KATIE HOPKINS – TWITTER GRAINS OF TRUTH

Back in January, referring to KATIE HOPKINS, I wrote,

‘I don’t actually give a toss about what people think of me LIKING her, because I do’.

And now I like her even more.   Katie Hopkins picture 3

But I really don’t mind at all if you don’t agree with her opinions, or mine! 

We can still be friends. Right?

Why do I like her?  Well, because most of what she says usually has a grain of truth in it, which, I believe most reasonably intelligent people agree with, but are just too ‘nice’ to say themselves. Whilst others just worry about what people will think of them if they admit to agreeing with her.

One Twitter follower wrote, ‘I tend to agree with 90% of @KTHopkins comments, but I’m scared to retweet them in case I get trolled’!

Well, last night I happened to Tweet in agreement to one of her opinions,  I didn’t get trolled, but what did happen was more people ‘favorited’ my Tweet than ever before, and I gained more followers in 10 minutes than I have in the last 10 months!

It went something like this.

The latest Social Media uproar was caused when she voiced her opinions about patients with dementia, stating, amongst other things, that we treat animals more humanely than humans.

Let’s be honest, this is a view that most people are in agreement with.  Out of love, we can take a chronically sick dog to the vet, and cuddle and whisper endearments to it while we gently send them to doggy heaven.

However, when it comes to our chronically sick human relatives suffering from dementia, we have NO choice, but to force onto them the indignity of languishing in a hospital bed, with absolutely no quality of life, for weeks, sometimes months on end. No ‘good death’ for our nearest and dearest.

But of course people love to take offence at the slightest thing, and very often don’t have the verbal skills to put their point of view forward succinctly, often missing the point entirely.  Which was exactly what happened yesterday.

Twitter KT Hopkins tweet.

 

 

 

 

 

After posting this, I received Tweets back such as ‘not in abattoirs we don’t’ which was, as I pointed out is a slightly different argument and this random offering from a guy in Norwich ‘How long has free pet care being going on’ referring I presume to the ‘free’ NHS care that dementia sufferers are given.

But he, along with many other people were responding emotionally not rationally to Ms Hopkins opinions, which is usually the case.

So if as a result of ‘following me’ on Twitter, the 14 retweets, and 63 favorites,  if you do happen to be reading this, thanks so much, keep on reading, and share the love!

Why do I think what she says usually has a grain of truth in it. Well, while we are in a ‘celeb’ state of mind, as someone once said ‘Let’s look at the evidence’……….

Would I employ you if you were obese? No I would not. You would give the wrong impression to the clients of my business. I need people to look energetic, professional and efficient. If you are obese you look lazy – Katie Hopkins

The only people who will disagree with this are people who ARE in fact obese or those wanting to jump on the coach with the OFFENDED destination.

I absolutely DO agree that if you are obese, you do look lazy, and I for one do not want to be the customer of anyone who is lugging their huge pie filled body around, gasping for breath and  is generally not a very pleasant sight to see.

People make excuses for obesity by saying ‘oh they have tried every diet, but they never work. They are actually a nice, thin person inside, just waiting to get out’.

This of course is total bollocks. Most obese people are just lazy and greedy.

Children are named according to their parent’s intelligence. They are a social marker, an indicator of vocab, manners, ability, and respect – Katie Hopkins

Another spot on observation, which was met with outrage amongst the parents of every Paris, Sheralee, Kyle, Tyler and Whitney.

Your name defines you for life, and also in many respects defines your social status and that of your family. I agree that it shouldn’t….. but it does and always will

I doubt we will ever see a Kayden in the House of Lords, just as Edward would sadly be a sitting target for bullies on a council estate anywhere in the UK.

Like is drawn to like, and let’s face it, in the playground of life, George’s parents are highly unlikely to invite Chelsea’s Mum and Dad round for drinks and nibbles and Tiffany’s parents are highly unlikely to invite William’s Mummy and Daddy round for a few cans of Stella and an Iceland Prawn ring.

Grains of truth are only viewed as offensive by those who choose to be offended, say what you like, Ms Hopkins is very often just saying what most of us are thinking. Get used to it.

Do you secretly agree with some of her views?

LOVELY TO MEET YOU – NOT

Is it me, I ask myself a hundred times a day, but on this conundrum, I’ll let you, dear reader, decide.

So off I go on a ‘date’ with the new man. I haven’t said much about the new man, as I have no idea if he is going to be the new man for much longer. To be honest the signs are not that good, and there have been a few glitches already in this fledgling relationship, more of that another day. But for now….

Last night we went out for a pub meal with 3 other couples, who already know him, but have never met me before.  I obviously have no idea what to expect, but I’m dressed in black leggings, black tunic dress, cowboy type boots and leather jacket.  My hair looks reasonably bobbed and I’ve gone for the smokey eyes and red lippy look.

To be fair, it’s pretty much my normal, every – day look, I’ve neither dressed up, or down.

So I rock up in the car park, the man is there, and we go into the pub together.

One couple have already arrived, and so meet and greet the man warmly, and he introduces me, they say ‘Hello, nice to meet you’ and, so do I.  It is indeed all very ‘nice’.

By the time we’ve been to the bar and got our first drink, the other couples have arrived so now there is a greeting fest going on, and everyone is very pleased to meet everyone else.

It’s still all very ‘nice’.

I get seated between the new man, and another lady, we are all around the same age, but I feel from the get go that they really won’t ‘get’ me.

And I’m right.

Food choices are made, orders taken, and so everyone is now free to chat uninterrupted. So they do, but not to me!

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ll talk to anyone, I’ll ask questions, and engage with people in a supermarket queue, a lift, on the train, absolutely anywhere and I’m happy to respond to any questions that may, in turn, be thrown my way.   Except last night, they weren’t throwing any

Despite my frequent attempts to engage, the established group of ladies clearly preferred to talk amongst themselves, which I thought was incredibly rude.

At one point, I did manage to comment how gay weddings were usually the most stylish, but you’d have thought I’d told them I’d got a bad attack of head lice.

Mouths curled up at the edges and there was a discernable shaking of heads.

I won’t lie, they did talk to the group generally, but nobody included me in their conversations, or asked me anything about myself, you know those obvious questions like, where are you from, where do you work, how did you two meet, and things I’d sure as heck ask if a newly available man rocked up with someone like me!

I mean, if they HAD eventually asked me what I did, I was intending to use my shock tactic and say I was a writer of erotica, and, if they HAD eventually asked me if I’d done anything nice last week, I was going to truthfully tell them that I’d had some fantastic conversations with some  of my own feisty, fab friends, including one who was telling me about a sexy tryst she’d had with a complete stranger, one who was planning a sexy tryst with a sexy Frenchman, and one who was amusing me with details of how one of her mates had enjoyed an unexpected, but perfectly friendly gang bang in a former life.

You won’t be surprised to read that I found all that far more interesting than  ‘are we having a starter or a pudding’ which was about as much as the incredibly dull damsels in the pub could amuse me with.

So, what did I do?

Well, after arriving at the allotted hour of 7.30, and after feeling like Polly no Pals for far longer than I deserved, I shovelled my dinner down, and at 10.15 as soon as the last spoonful of meringue left my mouth, I picked up my bag, smiled ever so sweetly, and said as insincerely as I possibly could,  ‘it was lovely meeting you’, and with 7 pairs of eyes following me, I flounced out the door, and buggered off home for a nice cup of tea and a cuddle with the dog.

So really, is it me?    Not nice to meet you

Do you think I was right to be a tad pissed off at their rudeness?

 

WE SHOULD ALL BE MORE NOSEY AND NOISY

As a fairly streetwise Mother of two daughters, and Nanny to 4 boys aged from 4 to 12, I still cannot get to grips with the latest reported scale of child exploitation and sexual abuse in England that has apparently been going on over the last decade or more.

Do I think David Cameron’s latest wonderful idea to jail anyone who turns a blind eye to child abuse in the future, will make a difference?  No, I don’t.

People will not be held accountable. One person will of course be sacked, or jailed, to make an example of them, but then it will all just be old news and forgotten.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/03/gesture-jailing-professionals-child-abuse-wont-stop-rotherham

After all, how many times, after some poor child has been horrifically treated, have we, as mature Grans and Nans, heard the words ‘ lessons will be learnt, there will be a full enquiry’, but the lessons are never learnt, and history predictably repeats itself.

What I find incomprehensible is that in some of the most tragic cases that have been in the news over the past 5 years or so, teachers, neighbours and extended family seem to have either been blind, deaf or completely stupid NOT to have noticed when a child that they regularly see appears to be unhappy, neglected, or withdrawn.

Why have they not shouted louder, got involved, knocked on doors, made phone calls, anonymously or otherwise, and left NO stone unturned until someone listened, and more importantly,  been seen to take action.

Whilst this is slightly off course, as a dog lover and owner, it is MY job to protect my dog, to ‘read’ him if you like. Is he behaving normally, is he eating, drinking, sleeping, running and engaging with me, and other dogs, as he usually does. Has something upset him, his digestion, is he in pain, limping, biting his feet, or scratching his ears.  If so, I look closer, watch, listen, feel, and do whatever it takes to help him

Shouldn’t that be the same with a child for goodness sake?

Except it’s not is it.  For every news item about an abused or neglected child that makes us gasp at the horror of it all, someone must have heard or seen something.  A happy child jumps and skips, is full of giggles, asks for sweets, and is cheeky. An unhappy child is withdrawn, solemn, scared, asks for nothing and says nothing.

A cared for child looks and smells entirely different to a neglected child.  The warning signs are usually there, but are often simply ignored. After all people don’t usually want to get involved do they?

Instead of making sex education in schools, compulsory for 5 year olds, (which is another bright idea of some other Government idiot), wouldn’t it be a better idea, to educate EVERY child, about shouting very loudly to their Mummy or Daddy, Nanny or Grandad, if they are in any way scared, unhappy, nervous, anxious, about ANYTHING, safe in the knowledge that they will be listened to, they will be believed, and be reassured that none of it is their fault.

Shouldn’t we be spending more time educating every young girl and boy, about NOT keeping some secrets, even if they are asked to do so?  Telling them specifically, who is allowed to undress them, who can help them do personal things, even if it is a hugely sensitive conversation to have.

For older girls, and boys, let’s crank that birds and bee’s lesson up a few notches and talk to them in language they actually understand. Yes of course they need the biological facts, but they also need cold hard facts, if they are to be armed well enough to deal with some of today’s warped human beings.

Most teenagers today are streetwise and know far more than us 60 something’s did at their age, so let’s enhance that knowledge, and teach them how to spot a ‘groomer’ at a 100 paces, and to put their often annoying, trappy little mouths to good use and shout very loudly and make sure someone listens.

I cannot believe that out of the hundreds of vulnerable young girls who have been exploited in Oxford and Rotherham, not one of them told a soul.  Nobody noticed they went missing for days on end; nobody questioned where they were, nobody took a long hard look at any one of them and thought something was wrong.

Didn’t it strike anyone as odd, seeing young white girl’s constantly hanging round with older, Pakistani men?  The policeman walking his patch, an off duty social worker, maybe a solicitor from a local practice? A high proportion of them were ‘in care’, but nobody cared did they.  Really.

How about we, as adults, be more mindful, more nosey, and noisier if we feel, see or hear something that is not quite right. Instincts are not usually wrong.

Never mind about making an error of judgement. Better to do that and take the flack, than NOT say anything, not act on our instincts, our intuition, and leave another youngster in danger for one more second than is necessary.

Or do you think the more common thought process is ‘better not get involved’

 

THE POWER OF A LOST DOG.

By the power of Facebook, you can buy and sell silk purse or a sows ear, share the highs and lows of your life, and announce new arrivals and sad departures to as many ‘friends’ as you care to imagine.

Our local community pages tell us about cancelled trains, punctures on the community bus and bring us important updates about incidents and accidents around the local roads.

But over the past couple of weeks, the main focus for a small village in Essex, has been on Lily the German Shepherd who having been rescued from an unsuitable owners, then made a dash for it from her new forever home, and found herself terribly lost and scared.

To begin with, the notification on the newsfeed was fairly normal.  Dog lost. Keep your eyes open, brief description and I’m sure like me, most people expected a happy ending a few hours later.       Lily 3 (2)

But what followed, was I believe, an exceptional example of how a dog loving community rallied round, when it became clear that Lily was going to be very elusive.

At first, people began to do as they were asked, keeping their eyes open while on their own dog walk, and taking spare lead and a few treats just in case they could catch her.

Sightings were posted regularly, and over the next few days, a Facebook page was created for Lily, where people said where they had last seen her and at what time.

But when Lily had been out in some pretty cold overnight temperatures, things gathered pace, and people were now organising themselves into groups to search at pre-arranged times.

A specialist trapping team were consulted and they were happy to help.

Lily meanwhile continued to avoid being caught. She was by this time criss crossing major roads, but being such a young dog, she was not even approachable and every time people got close to her, she just bolted. So frustrating for everyone.

A plan was suggested to place food stations at various points, then, to decrease the distance between them, in an effort to encourage Lily to stick to one particular area, and eventually to set some kind of trap for her.

However, the RSPCA were unwilling to lend a trap, and nobody else had one readily available.

What followed was really quite amazing.  As the community began to discuss the need for a trap, people started collectively offering money to buy one, whilst some offered to fund the purchase outright. Donations were taken into one of the village shops.  People were incredibly generous not only with their time, but with their hard earned cash too.

As groups met up on a daily basis to search for Lily, friendships were formed, acquaintances were renewed, and there was an incredible sense of purpose shown, and support given to Lily’s owners, who before Lily disappeared, were complete strangers.

People sat in fields with flasks of hot tea, lit BBQ’s in an attempt to tempt her towards the smell. A major Essex road was held to ransom while people drove up and down at 40mph trying to spot her, and lorries were regularly stopped dead if she ever poked her head over a ditch.

The newly purchased trap was manned all the time ‘just in case’.

Sadly, there was no happy ending for Lily. After nearly two weeks evading the kind people who were actually trying to save her, she ventured onto the railway line and…….well, it all happened very quickly.

But there are plans for people that were complete strangers ‘before Lily’ to meet up and have drinks to celebrate Lily’s short but eventful life.

Her legacy has forged new friendships and probably renewed the communities faith in the generosity of others, and their willingness to give their time to help someone in distress, not to mention those traps which are there just waiting in her memory, to help the next ‘lost dog’.

TO SIR WITH LOVE

I was more than pleased to see Rachel Johnson’s sensible comment in the Mail On Sunday regarding the 44 year old man who was allowed to walk free from court last week even though it was proven, that he did indeed have sexual contact with, a then, 16 year old girl, whilst ‘in a position of trust as one of her teachers’.

Despite the outcry from many organisations ranging from the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, The National Association for People Abused in Childhood, and the End Violence Against Women campaigners to name but a few, I think the leniency shown to the teacher was justified.

Honestly, talk about over reaction. This was consexual sex.  Yes it was ill judged, and foolish, but it was still consensual. The pupil was not raped, or co-erced and as such in my view, this means that the teacher should NOT be labelled as any sort of paedophile, as he is not.

This pupil wanted him, she made sure she got him. Girls of 16 can be incredibly manipulative. It is not always the man.

The teacher is guilty of being weak, having a dreadful lack of judgement, and on a far grander scale, showing total disrespect to both his long suffering wife, and in the bigger picture his employers.

As a Mother and Grandmother, I honestly wonder if some of these protesters are living in a box somewhere and do not actually get out there and see, and experience REAL life, REAL situations that they are supposed to be aware of.

Don’t they realise just how a weak willed teacher ‘might’ have his head turned by a strong willed, streetwise, pretty fabulous looking girl who is 15 going on 25 and is actually still in year 11.

Sophie 1

Here is a young friend of mine and in this picture she is 15.  She is a gorgeous, bright, funny, strong minded, girl, who thankfully instead of making eyes at a male teacher, is more likely to kick him in the nuts, and tell him to ‘do one’ if he dared to even dream about invading her personal space.

She has a fantastic family around her, and is confident enough NOT to seek the attentions of an unsuitable man.

BUT, what if she was needy and attention seeking, with looks like this, if SHE turned on her charms, and decided she was going to ‘have’ SIR, she could.

No matter how many ‘agencies’ bang on about child protection, it’s not always the child that needs it, as Rachel Johnson says, the laws are there to protect the teacher as much as the pupil, and what a good job it is.

Look at another one of my friends. She is 15.  Again from a very close knit family, she’s confident, strikingly attractive, intelligent, popular, and streetwise.  Already an aspiring model, she’s clever, and cool enough to simply give ‘SIR’ the most withering of looks and tell him to get lost if he thought he was in with a chance.   Eloise Perry.

But what if she was needy, and attention seeking, with looks like this if SHE turned on her charms, and decided she was going to ‘have’ SIR, she could.

Way back in the late 60’s, when school youth clubs were popular, and before the formation of many of these child protection agencies, I also nearly ‘had’ SIR.

He wasn’t actually my teacher, but he ran a youth club that I used to go to at a different school, and I was out to get him.

Now, some 47 years later, I recall he was dark, swarthy looking, he smoked roll ups and had lovely hooded eyes.  He was an absolute stalwart of the local community, involved in sport, music, and many other school related activities, but was still something of a rebel.

At the time, he was 40 years old.  I was 15 years old, small, blonde and used to getting my own way, this poor bloke had no chance.  He had absolutely no ill intent towards me. He was kind, looked out for me, and never acted inappropriately towards me in any way whatsoever, until I almost forced him to!

Luckily for him, we were interrupted and the moment was gone, but I know without a doubt that given five more minutes, it would have been an entirely different story I’d be telling you, I don’t think I’d have allowed him to refuse!

But then, as now, IF rumours had started, police and my parents would have been involved and he probably would have lost his job, and lost his good name, and it truly would all have been my fault, not his.

These days, boys and girls are sexting, texting and talking about sex before they’ve even left junior school.  A high percentage of them know exactly what’s what in the sexual timetable of life.

Boys can be just as manipulative as girls, and if ‘Miss’ happens to be fit and flirty, then she too will be shown no mercy by the one who wants to be her favourite and have a fumble in the form room.

But if things did go too far and the boy cried wolf, then you can be sure it would be all the fault of ‘Miss’ in her moment of madness.

What do you think about the story in the newspapers?  Do you know anyone who actually had a fling with their teacher, maybe you had more than just a crush on yours?

MARMITE MOMENTS!

Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely enjoy watching Stephen Fry on the telly. I love his wit, admire his knowledge, and I’m no stranger to a bit of QI.

I also love a gay wedding, a lesbian wedding, any kind of wedding. Let’s face it, in my job, I’ve personally sent my fair share of brides and brides, and, grooms and grooms, down towards the ceremony table to seal the deal.

But I won’t lie to you, the picture of him and his ‘much younger man’ brings  out my ‘oh FFS, you’ve got to be kidding’  side.   Stephen Fry and tweet.

Likewise, my cynical reaction is rather than a two become one tweet I’d venture there will be a one will become two tweet, before the ink is dry on the 11 plus certificate…..

Oooops, no sorry, of course I mean the marriage certificate.

It’s an easy mistake to make, let’s face it, the younger groom looks like he’s still in year 11

The picture shows Stephen Fry gazing proudly at his young beau in quite a ‘fatherly’ way, as if he’s just signed a contract for some high profile football team, when in actual fact he’s just signed a contract for a totally different kind of ball game….let’s hope he takes all the ‘pitch’ invasions like a man….

This is one c’leb gay relationship that really makes me feel queasy, as, unlike Elton and David, it’s such a mismatch of everything, and just looks wrong on so many levels.

*****

A bit like Katie Hopkins, I don’t actually give a toss about what people think of me LIKING her, because I do.

Katie Hopkins picture 3

Regardless of public opinion a lot of things she says are what many other people would like to say, but, unlike her,  don’t have the balls to actually say it.

Before, during and after any of the Celebrity Big Brother episodes, Twitter goes NUTS with Tweets of positivity for her.

Mainly people say they are warming to her, or are surprised to say they like her.

Indeed some are actually worried that they like her and want her to win. As I do.

Isn’t it usually the type of people that she aims her criticism at, who are the ones that take the most offence, and ‘hate’ her?

Maybe that’s because a little tad of truth sometimes hurts,…….if the cap fits wear it…….kind of thing.

On Emma Watson’s ‘side boobs’ Katie remarked ‘”Emma Watson needed to give this look a miss. Her sad side boobs are barely there.  To have a ‘sidey’ – you need a boob in the first place.”

( Yes I’d agree with that, wouldn’t you? )

On Paternity Leave:  “Most men would rather boil their heads in breast milk than take 26 weeks paternity leave. At present 75% of men take one week or less.”

( Yes after the novelty of the birth, showing off the new-born, and wetting the baby’s head, I’d say that’s about right too, wouldn’t you? )

On babies themselves: “Babies may be many things – but they are not good company. Most working mums acknowledge babies are boring, even if they have to keep this a secret from the scowling mob of school gate mums.”

( Bright, communicative new Mums, DO find babies boring, they eat, sleep and poo, and don’t make much conversation. Well you can’t argue with that can you? )

Seriously, if you stop listening to other peoples judgements of her, and watch and listen for yourself, you will find more than one opinion of hers that you agree with, but might, not quite, be brave enough to voice yourself.

Pictures courtesy of: popsugar.com and buzzfeed.com

 

GIVE A MAN A DOG

If I had my way, I’d make it compulsory for all healthy, older people, who live alone, to be given an all-expenses paid, rescue dog.

Loneliness is a terrible thing, it’s so isolating,  and studies seem to show, shortens the life of those that endure it, after all, if you are not seeing anyone, or talking to anyone, what point is there in carrying on.

So many older people, would benefit from having a dog to look after. It would give them a purpose, a reason to go for that beneficial walk, a chance to stop and chat to other dog owners, and to generally get out of the house for a couple of hours every day.

When you are out with your dog, people exchange pleasantries, initially about the weather, then as time goes on, and you do a regular route at a regular time, the conversations get longer, and people begin to recognise each other, and even if they don’t know the name of the dog owner, they usually know the name of the dog.

Rocky’s Dad, Bonnies Mum.

No dog owner is really fussed about their own name being known; you recognise people by their dog, not really by their face!

Buddy and I have met so many lovely folk while we’ve been out walking both in Spain, and here in the UK.

Park 15.11.12 005

In Spain I found a little park just at the bottom of my street, and spent many enjoyable hours with people who tried in vain to teach me some Spanish, and who in turn were eager to point to things and ask me ‘English is?’

Coming straight out of a Spanish dog rescue I had no idea if Buddy would be friendly towards all other dogs, or if there was a breed or colour he would grumble at, but whilst at first he was a bit overwhelmed, he soon found his feet ( or paws ) and  learnt the ‘chase me’ game pretty quick too.

Later, when we returned to the UK, he’d earned his good dog stripes and I knew that although he was quite lively, he was a lover of dogs, not a fighter of dogs.

Now we have an easy daily routine of a park walk and play in the mornings with George the deaf dog, Dave the Spaniel, Max the Cockapoo, Remy the Terrier, Pippa the Springer, and Dudley the Tibetan Terrier, who is my daughter’s dog.  To name but a few.

We all meet about 9.30 in the park, and it’s like a dog fest.

Everyone stands around chatting, friendships are forged both human and canine.  New puppies are coaxed and cuddled, new owners welcomed and introduced to everyone.

Some days there can be up to 15 dogs, some days, maybe 4 or 5, but the main thing is its sociable.  An older person with a rescue dog, is just as welcome as a teenager with a new bundle of fluff on its first outing.   DOG SMALL WHITE

Just think how much an older person, who lives alone would enjoy and benefit from that, not to mention the fact that they could provide a loving home for all those dogs that Paul O’Grady tortures us with every week on the telly.

Every week it makes me cry. Sniff.

Get a campaign going Mr O’Grady, you’ve got the clout, so that a not so active dog could be matched with a man who just needs a bit of gentle exercise.

Greyhounds are a perfect choice, they are major sofa surfers, contrary to popular belief. Don’t think that just because they’ve spent their life racing round a track after a pretend rabbit that they need to race for miles round the countryside.

NO, they are the laziest dogs ever.     DOG GREYHOUND

How about a nice little rescued Yorkie for a lady who maybe would prefer a small lap dog to keep her company, imagine all those other nice ladies she might stop and chat to whilst she’s out for a stroll in the sunshine with her dog.

It’s not rocket science.  There are thousands of lonely dogs in kennels, there are thousands of lonely people in houses.

They could save each other from an early grave.

To read about Buddy’s latest ‘faux pas’ please go and ‘like’ him on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/pages/BUDDY-El-Perro-Espanol/1553717728218228?ref=hl

 

ONE WOMAN ~ TWO JOURNEY’S

Yesterday I went to a funeral.  The lovely 94 year old lady was undoubtedly on her way to heaven and believe me, all the other residents would have been calling, ‘Come on up, let’s taste your featherlight cakes, let’s hear your glorious voice, let’s watch your fingers whizz across a piano keyboard, let’s see you work your magic with a duster’.

If ever there was a woman going to a better place, she most definitely has!

And the funeral was the reason for the journeys I’m about to describe.

The main route to my destination had been gridlocked for the previous two mornings and so I decided to let the train take the strain, and rocked up at the local village station about 10.30

There had sadly been a suicide the day before at the station, but I was still intrigued to see two mature, kindly ladies with ‘Samaritan’ written on their warm fleeces, and an invitation saying ‘talk to me’.  So I did. But only because I’m just plain nosey.

SAMARITANS-KX100+_CS6_high-res

I haven’t contemplated suicide, well not  since Robbie left Take That….

In hushed tones, they asked me if travelled from the station every day, which I don’t, and asked if I’d heard about the ‘incident’ the previous day, which I had.  Apparently the Samaritans often attend the scene of a suicide in case anyone wants to talk about it.

Whilst I think they do sterling work, and I’m full of admiration, my cynical side still wanted to crack a feeble joke and say,

‘It’s such a pity you weren’t here yesterday’…..

So I boarded the train, and found myself in a carriage with 6 people opposite me, and 2 either side of me.  All of the other travellers had their heads down looking at their mobile phones. Not one of them was reading a book or a news-paper or even chatting to anyone.

I, on the other hand, gazed out of the window for the whole journey, and how nice it was to see those 2 lovely tall white horses being ridden round a field next to the track, and to spot the house of an old friend, I wondered what they were up to now, it’s been 40 years since I’ve seen them.    mobile phone railway.

I saw beautifully manicured gardens, some small children playing on a swing in their garden, a fisherman bending over a steaming kettle.

Just little snippets of other people’s lives that the phone browsers missed completely.

It was utterly silent, nobody spoke, or engaged with each other, and presumably this is how these commuters spend their travelling time every day.

Isn’t that sad, and such a waste of opportunity.

Fast forward to the return journey and things couldn’t have been more different.

There were 6 people in the homeward bound carriage, one was resolutely looking down at his phone with earplugs in, and another one of them was wired up to an iPod but was at least looking out of the window, as were the other passengers.

All of a sudden iPod man began to laugh out loud. Real hearty laughter, and at first everyone else exchanged nervous glances in a ‘is he raving mad’ kind of way.

He didn’t care, he carried on laughing, and the nervous glances changed to amused glances, and then the lady next to me began to do that stifled laughter thing, when you try to keep your mouth closed, your body still but your chest is moving ever so slightly.

I felt her movement and she looked at me and openly laughed, so I laughed with her.  The couple opposite looked at us laughing, and laughed themselves, now 4 people are laughing at another man laughing but we have no bloody idea what he is laughing at.

People began talking about laughter, how infectious it is, and continued to join in with iPod man each time he laughed out loud. Eventually, he was crying with laughter and it was all beyond a joke.    man laughing

Mr Mobile Phone man was, meanwhile completely oblivious of all the merriment as he hadn’t once looked up, or heard the kerfuffle.

Eventually laughing man took out his earplugs and wiped away his tears, and in reply to me asking, ‘you must tell us what you were listening to, he replied…

‘I’m sorry I haven’t a clue’ and we all just erupted into even more laughter.

I know this story reeks of ‘you had to be there’, but it’s not really about what I personally saw or heard, it’s about what everyone else missed, whilst being otherwise engaged.

What annoys you most about the intrusiveness of mobile technology ?

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BOY!

A personal blog is supposedly about your personal life. Snippets and stories that you want to share with your readers, to amuse them, to inform them, sometimes even to challenge them.

All of which I try to do. Often.

But today, as I’m sitting writing this little missive, a pair of gorgeous, big brown eyes are staring at me from the opposite sofa, where ‘my boy’ is snuggled on a big soft throw, with his head resting on an even bigger soft cushion.  He’s pretending to be asleep, but I can see the light reflected in his eyes, and he doesn’t fool me.

It looks something like this ……….. my camera 037

Some of my readers will already know Buddy’s story, but for my new reader (!) a recap.

In early May 2011, I found myself volunteering at a dog shelter on the Costa Dorada in Spain.

On the first day I went there, I was expecting to pat a few hairy heads, top up some water bowls and probably get in the way.  Nothing prepared me for the 100 or so dogs that ran to greet me, nor the other 200 that were housed in blocks of many secure enclosures.

Animal shelter entrance.

And there he was. Black Dog as he was simply called masquerading as a questionable Catalan Sheep Dog.

Whilst many of the other dogs were barking and frantically jumping up at the enclosure, Black Dog just laid quietly, with his neck and back legs draped over the apex of two beaten up old wooden kennels, and his tummy just resting in the gap, watching every man and his dog go by.

I was told that his chances of being rehomed in Spain were slim. The Spanish aren’t drawn to black hairy dogs, they prefer small white, apartment living dogs.  The future looked a bit bleak for Black Dog

But then, just as now, he watched my every move whilst acting really cool and uninterested, whilst all the dogs around him were literally barking mad.

My lifestyle at the time meant that NO reputable dog charity in the UK would approve me a suitable dog adopter, but I knew within the first few days of working at the dog shelter, that Black Dog was coming home with me.

The weeks went by, and June arrived, it was beyond hot, and let me tell you the collective poo of 200 dogs in searing heat is not to be sniffed at.

It was time to lay claim to my dog, and run for the cool hills.

On June 28th 2011, Black Dog was tied to the bumper of my car, and very unceremoniously micro-chipped and vaccinated. I paid my 100e rehoming fee. He jumped into the boot, and with the very warm wind in his fur I drove him away.

Despite very limited knowledge of his background, BUDDY has turned out to be a joy to own. I’ve dragged him from here to there and back again.

Buddy for Bubble

Wherever I lay my hat, that’s his home, and today from our home, it’s all about the boy, my boy, BUDDY!

You can also read about Buddy here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/BUDDY-El-Perro-Espanol/1553717728218228?ref=hl

Please come and ‘like’ his page!

 

CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER 2015

It’s very rare for me to venture into the world of Celebrity Big Brother.

However, as I have genuinely lost the Broadchurch plot, and I was a bit brain dead anyway, CBB seemed the most appropriate thing to watch, given that my powers of concentration were somewhat lacking.

Big Brother House

Let’s see what other brain dead people are up to this evening I thought!

Being female, I am of course capable of doing two things at once, and I had one eye on the telly, and one eye on Twitter, which almost went into overdrive when one of the occupants of the house was asked to leave immediately, instead of going through the normal eviction process.

He has in short been given the Celebrity Big Brother boot up his arse.

To be frank, you don’t actually have to watch ANY controversial television programme these days, you can just read around 20 tweets, and get the gist of what’s gone on.

So bloody convenient for us busy, creative people, who need something to write about!

Celebrity Big Brother housemate of 2015, 71 year old Ken Morley, an old timer actor on Coronation Street, has found himself in BIG trouble, because of his very unfortunate choice of phrase.  Ken Morely.

He’s upset or insulted just about everyone in the house, and is judged to be racist, homophobic, sexist, rude, disgusting, despicable and offensive to name but a few.

And I agree with all those opinions, he is guilty as charged.

But the issue for me, and I suspect anyone over the age of 60, is that he probably has NO idea that he is doing or saying anything offensive, and a high percentage of people who were merrily Tweeting away while the programme was being shown, had exactly the same thoughts as me.

I know a lot of ‘Ken Morley’ type men, I reckon many readers of this blog know a ‘Ken Morley’ type man too.  There is usually one in most families.

A bonkers old Grandad or an opinionated Uncle. They are everywhere. Still.

They use the same terminology today that they have been using for 50 years and in my opinion, simply don’t recognise the Politically Correct party anthem.

In the 50’s and 60’s the unacceptable, ‘N’ word that he uttered in two different forms WAS what black people were regularly called, one version was usually used to describe a black person’s colour, the other was a slang term for the same word.  And back then, it was not deemed to be particularly offensive.  Indeed, many black people used to mock their white friends, and call them ‘Chalkey’.

It’s just how it was.   But you know, I know, and the media knows that things have moved on.

These days, it is wholly offensive to use these words.  Despicable Ken knows this too, but he says what HE thinks anyway, and has perfected a curmudgeonly attitude that also says, ‘and if you don’t like it then YOU can bugger off’.

In a way, I have a certain sympathy for him. The look of sheer confusion on his face was SO indicative as he was ‘charged’ with the offending behaviour.

I wouldn’t mind betting that he was just being himself, talking to everyone in the Big Brother house, just as he talks indoors to family and friends, as he has done for decades, he either doesn’t accept he is being offensive, or simply doesn’t care!

His Celebrity Big Brother BIG mistake was underestimating the power of a group of Politically Correct ‘P’ list questionable c’lebs, who trod a fine line between bullying a pensioner, and casting themselves as judge and jury. They clearly felt it necessary to beat the drum very loudly and relentlessly to make some ‘good telly’ for the baying CBB crowds.

In my opinion, and if Twitter is anything to go by, the opinion of many viewers, is that Ken Morley was just as much a victim of offensive behaviour, as those he was accused of offending, BY those he was accused of offending.

Of course not everyone will agree with me, either way, if you’ve been watching Celebrity Big Brother, tell me what you think.