A few words

This morning we woke up to the horrific news of an explosion at the Manchester Arena at the end of an Ariane Grande gig. that happened in the foyer area. Twenty two innocent people lost their lives and over fifty innocent people were injured. Amongst them were teenagers and youngsters who had been getting ready to leave and go home after what should have been an exciting evening out. Sadly it has been reported that an 8 year old girl is one of those killed a young child who should have been going home excited, buzzing and looking forward to talking about it with friends today. A family has lost a dear little girl and her friends have lost one of their group. Adults can deal with such things but how can you tell friends who are around the same age that their friend is has died. It is not something that anyone should have to deal with.

The explosion was declared a terrorist attack by the police. Once more it appears an individual was responsible for this sickening act although it is not fully known at this time. The police are aware of his id but have not released any details. Whoever that person is, he speaks for no one but himself. He does certainly not speak for any religion. People will of course start pointing the finger at Muslims and the religion of Islam. Im sure many Muslims up and down the country and around the world will be appalled at the acts of this one person.  Muslims children and teenagers may have been there enjoying the gig along with parents.

Individuals today on social media have come out with the usual tosh including one who said that we dont need anymore Islamic jihadist imported into the UK and would also like the Koran banned. Katie Hopkins spouting off once more apparently. Im all for free speech, but she undoubtedly pushes barriers and seriously oversteps the mark. Her words are not helpful one bit. Spouting the anti Islam and Muslim rubbish is not helpful to anyone and quite frankly offensive to all the decent Muslims that make a great contribution to this country. We have doctors and police officers amongst other roles who put themselves first to help others.

Whilst we of course mourn the loss of those killed and wish those injured a quick recovery and hope that those who are missing are reunited with their families as quick as possible.

Today will be a sad day for many, but it is interesting to see that once more a country is united. The United Kingdom has seen undoubtedly more terrorist attacks than other nations but like in this nation, we remain united and resolute. I have read posts of people offering to help with getting children home, hotels putting up children without parents, taxi drivers from Liverpool driving all the way to Manchester, people giving drinks to the police as they do their duty. Whilst we differ on political issues, these are forgotten as we come to each others aid.

Once the police have done their jobs, you will see Manchester flourishing busy again getting on with life just as they were doing on Sunday. They may initially be wary, but they will not stay at home, not change their ways just like the people of London didn’t after Westminster Bridge or the 7/7 bombings.

Those who choose to attack our freedoms will continue to fail whilst we stand together regardless of religious beliefs, sexuality, colour of skin, nationality.

Musings from Down Under

Having been away for a couple of weeks, spending time down under I thought I’d share some thoughts and observations from my fantastic little trip with Emma to visit family.

Going during the summer period I was preparing for the roasting temperatures of 40 plus, unfortunately and merely coincidence the summer and temperatures on the west coast were much lower than that.  Having eventually arrived after the communication incompetence of Emirates and surviving the crazy driving of the locals, it was a brief stay in Perth before heading south to Busselton.

Busselton if you havent ever heard of it, is a regional city in the South West region of West Australia. It has one of the longest jetties in the world, albeit rebuilt following damage from a Cyclone. It extends to around 2km and you can take a walk or jump on a ‘train to take you to the end, where there is an underwater observatory. A fair number of fish and if you were to be really lucky, a passing shark. Sad to say that during my time on the West Coast, I didnt see any sharks. We did though see dolphins on several occasions

Admittedly there isnt much to Busselton tourist wise other than the beach, jetty and the Busselton museum in the old Butter factory, but it is still a great place to go. If you are every down that way I recommend you go to Codrocks for the fish and chips. They cook the order fresh, which may mean a little wait but it is certainly worth it. I had snapper and chips. Very yummy indeed.  If you take a walk further round you will find a shopping parade in Kent Street and a bakery aptly named Kent Street Bakery. Here you will find a range of awesome cake and rolls. The Chocolate marble cake was cake to die for.

It’s not all about Busselton, the South West Region of Western. Take a trip south to Metricup, you will find a the Metricup Bird Park where you could get seed to feed the various birds and animals. I had the experience of walking in amongst kangaroos and feeding a joey. It was great to get so close but naturally taking precautions as to not get a punch or have talons wiping me out with a swipe. Checking out permanently or having serious medical attention in a continental holiday was not something I really quite fancied, Im sure no one else did either.

Head southwards and you will find a number of caves, all with their unique parts within the system. We visited Jewel, Mammoth, Lake and Ngilgi Cave.Whether you were guided or went alone there was a lot to enjoy. The one thing though is that it if walking and steps are not your thing then you they are best to avoid. With the Jewel, Mammoth and Lake cave you could buy a multi vist pass that would allow you visits over the two days, should you wish.

Although we didnt stop there, en route to Margaret River is a town called Cowaramup and if you wondered by the name there is a cow theme within. You will see randomly placed lifesize sculptures of cows as a tourist attraction. There are 42 in total. In 2014 the town set a Guiness World Record for the largest number of people dressed as cows…..the number oh that was 1352.

Cowaramup derives it name from the Cowaramup siding that was near to the town on the disused Busselton to Augusta railway. The name is believed to come from the aboriginal word Cowara that means purple crowned lorikeet.

The Margaret River region is a heaven for wine connoiseurs or fans of the grape. You will find yourself surrounded by choice, but of course if you choose to have a glass or few, be sure to find alternative travel as like everywhere drink driving is against the law. There are of course a number of breweries if wine isnt your thing.

Chocolate fans will not be disappointed should they go to Margaret River or indeed anywhere in the West Coast at least. Margaret River boasts a chocolate factory where you can try handfuls of chocolate for free, buy as much chocolate as your budget will allow and feel like you may have found heaven after all. Chocolate in general is a wonderous joy,  Cadburys blocks including various flavours and brands like Black Forest and the Old Gold brand that we dont see in the UK. Im pretty well sure that they would sell like hotcakes or should I say chocolate off the shelves over here.

 Whilst in Margaret River and you feel like grabbing some food, you wont go wrong in visiting the Settlers pub. With various beers, including a selection of craft beers, you will also get good food and a speedy service. You wont have long to wait for your food either. On our next return, we shall be heading there once again no doubt.

So from my visit to Australia, I had a fantastic time and cant wait to return down under. I do hope you enjoyed reading this brief musing, do feel free to comment.

Goodbye common sense, hello stupidity

So this past week we saw the launch of Pokemon Go and the instagram photo of Victoria Beckham kissing her daughter Harper on the lips. The two differing stories but in a way connected.

Im no fan of Pokemon, I wasn’t when it  was first released and not now with the appearance of Pokemon Go. However I do find myself defending the game. For those who dont know what Pokemon Go is, let me explain. It is ann augmented reality game that allows you to take the virtual into the real world. You can capture pokemon in your own home, in your garden as well as  out and about. You may have seen people out and about stopping in various places and swiping their smartphones. A couple of weeks ago it might have been someone fed up with their smartphone, but now its more likely to be Pokemon Go.

People though are naturally getting concerned. Pokemon and the Pokemon stops appear in various places. Whilst there will be many within your own property and various public places, they have popped up in some inappropriate places. Reports of Holocaust memorials, 9/11 memorials etc. Now I dont mean to sound horrible,but if you play Pokemon Go and still find the need to play it around such sensitive areas, then you really need to think about yourself and your morals.  There may also be ones you can see but cant reach. Dont be stupid and risk your life by trying to reach the unreachable. Use your common sense and dont do the stupid things. Whilst there will be ones you cant reach,there will be those in unfamiliar places. The younger player that maybe on their own,  just don’t do it. In fact if you too young to be out alone then you are probably too young to be playing the game.

Victoria Beckham celebrated her daughter Harper’s fifth birthday by posting a photo of her giving a kiss on Instagram. Nothing wrong with that you might think. Well when it shows mum kissing daughter on the lips and boy did all hell break loose. People across the internet claimed  that it was sexualising,wrong,weird etc. For me it is something out of nothing. Whilst Ive never been a fan of the woman, I see no harm in what she has done. Im sure she wouldn’t want to put her daughter in any difficult  position. To be honest I imagine she is no different to many other loving parents up and down the country and indeed around the world.

WWE – It’s not fake, it’s just entertainment

The subject of WWE and wrestling being fake is something that always appears to rear its ugly head. As far back as the 80’s through the 90’s to current day, some people will always throw the lines that its pretend, not real, its fixed etc etc. There will always be people who continue to spout the tedious lines as though they actually have a point.

Im sorry to say that you are tediously boring and wrong. WWE is entertainment, it’s no more real than the misery of soaps such as Eastenders, Corrie and Hollyoaks. You will also find the majority of those who watch WWE know that the output is not real, Im sure that many a wrestling fan will be seen to roll their eyes upon hearing the fact that WWE or other professional wrestling organisations are fake. Wrestling fans will be the first to tell you that the events that unfold are merely storylines created by writers.

Some of the storylines maybe absolute crazy and unbelieveable, but correct me if Im wrong, was it not a storyline in Corrie that saw a campaign to free Deidre Barlow from prison. Yes a national campaign that saw it even result in the subject being brought up in the House of Commons. Yes that’s right, a matter that was so trivial that no one in their right mind would have contemplated getting worked up over, ended up as a question to the then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The wrestlers that perform week in week out are entertainers, albeit athletic and sometimes bloody crazy. Whilst the outside stories maybe a little, the risks as the men and women do battle are all very real. Many stars have suffered injuries both life changing and non life changing. In 1997, Stone Cold broke his neck, 2001 Triple H tore a quad muscle, Droz who at the time was wrestling under a different name was involved in a move that went wrong and saw him paralysed, Joey Mercury ended up with a busted nose, Shawn Michaels with a back injury. Then of course in an indirect wrestling incident, the tragic loss of Owen Hart. These injuries and tragedies are the very reason why the WWE always state not to try this at home.

It’s getting closer

Well here we are it’s December and that can mean just one thing…there are double digit days till Christmas. Usually by now it’s turned a little chilly and it really feels like the approach to that fine season of goodwill, but so far it’s been quite pleasant. There is of course plenty of time to change and boy it can change quite quick as we know.

I am quite organised on the shopping front too, that though is partly down to Emma. Shopping for my niece and nephew is done, parents presents are on pre order and so it’s just the remaining  presents for Emma along with some friends that are left to purchase.

No surprise though that much of my purchasing has been via the Internet. That may change or may stay the same depending on what I need to buy. I love to hit the shops but when you see an online bargain, it’s impossible to ignore. Saying that though battling through the crowds in Canterbury and Westwood Cross is an impossible challenge.

Whilst the shopping and crowds are not my enjoyable pastimes, Christmas this year will be a lot of fun spending it with my awesome girlfriend, seeing my lovely family and spending time with Emma’s lovely family.

At the start of the year I’d never have expected the year to take the way it has, but Christmas and seeing in 2o16 will be fantastic as we see the New Year in London and hoping that the coming year is a better one.

bungalows and fun homes – Random conversations on bus journeys

A random conversation on the bus home lead to some interesting thoughts and ideas. Today started with the idea of living in a bungalow. The reason why? so after a good night out, there is no need to attempt the stair climb, just the case of through the door and into the bedroom. No climbing up the stairs as if taking on a mountain. It’s the same when you are feeling shattered after a long day. Some may say, just kip on the couch, but that’s not quite the same as a comfy bed, the risk of falling out of bed compared to rolling off the couch is much smaller.

Then it was the case of if it was a house all the things that I would have. I decided that I would have a tube slide to get down stairs. Much quicker than having to walk down stairs. It would also be fun for the younger visitors to the house. I guess though knowing my luck, my niece and nephew would never want to go home. Of course whilst there is the easy way of getting down, you need an easy way to get up. A stair lift would be a bit extreme although helpful for the older visitor and getting up the stairs if with an injured leg or from a heavy night out, then of course you could have the escalator system but that could be a bit slow and would inevitable find yourself just walking up it anyway.

Then of course the shower system. There is nothing worse than getting out after a nice hot shower especially when its cold. The hot to cold is never much fun. So whats the solution. Well one idea was a warm air blower that you could choose to come on at the end of the shower going off so when you get out and grab your towel, you wont get the horrid cold moment that you would usually experience, it would also help dry the shower out too. Instant dry shower too. Other ideas came up but seemingly impractical for a house leading to great expense no doubt.

It’s amusing sometimes the random conversations that come out from an observation looking out on a bus journey home. Well it wouldn’t be my blog without something random. Till the next time, take care and have fun.

2014 – The longest year

As we approach towards the end of 2014, I can honestly say that it will be one that I wont be looking back with too much enthusiasm. From what started off in late last December and progressed all the way through, my battle with depression has been a long arduous one which has been dotted with many ups and downs. Whilst I have made many new friends, I have lost some for one reason or another, but also more importantly the support of long time friends whose friendship has never wavered during the year. Many friends who took time to message privately and offer great support. Friends I don’t often get to speak to much, being there with support.

Suffering with the Big Black Dog was not something I ever thought about. Even when I was feeling tired and lacking of energy, I just put it down to being busy and rushing around. It was only when I read a blog post from a good friend, that I realised that maybe it was more than just being tired from being busy and rushing around as he described a lot of things that I had been going through. I had lost interest in my blog and my story. I had lost interest in watching football. Then came the split which I think compounded things even more.

I felt alone and worthless. Getting up seemed like a chore. I pushed myself to go to work and didn’t anyone at all to start with. I felt ashamed to be honest, like no one would believe me. I wasnt attention seeking either. I’m never one for trying to attract attention at the best of times, let alone use mental health like that.

February came and I got the diagnosis from the doctor. I had hoped that it wouldn’t be depression, but instead just tiredness or something. It was and I wasnt getting away from it. I would often find myself thinking – but why?  I surely don’t have anything to be depressed about. It doesn’t work like that as many people who have been through it will tell you.

I got back with my ex in March. Having resolved issues with people interfering, we tried again. It seemed to be going ok. I also started opening up about my situation and I found that I was not alone. I had a lot of support from friends and family. I did go downhill a bit and saw my anti depressant increased. The relationship was short lived but after initial despondency, I picked up a little. Friends continued to be supportive and then out of nowhere I seemed to take a backwards step. Couldn’t quite grasp why, but it was difficult. I kept things to myself again and hoped that things would pick up. Then I was unwell with another medical issue which made things worse.

I had returned to my doctor and he opted to refer me. That happened and it was decided CBT would be the way forward. Anything to help would have been welcome and so it was just a matter of waiting. I received a phone call and a place was available for six sessions of lectures as it were covering different things.

Something that has also made a difference, is living in a house with great people and a fab little westie. I have the pleasure of being able to take her out for a walk. It is always fun and never the same walk as she likes to change direction.

I know look towards 2015 and all that it brings and I thank everyone who has been there in one way or another however big or small the contribution.

This is the last post before Christmas, but as I will return afterwards. Thank you for reading and thank you for the support.