and the dawning of the age of Charles III. There has been a huge sway of emotions from people including friends and family as they mourn the loss of their Queen and perhaps contemplate their own mortality at the same time.
When it comes to my own emotions concerning the events unfolding in my country and how I feel and how I am supposed to feel I am still unsure of what to feel or what I should feel. As a human being I respect the person that was Queen Elizabeth and feel sympathy and empathy for those that knew her and especially her family for the loss of the most senior member of their family.
Though it does not make me feel especially British that she has passed, I know the pain of loss and that’s not the feeling that I am feeling. Watching the news at the moment you would think that every citizen of Britain is a loved up royalist morning the loss of the Queen and welcoming in the era of Charles III with great reverence and pride.
Although there are many doing this across the country and there will be huge crowds flocking to pay their respects for the passing of Queen Elizabeth and also the inauguration of King Charles. But there are also huge swathes of people just going about their day to day business catching the train for a day trip, heading to the shops to get bread and milk, just going about their daily lives.
I love living in Britain but I don’t feel patriotic towards its institutions and the mechanics with which we use to devour global resources and ultimately bring about our own potential destruction.
Charles is a passionate environmentalist but he has now taken on a job that is essential that he is non political in his words and actions and seen and described as above politics and so any attempt to advocate one policy over another or to criticise or support a policy he will be potentially be criticised and blamed for now so in some ways the environment has lost one of its great advocates to the crown.
A part of me wants to batten down the hatches and wait until the storm that is the whipping up of British patriotism across the UK media outlets and across these shores but another part of me feels that so long as I am respectful and explain where I am coming from I still have the right to speak and feel how I feel.
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?
Well the title pretty much sums up this week. Mum has finally moved back to Devon. It took her a while in many ways, but she is so pleased to be back. She has made some wonderful friends in Conrwall and I also really loved the village that she lived in called Breage. But with the death of my brother who also lived in Cornwall and with the development of Coronavirus and household lockdowns it made mum feel more isolated than ever and needing to have a move to a place where she felt more at home and settled and so has now moved back to Devon.
The home she is living in is in a village called Yoeford and she is renting a property until her new home is built in Cheriton Fitzpaine. Yeoford is easy for me to reach on the train from Exeter, although Cheriton Fitzpaine where she will be finally moving to, has no train or bus from my home city Exeter so will be a little bit more difficult for me to get to as I do not drive. But will need to see how that goes when she moves in later in the year to her house move into the place she has bought that is still beign built at the moment.
Mum also has a dog called Milly, she is very sweet and gentle but also nervous and very, very shy. She does not let me get neat her even though mum has had her for 3 years or more now. But hopefully the more I see her the more she will get used to me. Some of mums friends in cornwall were wonderfully patient with Milly and were able to get close to her and she would always look forward to her treats from mums next door neighbour.
The dog has really surprised me with how resilient she has been in the move I was worrying that she was going to have a mini melt down in the move but hopefully that does not appear to happen.
We think that Milly was abused before being rescued by a charity and she has not had an opportunity yet to have any intensive training to develop her and I think if she were a human she would certainly be considered very autistic and incredibly shy. At one time she would go on hunger strikes and stop drinking when new people would come into mums’ house to stay and she will always be somewhat of a fussy eater. But it seems the only means of control she has over the situations she finds herself. Luckily she has continued to eat and drink during the move and although she will be a little confused by what is going on she seems happy to be where ever mum is.
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage & kindness – Howard Zinn
I love God but am a post Christian none affiliated person of faith. My god is one of love and healing for all, that through his existence breaths life and loves all and although we might one day be judged by god for the lives we have or have not lived, no man is a spiritual judge of gods laws, it is only laws of what man does to man that that men have true jurisdiction on.
The head of Russia’s Orthodox Church has seemingly blamed the invasion of Ukraine that has killed hundreds and displaced millions on LGBT+ Pride parades. The Russian Orthodox bishop, 75, who leads the most popular and influential religion in the country, and with his interpretations of the teachings of Christ says that Ukraine’s pro-LGBT+ laws and parades have presented a “loyalty test” to Russia for aligning with progressive values.
The Patriarch claimed that “the West essentially organises genocide campaigns against countries that refuse to stage gay parades” before saying that the breakaway Ukrainian regions at the heart of the conflict, collectively known as Donbas, have “rejected” such values.
This is dangerous hate speech. Just as terrorists in the middle east had a religious perspective in order to justify hatred of USA it now appears that Russia has its spitrual saviour and patriarch or sinner champion in the Russian orthodox religion.
Never let truth get in the way of a good religious lie or perspective. How many people would Jesus of Muhammad kill and who would they bomb and why? We sometimes work on this planet towards global norms of behaviour and acceptance and an attempt to legislate equal rights and an expression of love towards fellow human being within context of codes of law and defences in the realm of international crimes against humanity. These values are being buried in Russia on top of the bodies of those they commit to a war.
In life I like to see spirtual understanding and complexity or wisdom grow forth as if from the seed of an acorn into a mighty oak tree. At first the seeds of our perception of God are simple black and white, light over dark issues, that need to be fed watered and nurtured, then as we grow older there is a greater understanding and awareness of those around us and who we are any why we are interdependant on others. Fianlly our beliefs might like might oaks reach and stand tall amongst others and with are roots firmly in the soil, we are able to branch out and offer support and love to others from a standpoint of strengh and resilience. Hoping our love and knowleadge bares further seeds that could also one day grow and flurish too.
Though we have a view, perception and awareness of god we are not gods. My father is homosexual and is one of the greatest human beings I know, whome I love very much, if his sexuality send him to a hell then I’d rather spend an eternity in hell with him, than an eternity with the leader of the church of Russia in heaven.
The bravery of the Ukrainian people and the generosity of the Polish people to the Ukrainians shames Putin and all he stands for and the atrocities committed in his name.
More than 1 million people have crossed from Ukraine into Poland since the Russian invasion began on 24 February, the Polish border guard has said.
Poland, which shares a 310-mile border with Ukraine, has taken in the majority of the 1.7 million people who have left their homes since the war began, with aid efforts largely operated by volunteers, as well as NGOs and municipalities.
The Polish government is introducing an aid package to fund food and temporary lodgings along with measures to allow refugees to work legally and access public healthcare and social assistance. The bill, which also provides one-off benefits for each refugee and financial help for those hosting Ukrainians, will be approved by parliament in fast track legislative procedure.
The exodus from Ukraine is the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since the second world war, according to the UN. Vast numbers of Ukrainian civilians have been fleeing cities under bombardment, including the besieged coastal city of Mariupol.
Data showed Polish border guards cleared as many as 142,300 at border crossings on Sunday, the most in a single day since the war began, and 129,000 people on Saturday.
Refugees from Ukraine have been taken into homes of Polish people with many remembering that an act of kindness provided to one of their grandparents after or during world war 2 helped their relative survive. There are many opening not just their arms but their homes to house those in need. This is unimaginable kindness in the face of such unimaginable wickedness from Putin.
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