Saturday, 14 November 2015

Does Terror have a deeper meaning?

"Suicide bombs kills dozens as capital goes into mourning".  Were you aware of this headline before reading it here? Were you aware that on Thursday evening an attack in Beirut even took place? It was buried in the world news section on the BBC website, I only saw it as I was reading that section at lunchtime on Friday.

As France and the Western world go into mourning, Lebanon is emerging from one. Both the epic atrocities were seemingly committed by the same organisation. The so called Islamic State, but there is nothing Islamic about the people who were involved in these attacks. Just as there was nothing Catholic about the people who bombed the Arndale centre in 1996.

Personally I am deeply saddened and sorry for each and every person who has lost their lives because of a terrorist attack. But in times like this, humankind should be gelling together and supporting each other. Instead today, I have seen it being fractured to its core. Friends, families, and communities turning on each other and living in fear of the unknown. But isn't that what the terrorists want? To install fear into the very core of our being.

Or is there something deeper here? Is that not what the Politicians want? Why declare martial law on the streets of Paris? To control or to protect citizens? As long as I can remember, we have always been frightened of something. The IRA, Al Qaeda and now IS. Before I was alive, the Russians and nuclear war, the Chinese or Vietnamese. Now North Korea and Russia again.

Maybe George Orwell wasn't writing a work of fiction when he published 1984. Just maybe he was onto something. Maybe Oceania (The West) Eurasia (Former Soviet Union) and Eastasia (China, Korea, Japan etc) are forever going to be fighting over the disputed zone (The Middle East/North Africa). Which in turn will allow that feeling of fear to never go away. Meanwhile Big Brother will always be watching you! 

“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
George Orwell, 1984

Saturday, 30 November 2013

The End of the Month

I can't quite believe that I have managed to stick this out until the end, especially with how hard I have found it to write in the last week. 30 blogs in 30 days! When I started this almost a month ago, first of all I didn't know what I was going to write. Secondly, I didn't know if anybody was going to read what I had to write. Finally, was the stuff I have wrote going to be any good? I must admit, I was quite scared to take up a challenge like this, It is nothing compared to some of my other fellow bloggers who have took the challenge to write a blog a day and a 50,000 word novel all in the month of November or even those who have wrote a novel this month. Maybe I will save that for next year. I have always enjoyed writing, and know I always will enjoy writing. I have liked the response to some of my blogs, obviously every writer enjoys the praise or to be told somebody likes what you are doing, me included. I appreciate the criticism of some of the things I have wrote and the disagreements about my opinions on certain things. Some days it wasn't easy to sit down and just write about something for this blog, especially the days I had a particularly stressful or busy day at work. Other days I would surprise myself with what I managed to write.

The most surprising blog for me has to be the poem I wrote while suffering a massive hangover a few weeks ago Last Night. It nearly wasn't a poem at all and would have been me just whinging about being hungover if I hadn't fallen back asleep before deciding to write. I really enjoyed writing that poem as well because it is a story within the poem I wrote. I look back and read it and it makes me smile. I like using emotion to write because the process is so much easier for me, the words just flow and I don't have to try particularly hard when I write like that. Although I don't know quite how to react when somebody tells me I have made them cry, I just want to give them a big hug. There have been things I have nearly wrote and moment has slipped away because I have been busy or at work etc. On the other hand, I have wanted to write about things that I know would receive much criticism. But I have dared not dent my ego to that extent, well not yet anyway. I have just flirted a little bit with some of these topics I want to discuss hidden in amongst my other blog posts from this month. People who know me well have noticed and warned me off but recently I saw on a friends facebook the words of Eleanor Roosevelt. "Do what you feel in your heart is right - for you will be criticised anyway. You'll be damned if you do and damned if you don't". With those word echoing in my mind, I will hopefully show the courage to write about things I know I will get criticised for.

I have been surprised by the people who have mentioned that they read my blog to me and I wouldn't have expected it from some of them. I know others just sit silently reading what I post with no mention that they have popped by, but I really am thankful that you have been reading because it has spurred me on to keep writing. When I thought about writing this last blog of the month, I wanted to end with a witty quote or some wise words of wisdom. But nothing seems more adequate than one message of support I received that really made me feel humbled. It is from a friend I had lost touch with and not spoken to for a while.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Turn the other cheek ...

I learned today somebody was scared of me, I knew that this person doesn't like me or possibly hates me but scared of me? Well I tried to protest my innocence, then realised it is probably just a bit of a game to make me look like the bad person. I didn't have time to really dwell on this because I had to go straight out to lunch at the pub and it wasn't really the topic of discussion. That prize went to my mate Colin, yes the guy who has guest blogged for me earlier on in the month. He had decided to go AWOL for a few days and nobody had heard from him. Then just before we sent out a search party/reported him missing he turns up and we have to remind him that he does actually have friends. He just wanted some down time, we thought he might have been kidnapped. That would've been a cooler story apart from we wouldn't pay his ransom. (sorry Colin).

I am not a Christian, but I like to think I got brought up with the best of Christian Morals. (Prepare to cringe). I am sure that in the bible somewhere it says that we must turn the other cheek. So when I think about this person that hates me or anyone that doesn't like me for that matter, I just want to help them through their issues. But I don't think it is just me who feels this about other human beings. I enjoy helping people, but not because it makes me feel good inside. (It does but thats not the point I want to make). Other people in this world will always need a helping hand from somebody in their time of need. It might even be little things: walking home tonight a girls shopping bag split and Colin just without saying a word helped pick up a few items. Her face was instantly lit up with gratitude. I just think sometimes in life we all need a little help picking up our shopping off the floor when the bag splits.

Fantastic Friday - Olympics 2012

So it is the penultimate day of national blog posting month and it feels kinda weird that I am so close to the end, especially with how poor my writing has been as of late. After the one poor attempt at throwback thursday a few weeks ago I thought I would try again but with a twist. Why stick to the conforms of it being on a thursday? Today I want to write about fantastic Friday. You never know it might catch on? Rewind to 2011 and there were riots galore in our nations capital.  From Hackney to Croydon, gangs of teenagers fought running battles with police, making roadblocks from burning cars and ransacking shops. No, it is not that period that was particularly fantastic for the country and the city of London but a mere 12 months later and the summer of 2012. The Olympic Games came to this great country of ours. Much has been written and said about that summer, but why was it fantastic for me? Well truth be told it didn't start so fantastic for me. I had applied for various Olympic tickets but didn't get any. I got over it and enjoyed watching the Games on my television and following online and the radio whenever I wasn't in front of a TV. Then, I was thrown a lifeline. My friend had a spare ticket for the open water swimming event in Hyde Park. There was a little bit of a snag, I had very little money in my pocket or my bank account for that matter. I had to get to London somehow though, I couldn't not. It was my home Games, a once in a lifetime opportunity! Megabus to the rescue, I bought a return ticket for £11 from Preston to London. I've tried to forget the long tedious journey but I haven't forgotten how I felt when I arrived in the city. I was in awe of the huge buildings and the bustling streets all around me. I met Ollie just outside the coach station at Victoria after travelling all day but the first place I wanted to go was Buckingham Palace. I recently went on a tour of the state rooms but I am always in awe of the place, the history of the Palace and everything it represents. 

Me & Ollie being very patriotic 

We went for a bit of a tour around the city, a pint and a chat then headed back to Ollie's house in Benfleet ready for our Olympic adventure the next day. What a day it was, we started bright and early and headed into London. There were Games Makers at the station and were incredibly friendly and very helpful. London was truly splendid, the sun glistened in the sky and shone off everything. There were members of the armed forces everywhere acting as security for the various events happening across the city and they made me feel safe and secure rather than looking scary. People were chatty and friendly and one woman even gave us the best advice on where to watch Olympic events on the big screen if we wanted to drink outside to. Ollie and his parents showed me around London, the ease with which they managed to navigate the underground just astounded me. We went to Hyde Park to watch the swimming in the grandstand, the sun was beaming down on us and the banks of the Serpentine were packed with spectators. Most of them were there to cheer on Keri Anne Payne. Astonishingly she is the same age as me but a double world medalist and an Olympic Silver medalist. It was a fascinating race but unfortunately she finished the race back in 5th place. 

Kerri Anne looking stunning
 One of the unique things about hosting the Olympics is that each nation has a particular house in that city showcasing upcoming world events. So we visited Brasil house to see a taste of what we are to expect in Rio in next summer's World cup and the next Olympic games. A place what really impressed me though was Qatar house. They are planning to build not just new stadiums when they host the World cup but whole new cities!

one of the new cities

London in an Olympic year was truly something else and it made me fall in love with our capital. Hopefully I will catch the next one in Rio and see how that compares, because after that summers experience I am well and truly hooked! 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Am I getting ill or am I just exhausted?

Today is the start of my 4 day weekend so naturally I have lots going on and plans to go out with friends and even a night away in Liverpool for a friends birthday. I have been looking forward to finishing time today all week, so when it came around I was so relieved. The first thing I did was to fall asleep still in my work stuff on my bed, I didn't even want a nap it just happened because I was so exhausted. I have had quite a busy day, well a busy week at work and it seems like it is all catching up with me. I have just woke up and still feel groggy and just mentally really tired, it is a struggle to even write my blog posts lately. I think the problem is that in my new role at work it is just more mentally challenging than stuff I have been used to there. It is nothing compared to writing some of my assignments at uni, but I always got to have a nap in the middle of the day then anyway.
 Now and again just little things about the previous day at work or what I have got to do tomorrow will creep into my thoughts and I won't be able to switch off properly. I suppose that is what happens when I take the transition from part time to full time and everyone gets that, right? One of my colleagues even tried to ring me while I was having a nap to ask a bit more about a customers order. I spoke to him just before I left this evening, but completely forget about an important detail. I am being overloaded with far too much information all in a short space of time, my memory seems to be failing me when it comes to really important things. 

I am hoping that a nice long relaxing bath and a good nights sleep will solve my problems and make me feel better. I haven't been ill for ages, it would be a cruel twist of fate if I am getting ill. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


When people ask me where I am from the answer is easy, I am from Burnley of course in Lancashire. On today of all days it is a day to celebrate all of the good things that Lancashire has to offer. Starting in the east, we have the formidable sight of Pendle hill. Tall and proud it stands, casting a shadow on the villages that surround it. The likes of Barley, Blacko and Sabden too. Fence and Newchurch if I was to name another few. The mill town of Burnley on one side & the old market town of Clitheroe on the other side. Locals would argue that it should be mount Pendle but a mere 50 meters stand in the way of that being the case.
Pendle is best known for its Witches and the trail of 1612 where if you ask anyone in the surrounding towns they know of someone related to one of the 12 witches that went on trial that particular autumn. 

North of the hill is the Forest of Bowland which stretches all the way up to the North of the county and Lancaster, our original capital.  Much of the land here is owned by the Queen and it is not hard to tell why. It is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty and its lush green trees and spectacular valleys speak for themselves. 

In the far West of the county, we have Blackpool. Or the Las Vegas of the North. A great family fun town with lots of seaside entertainment and most famous for its illuminations of course. The place of choice for many of the county's hen parties and stag do's. A mini Eiffel tower and an historic ballroom along with one of the countries best theme parks, the little town of Blackpool really has everything. 

The rest of the county, has plenty to keep anyone busy with ancient castles to explore and shopping trips to be had. Lancashire really is the place to be!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Tonight I went to the carvery with friends after having not been since the beginning of the summer. I used to love going out for Sunday lunch every week with either family or friends but with having a job in retail it is very hard to find the time to do that anymore. So I jumped at the chance to go and have a carvery, it saved me cooking any tea after work too. The aroma of all the different meats, gravy and vegetables hit my nostrils as I walked into the pub and made my mouth water. I could not wait to eat, I ordered an extra large carvery which meant I got more meat and all importantly an extra large yorkshire pudding. 

I enjoyed the company of the people I was with, especially because I got judged for having too little on my plate. everyone elses was piled high with food because their eyes were bigger than their belly. I just about managed to finish all my food and even just had room for some pudding. It is safe to say I am now stuffed and don't feel like eating for a week. I will definitely be trying to make more time to visit the carvery from now on tho.