Saturday, September 29, 2007

James Porter, an update on my post of 1st August 2007.

Surprise today when I read ...

A headteacher was ordered to pay £20,000 in fines and legal costs today over the death of a three-year-old boy at his school. James Porter was convicted earlier this year of breaching health and safety rules after Kian Williams, three, died in August 2004. The Health and Safety Executive said Porter, who was prosecuted in his role as proprietor of the school, was fined £12,500 at Mold Crown Court. He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,500.

...Has the world gone mad? £12,500 fine and his own prosecution costs of £7,500 - this is not justice. They say "never work with children or animals" and now we know why. I am disgusted with the actions of this court - £20,000 in fines and costs when James Porter was not even there when Kian, the little angel - peace be upon him - died after jumping down four steps in an out of bounds area while pretending to be Batman at Hillgrove private school in Bangor, Gwynedd.

People just will not carry the can for their own mistakes and like in America always want to point the blame at someone else. Where's there's blame, there's a claim is the slogan of ambulance chasers everywhere. Will this case encourage Tracy Lyon to bring a case against the Police Community Support Officers who attended the scene where her son Jordon Lyon drowned? Maybe she will, time will tell whether this mother joins the queue of greedy parents who want to put the blame somewhere else.
Just-in-time socialising.

I agree with Deborah Orr in her column today...

One of the many dubious gifts that our mobile phones have awarded us is the advent of just-in-time socialising, the phenomenon whereby no one seems to care about being punctual any more, because they can just text you saying that they're about to leave the house and could you order them a vodka and tonic.

...I overhear a lot of mobile phone telephone calls in my day job. It amazes me just how fluid people are with their social arrangements. All meetings are done to the wire with the constant asking of "where are you now?". Can nobody arrange to meet somewhere at a given time? People have become so sloppy and unpunctual. If you were the same with your employment, then you would be sacked. Friends however seem to accept this casual ring, ring, I am coming now scenario without question. It shows that your friendships are similar to dog owning, you whistle and your favourite pet comes running. This is not the correct basis for adult relationships.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Road rage - French style.

Most road rage is committed by young urban men but if you click the link above you will watch a video of elderly French farmers. These old men should be enjoying life in the country and clearly should know better at their age. However, their road rage descends into fighting with sticks. Try not to laugh but you can see that there is often a nasty side to all of us.

Motorists who have been convicted of road rage should be forced to watch this video as it shows in the cold light of day just how childish their behaviour can be.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The end of the company tie.

The age of the tie to work is on its way out, figures show. Just 40 per cent of big companies insist on formal dress in the office, a survey found. Smart casual dress, which includes a shirt but no tie, trousers not jeans and loafers but not trainers, is acceptable in more than half of firms.

...Thank goodness for this, clothing should be practical at work and fit for purpose. A company tie does nothing, it just hangs from the employee's collar. A company uniform is a great idea as it presents a unified company image. Smart casual is the way forward for companies to go. Clothes that look the business and are not cheap looking. Workplace clothing should reflect society in a quality casual way. The clothes should not make the employees look like refugees but casual yet smartly dressed, approachable people. The company tie should be confined to the wardrobe of history along with the cravat .

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Trouble in Burma.

The trouble continues in Burma and Gordon Brown, our Prime Minister has said: “The whole world is now watching Burma and its illegitimate and repressive regime should know that the whole world is going to hold it to account.” I hope that Burma can embrace democracy and abandon it's military dictatorship. That is my hope but I fear that many lives will be lost in the process.

Democracy is vital to everyone and can be taken for granted. It annoys me when people here in the UK cannot be bothered to vote in elections. The ordinary person does not have much say or influence, just a vote every few years. That is all the choice we have, a free vote every few years for political parties that are free to operate. What a terrible world if your country is governed by an unelected army, the ultimate Police State. We are edging towards a Police State but still have a right to vote yet some people still cannot be bothered.

The situation in Burma should be a wake up call to all the people in the UK who do not vote in our elections. Your vote, use it or loose it because the people of Burma do not have a choice.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Was there any need for this?

The traffic getting into London this morning from the west was horrendous. The reason for these huge delays was simple. The traffic lights at the junction of Talgarth Road (the main A4) and North End Road (the B317) at West Kensington were not working. The Talgarth Road is one of the main routes into London bringing the traffic from the M4 motorway into the borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The Talgarth Road has 6 lanes of traffic, 3 lanes going into Central London and 3 lanes coming out towards Hammersmith.

Agents working for Transport for London who were dressed like traffic wardens were directing traffic as these traffic lights were out of order. However, someone had decided to close lane 1 in both directions. Instead of getting 3 lines of traffic through this busy junction, only 2 lines of traffic were permitted to get across this junction. This was madness, traffic flow was reduced by a third. The traffic had therefore stacked up all the way back to the M25. It took me a staggering 2 hours to drive from the M25 junction with the M4 motorway into London Victoria. This journey regularly takes around 40 minutes but today took another 1 hour and 20 minutes. This delay was totally avoidable and caused by the stupid idea of closing lane 1 in both directions. Which moron decided to close lane 1 and vastly reduce the traffic flow? I had to work for 6 hours and 15 minutes without a break because of this appalling decision over traffic management. I arrived at my destination 1 hour and 40 minutes late thanks mostly to the moron who thought it was a good idea to close lane 1 at this very busy junction. I would like to screw him to his desk for 6 hours and 15 minutes without a break.

Was this another mad idea by Ken Livingstone the Mayor of London who brought you the congestion charge that clearly is not working. I am sure that if Boris Johnson becomes the next Mayor of London, he would not have let this folly take place today. Think of the cost to business when employees are wasting 1 hour and 20 minutes of their working day.

With traffic management like that I am glad I do not live in London. Having to work 6 hours and 15 minutes without a break is awful, backward, irresponsible and against the working time directive. I now understand why people throw eggs at politicians.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ultimate flashing in Leicester.

A thief tried to evade a store detective by exposing herself and squirting her breast milk at him. It is believed the woman was trying to leave traces of her DNA on the guard in a bizarre attempt to frame him for sexual assault. The woman's actions appear consistent with a disturbing new trend of thieves attempting to make trumped-up allegations of sexual assault against staff.

Citywatch, the Neighbourhood Watch equivalent for businesses, has this week warned shops in Leicester that some female thieves will touch themselves intimately before trying to leave DNA traces on store detectives. Others have picked their noses until they bleed in order to make a false allegation of assault. Store detectives in Leicester have been advised to ensure they are never alone with suspects. The woman was caught stealing in a Co-op shop in the city two weeks ago.

...Well, what can I say, this is different and demonstrates just how street-wise these young women can be. What they lack in education and morals they make up for by being innovative and street-wise. What a shock this must have been for the security guard concerned. I know what my reaction would have been and I have only read about the incident! It is a shame this incident was not captured on CCTV for the general public to enjoy on the likes of You Tube.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Police Community Support Officers.

Much as been said about the value of Police Community Support Officers after an inquest heard two PCSOs had stood at the water's edge while 10-year-old Jordon Lyon drowned in a pond after he tried to save his stepsister.

As The Daily Telegraph reported, the officers arrived at the scene of the emergency in Wigan, Greater Manchester, but did not attempt to rescue the boy and instead called for assistance from regular police officers. Greater Manchester Police defended the PCSOs' decision not to jump in the water because they were not trained in such incidents.

Jordon's mother, Tracy Lyon, wants the PCSOs involved to be sacked. They have not been named and did not give evidence at the inquest into her son's death. Jordon jumped into the water to save his eight-year-old stepsister at a local beauty spot in May this year. Mrs Lyon said: "If you're walking down the street and you see a child drowning, you automatically go in that water."

DCI Phil Owen, of Wigan CID, insisted after the inquest: "PCSOs are not trained to deal with major incidents such as this … It would have been inappropriate for PCSOs, who are not trained in water rescue, to enter the pond."

...So here is my view. One of the first rules of First Aid is for the rescuer not to put himself in any further danger. Jumping into any water is foolish and many a time a rescuer has drowned whilst trying to save somebody. The PCSO's were not trained in water rescue and it would have been wrong for them to undertake a risky act. The people in charge are the one's at the end of the 999 telephone line. If the emergency call centre sends out budget Police Officers then that is what you get, you get what you pay for.

Tracy Lyon hopes that anyone who sees a child drowning would automatically enter the water but in reality only fools jump into unknown water. Sometimes the foolish jump in and save the child. That rescuer is then hailed as a hero, even if the rescue was foolish. If the rescuer drowns then society calls their actions stupid and avoidable. If Jordan Lyon had reacted with wisdom rather than emotion then he would still be alive today, although he would have lost his sister. His sister now has to live with the guilt forever that she caused the death of her brother.

These Police Community Support Officers should not be sacked, they have done the job they were paid for. Their names need not be made public unless they want to make statements themselves. They have a right to a private life the same as everyone else.

These children should not have been in the pond, their parents should have brought them up to understand the dangers of water. Making scapegoats of budget policing is not the answer to childhood misadventure.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Deaths in cars.

This has been a bad week in the newspapers for deaths in cars. Five people have been killed after a car chased by police turned the wrong way down a motorway before colliding head on with another vehicle. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the crash, although police insist they stopped chasing the vehicle when it joined the M4 in South Wales.

Three young men were pronounced dead at the scene in one car and a couple in another car were also killed on the eastbound carriageway of the motorway, between junctions 25A and 25, near Newport. The two vehicles involved were identified as a red Ford Mondeo and a red Volvo 940. Tom Davies, IPCC Commissioner, said the pursuit began when four men sped away from a marked patrol car which had attempted to pull them over.

The mother of the driver of the red Mondeo has spoken of her horror at the loss of life and sense of sorrow. Chris Beresford, 18, from Duffryn was driving the vehicle as it travelled in the wrong direction on the M4 and collided with a Volvo being driven by James Stafford, 69, from Thornton Heath. Mr Stafford's wife Bridget, 70, was a passenger in the Volvo. Beresford's mother Teresa Fielding has reportedly said "I feel devastated for all those families. I had to go and identify my own child and I am sorry so many other families were put through the same thing. In my heart I feel I have caused the deaths of the other people who have died. I can't apologise enough."

The crash occurred after a car with four male occupants was chased on to the motorway by police from Penhow following a report of 'suspicious activity' and proceeded to drive against the traffic flow. The police abandoned their pursuit of the vehicle, which crashed into another car at high speed after travelling along the motorway for a mile and a half, the IPCC reported, while announcing that it had been asked by Gwent Police to investigate the incident. The collision occurred between Junction 25 and 25A of the M4. Three of the four men are reported as dead. The fourth is in a critical condition in the Royal Gwent Hospital. The men are understood to be from the Maindee and Duffryn areas of Newport. They were driving in a stolen red Ford Mondeo. They drove headlong into a red Volvo heading eastbound. The couple in the car, believed to be on their way home from Ireland, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police forces in England and Wales are to review the rules for police drivers involved in high-speed car chases after a damning report found too many officers were taking "unnecessary risks".

...This tragic accident should never have happened. I have no complaints with the actions of the Police. This car was stolen by criminals and they decided not to stop when requested by the Police. When a criminal refuses to stop for the Police and tries to get away then that is their decision. If the criminal dies because of their bad driving then that is their problem. The buck stops with the criminal and I am tired of the complaints about Police pursuits resulting in deaths. It is the criminals refusal to stop and continue to drive badly that results in their deaths. There will be cases when innocent members of the public are killed but as a society we cannot stand idly by and let these arrogant criminals get away clean for fear that they hurt themselves. If they are prepared to do the crime then they must be prepared to do the time. If they refuse to stop and try to escape from the Police and hurt themselves then it is their hard cheese.

A father who lost four children after they became trapped under water in his Land Rover has paid tribute to his “rays of light”. Nigel Gresham said he hoped no other parent would ever have to go through the nightmare he was enduring following the accident. Mr Gresham, 36, and his partner, Sara Bolland, 31, were with all seven of their children when their 12-seater 4x4 plunged into a river at the weekend. Mr Gresham and Miss Bolland managed to free themselves from the sinking vehicle but were unable to get to the youngsters.

The Land Rover is thought to have slipped down the riverbank after squeezing past a minibus towing a trailer of canoes in the opposite direction. Lincolnshire police are still investigating the circumstances of the accident and have interviewed the minibus driver and impounded the vehicle. Sadly Nigel recalls "Thor was car-mad, jumping on me all the time, asking: 'Are we going off-roading this weekend, dad?'

...This is another tragic accident that should never have happened. What made Nigel drive into the river only time and investigation will reveal. Many people believe that modern 4X4 vehicles offer safety and they can go anywhere. People often forget just how fragile life can be and beyond the butch design of their cars death can be only seconds away.

A Christian politician was killed by a car bomb in Lebanon in the latest of a series of attacks on anti-Syrian figures. Antoine Ghanem, 64, a member of the Right-wing Christian Phalange Party, was killed along with eight other people in the attack in a Christian suburb of Beirut. He was the eighth prominent anti-Syrian figure assassinated since 2005 and the attack came just six days before parliament was scheduled to meet to elect a new president in a deeply divisive vote.

Antoine Ghanem was an easy target. Few bodyguards, no one would think that a member of parliament who represented the Armenians of Lebanon was a target. The little street in which he lived – tall tower blocks, boutiques, flower shops, was not a place where you would try to kill an enemy of Syria – if he was an enemy of Syria – but Antoine was blasted to pieces in his car as he left his home. And that means there is one left in the government to make up the numbers. In other words, it only takes one more murder for the democratically elected government of Lebanon to fall. At least 22 people were wounded in the explosion of the bomb which killed him in the capital's Sinal-Fil district. It appeared that the car bomb was detonated by remote control. Ghanem's car was blown at least 150ft away by the explosion.

...This is an awful tragedy. Nine people killed and another 22 people wounded. Here in the UK you must look out for moving vehicles before you cross the road. You would not expect a car to explode as we have a democracy in which we elect our representatives. Lebanon also has a democracy, although a fractured one. The number of Lebanese politicians murdered over the years is huge. I hope our democracy never gets to the stage where our elected representatives are bumped off together with innocent by-standers from car bombs.

The above are three stories of car related deaths and chillingly the worst is the last. Moments before the first two tragedies you could see it coming. The first was caused by arrogant criminals who decided to ignore the law regardless of the consequences. The second sadly appears to be driver error. The third was a complete shock, a huge bang out of the blue. You never know what is around the corner.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Woman sacked for wearing Hindu nose stud.

A Hindu woman, sacked from Heathrow for wearing a nose stud signifying her religion, is today fighting to be reinstated.

Amrit Lalji, 40, had worked in the VIP lounge of Terminal One for more than a year when she was fired for wearing a tiny stud that her employers, Eurest, said could be hazardous.

Mrs Lalji claims she told her employers the jewellery was religious, but this summer a British Airways manager instructed her to remove the nose pin. When she refused she was suspended and later sacked. "As a married Gujarati woman it's a must to wear it. It only comes out when you become a widow. I told them that I can't remove my nose ring because my husband is alive," she told Times Online.

Mrs Lalji said she had produced a letter from her local Hindu community to support her case.

"I feel I am being discriminated against," she said. "It is only a tiny stud and I wear it as part of my Hindu faith."

...Click on the 2 links above and look at the photographs of Amrit, her nose stud is indeed tiny. I think her line manager is stupid, what you want in a workplace is good reliable staff. Staff should be motivated by managers not pissed off by bigotry. Amrit's nose stud is nobody's business except her own. Even if she was not wearing her nose stud in connection with her Hindu faith, the line manager should simply turn a blind eye.

Employers should not discriminate against an employee's religious beliefs or their sexual identities. A glance at Amrit's face would tell anyone that her nose stud was not a fashion statement but a religious symbol like the spot on her forehead.

I hope that in the end common sense prevails and Amrit gets her job back. Her line manager should be ordered to attend diversity training and grow up a little. Remember last year when Nadia Eweida was suspended by British Airways for wearing a silver Christian cross on a necklace, but the airline later backed down, after calls from the Archbishop of Canterbury for her to be reinstated. To claim there were Health and Safety issues is taking the piss and people know that it is only a minority of line managers who love to bully staff and demonstrate their power.

Monday, September 17, 2007

More Elf and Safety nonsense.

A hospital has removed a box of wool and knitting needles from public access, claiming it was a safety hazard. For three years, the Congleton War Memorial Hospital in Cheshire had provided a "knitting box" in its main waiting area, containing wool and needles and inviting patients and visitors to knit a square while they waited.

In that time, there had not been a single accident, injury or complaint. But health and safety staff at the small community hospital have decided the box had to go, in case someone got hurt.

Bernie Salisbury, director of nursing and operations, said: "We were concerned about the ease with which youngsters could access knitting needles in the waiting area and believe this sensible and pro-active measure will avoid preventable accidents."

...This story is another illustration of Health and Safety policy gone mad. Why is everybody being treated like idiots? There are many risks in life, like getting out of bed in the morning. Life is about assessing risks and managing them. People go out to pubs and restaurants to eat, think of all those knives and forks given to diners. Look how much damage you could do with a fork, you could poke someone's eye out with one. Look at those sharp, serrated steak knives, you could disembowel someone with one of those.

Come on Bernie, grow up and welcome to the real world. Ask your mother to knit you a nice wooly hat in case you catch a cold now that the mornings are becoming a little chilly .

Sunday, September 16, 2007

PC World , Acer laptops and Linux .

PC World is part of the Dixon Stores Group here in the UK and it sells lorry loads of computers. They are a very big retailer, with a well known brand and lots of advertising. Acer make computers which sell quite well, a friend of ours has an Acer laptop. Linux is a free open source computer operating system. These three things should work well together with no problems. Manufacturer, retailer and software developer.

However, one purchaser has had great difficulty with PC World. His Acer laptop computer has a faulty hinge and PC World will not honour repair or replacement because this user had installed Linux on his laptop.

This absolutely stinks and I think that his local Trading Standards office should kick arse with PC World. He has been sold a faulty laptop that should run any software and even a child will know that software cannot break a hinge on a laptop. What dumbass people are working at PC World, the company that helped get Gary Glitter convicted for viewing images on his computer.

PC World are wrong to refuse repair or replacement because Linux was installed on his laptop. No software can hurt a computer in the same way that no broadcast can hurt a television.

This is a sad case of buyer beware with a company that should know better. There are plenty of other retailers to choose from here in the UK and I suggest that if you want another computer then learn by the bad experiences of this guy and Gary Glitter and avoid PC World at all costs.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Free Sami Al-Haj , sign the petition.

Following my post yesterday which received a comment and a link from Sara, I urge people around the world to sign the online petition to free Sami Al-Haj before he dies. I have become the 140th person to sign this petition and even if you are not a news-junkie, I still urge you to sign this petition. The global press must be free to report without arrest and intimidation from governments. Sami is a journalist, not a terrorist. The public has nothing to fear from him or the other journalists working at al-Jazeera.
Playing the disability card.

On Thursday I had a passenger on my coach who instructed me that she had reserved the front two nearside seats as she was asthmatic . Indeed the loading chart had a driver's note that declared "Pax disabled req 2f/seats k/side".

We all know that many passengers want the front seats of the coach especially the pair on the left. Company policy is that passengers can be told to move if these seats are required by disabled passengers. Common sense would declare that passengers with genuine mobility problems should have priority with these front seats. Because of the driver's note on my loading chart I had to tell the existing front seat passengers that they would have to move because of this woman's CLAIMED disability.

I cannot understand why this woman would need a front seat because of asthma. Her condition would be the same whatever seat she sat on. There was also no reason for her able bodied friend to also require a front seat. If someone genuinely requires a front seat then it will not matter whether it is on the left or the right. We all know what people like her want, it is the view. This woman traveled on my coach for 2 and a 1/2 hours before a refreshment break and another 2 and a 1/2 hours after the break. In these 5 hours of traveling she did not have an asthma attack.

Playing the disability card with asthma to obtain the front seats is simply taking the piss and people should realize this for what an abuse it is.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Waiting to die.

An al-Jazeera journalist captured in Afghanistan six years ago and sent to Guantanamo Bay is close to becoming the fifth detainee at the US naval base to take his own life, according to a medical report written by a team of British and American psychiatrists

Sami al-Haj, a Sudanese national, is 250 days into a hunger strike which he began in protest over his detention without charge or trial in January 2002. But British and American doctors, who have been given exclusive access to his interview notes, say there is very strong evidence that he has given up his fight for life, experiencing what doctors recognise as "passive suicide", a condition suffered by female victims of Darfur.

Dr Dan Creson, a US psychiatrist who has worked with the United Nations in Darfur, said Mr Haj was suffering from severe depression and may be deteriorating to the point of imminent death.

He said the detainee's condition was similar to that of Darfuri women in Sudan whose mind suddenly experiences an irreversible decline after enduring months of starvation and abuse. He said: "In the midst of rape, slow starvation, and abject humiliation, they did whatever they could to survive and save their children; then, suddenly, something happened in their psyche, and, without warning, they would just sit down with their small children beneath the first small area of available shade and with no apparent emotion wait for death."

...This is shocking, there is no justice and what America is doing to Sami al-Haj is evil. We all know that America hates al-Jazeera, it hates the television news broadcast around the world because it makes people think. America has attacked al-Jazeera offices before with bombs to try and finish the news organization off. To hold someone without charge and trial is immoral and his detention is a political move against the independent news reporting of al-Jazeera. American websites, like the free webpage hosting site Webspawner , do not even like to mention al-Jazeera as I noticed when a link was removed on a page I created.

To induce such depression in Sami al-Haj is a slow,lingering death. I fear that he has passed the point of no return and is simply waiting to die. Most suicides are consensual but his imminent death is a constructive suicide brought about by America and her illegal Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The force feeding was never the answer and is against his human rights - human rights that do not exist at Guantanamo Bay. Nobody should be held without charge and a fair trial, that is not a lot to ask, even of a big bully like America.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Madeleine story moved to page 10.

The Madeleine McCann story today appears on page 10 of my newspaper. It is right that this story was not printed as front page news. Pitching the story on page 10 is about right in my opinion.

My post the other day explored my doubts over the evidence against Gerry and Kate McCann. Yesterday I had another thought which had nothing to do with DNA evidence. If you were to murder someone and dispose of the body you would NOT hire a car 25 days later to recover that body and take the remains somewhere else. Nobody had found Madeleine's body in the first 25 days and nobody yet has found any of her remains. I cannot imagine a murderer hiring a car after 25 days to move bodily remains. Gerry and Kate McCann are intelligent people and would not do such a stupid thing. They would be very aware of the surveillance around them and would know that their actions were being constantly monitored.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The evidence against Gerry and Kate McCann .

Much has been written about the ongoing case concerning Madeleine McCann, her parents return to the UK and the evidence against her parents. A lot of people put tremendous faith in DNA evidence and think it is the way to solve everything.

I think that Gerry and Kate McCann were right to return to the UK. They can do no more in Portugal and now it is time for them to move on. They should draw a line under this sorry story and return to work.

I think that the DNA evidence is far too overstated. I do not have trust in the process and think the evidence is extremely weak and easily explained away. We all shed DNA around and I suppose it can also be blown about in the wind. The case for cross contamination is extremely strong. Allan Scott, a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire's School of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, said cross-contamination needed to be considered. He said "secondary transfer" of Madeleine's DNA may have occurred and that DNA is "so sensitive" that if two people met in the street and shook hands and then one committed a crime, they could possibly leave the other person's DNA at the scene.

There are more doubts as at least one report, claimed the samples fell short of the minimum of 20 points of correspondence - genetic markers - between the material and Madeleine's DNA, which would conclusively suggest an identification. Anything short of that would be a "partial" investigation.

Alan Baker, of the leading independent forensic science organisation, Bericon, said that experts had to guard against the possibility that DNA traces from Madeleine's parents and siblings, who would share many identical points, could give such a partial ID.

It remained unclear whether the evidence involved traces of blood, bodily fluids which may contain traces of blood, or traces of human material, such as skin, hair or saliva. Mr Baker said: "It is important to find out whether they were traces from swabs, or specks of blood. If you have specks of Madeleine's blood in the car, it is potentially explainable but also potentially more incriminating than a swab."

I do not think that the McCanns were responsible for the disappearance of Madeleine although the Portuguese Police must surely want to loose this case as it's investigation has cost far too much money with no result likely. I think this case was the execution of the perfect crime and it will never be solved.

I think it is time to draw a line below this story and newspaper editors should move on to other more interesting stories as this one has clearly run it's time.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Two wedding anniversaries and a holiday.

I have just come back from Great Yarmouth where we have been celebrating my 49th birthday, my parents Golden Wedding anniversary and our 16th Wedding anniversary. What a shock it has been compared to foreign holidays. Foreign holidays to countries like Tunisia and Turkey give very good value for money especially on an all-inclusive tariff. Having half board in Great Yarmouth is not good value for money, it would have been far cheaper if we had gone abroad. We are used to buying alcohol in supermarkets here in the UK and having a good drink at home. Paying for drinks in hotels and pubs really stings the wallet. The food at our hotel was good British food but you are not trying something different. The magic you get abroad from trying unusual food is simply not there, it is an everyday eating experience. Driving around another region of Britain is not a thrill, it is just more of the same. The same experience can be had from going on day trips from your own home, country drive with a pub lunch. I feel really sorry for people over 65 years of age who cannot obtain travel insurance and can only holiday at home in the UK. This is the best they can get, overpriced accommodation, the same old food and expensive drinks.

Mam and Dad have now been married for 50 years which is a wonderful achievement. I am happy for them both but feel sad that after 50 years their celebration is 6 nights in Great Yarmouth.

We have been married for 16 years and I am very pleased at how things have turned out. I can see plenty of similarities between mam and dad's marriage and our own. Forget the old adage about marrying your mother, we are simply a good team.

Another year has gone by and I am now 49 years old but do not physically feel any different from when I was 25 years old. My hair has receded and gone grey, my beard has also gone grey. I may appear older looking to strangers but I still feel a young man at heart. The thought of not being able to get travel insurance for my wife in 10 years time and having to have our holidays in the UK saddens me. Hopefully the travel insurance situation for everyone will change by the time Gail gets to 65 years of age and we can continue to holiday abroad. You never know what is around the corner, a workmate lost her husband the other week. Dave was only 53 years old, he was walking along the pavement and simply collapsed forward, smashing his jaw. There was no warning beforehand, he simply dropped dead.

It is important for everyone to enjoy their lives from day to day as nobody knows what is around the corner. It can be a long journey like mam and dad's 50 year marriage or sharply finished like the victims of terrorism. It is the 6th anniversary of 9/11 on Tuesday and anything can happen as the terrorist raids in Germany last week have demonstrated.

I go back to work on Tuesday and I hope it will be an uneventful day and not a spectacular. In the video Osama bin Laden's beard looks darker than mine but I feel his message will be heard and feared all around the world.

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