Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Well the day is about to come, finally, after two years, I am finally at the point where I am going to have my wrist operation, can't believe it, but finally it is to happen. Tomorrow morning sometime after 8am and hopefully before 12pm, I will finally have the operation and I will have fixed a wrist that has been bothering me since it was fractured back in April 2003.

You have got to admire the NHS for the way they can drag something out. I was even asked a couple of months ago in a letter if I still needed the operation, like somehow it would magically heal itself. I think they were hoping I had dropped dead so that they didn't have to do the operation, and have another one on their list who waited longer than the 9 months you are meant to wait. Heck I waited 9 months just for the MRI scan of the wrist, let alone the operation.

Thankfully all I have to do is try and recover, and in a house where the very strong smell of paint is hanging around, as the dining room in my house is being done finally, later than I hoped for, but when someone isn't well, there isn't much you can do about it.

Just pray they use enough general anaesthetic to knock a rhino out, cause I always have in the past needed so much to get me out. I am hoping there won't be too much pain, if there is something tells me I won't be allowed any morphine, like I had with my operation for the cholesteatoma some years back when I was younger.


Over the weekend, I started a Reiki course at my local college. Two weekends for the level one of Reiki. For those who don't know what Reiki is, this is the definition -

Reiki is a Japanese word to describe many healing methods. The course will cover Reiki history, how Reiki works, frequency healing with Rei and Ki energies, hand positions for self healing and healing others. Reiki and the law, biofeedback. The unique power of Reiki. Reiki as taught by Dr. Usui. Meaning of the word Reiki. The Reiki ideals. History of Reiki - Ancient and Modern. Releasing stress before Reiki. Hui Yin. Chakras. Grounding and protection. Kanji hand positions. Preparing onself, the room and your healee before Reiki.

This course I found to be very enjoyable, and I have already signed up for a level two course with the hope of doing a level 3 in the future when the college run it.

I have always been a bit of sceptic with anything that can't be proved, but as I have grown older, my views have changed and I am more open minded when it comes to situations and things like this. Through doing it ourselves and doing exercises, I found it to be working and actually happening, I can't say that I wasn't surprised, especially by the fact I was sweating a great deal and my hands getting very hot and turning so bright red, I look like a radish.

I have been practising since the lesson, with little success, but I know I have to keep trying as it will happen, it wasn't a one off I know it. It takes a lot of work, and isn't an easy thing to do, healings can take a while, and it requires patience, and time. Most healers it seems also gain some benefit when healing another person, so that is good. Though being a level one, means I would have limited success in healing, but I can try which is the main thing.

I was very lucky at the lesson, as I had a notetaker taking notes making it easier for me to concentrate on the speaker whom made the lesson very interesting and a good laugh which is the most important part of it.

I am looking forward to doing part two of the course, getting the book and my certificate as well. I am sure I can pass, I hope so anyway, given I have level two at the beginning of June.

A couple of sites for further reading

What is the History of Reiki?

Reiki: a Change for the Better

Threat to the London Eye

As reported in today's Evening Standard, there is a serious threat to the viability of the London Eye, and it is all down to a trumped up Lord Hollick. This man who is the chairman of the South Bank, and the rent for the land one of the supporting structs is on was due to be £210,000 a year, but now the South Bank board are demanding £2.5 million. They are also threatening eviction proceedings if not resolved by July. Bear in mind this is for a plot of land that is just big enough to hold a single supporting struct.

What makes this worse is that the chairman of the South Bank board is Lord Hollick whom has the ear of the government after being made a Lord by Neil Kinnock made him a life peer in 1991. This lord who is obviously totally unaware of just how much of an icon the Eye is to London. You can't imagine London without the Eye anymore, it is such a part of the landscape. What is so funny is that the whole South Bank area has gained enormously with the Eye being there, that is why there is such a massive expansion going on in terms of shops and restuarants, all because of the eye attracting people to the area, and the area has the spin off from it.

You can imagine this turning into a real problem, and if enough people get wind of this, which I am hoping that the article in the Evening Standard will make enough people realise what is going on, and that a supporter of Labour and with the ear of the government wants to penalise London and take away on the star attractions in this city. If this idiot is allowed to have the Eye dismantled because of being so greedy, wanting a ten-fold increase in rent, then this will seriously affect London at a time when it can ill afford to lose such a star attraction. People as dangerous and short sighted as this man, should be removed from public bodies


This probably seems a really odd thing to have as a blog entry, but I find the way people use the English language to be of interest. I first saw the word bicycling when I was in the US in San Francisco back in 2003 for a visit to a friend and it was on a board on their transit system and at the time I was astounded at the word being used, because to me it isn’t a valid word, and how much I tried to find a definition of it, I couldn’t. I do wish I had taken a picture of the board, because it caused a lot of laughs to me and others at the time. But it has come to the fore again for me when I read my weekend paper, the Observer

There was an article in it, that was about one of the MPs in parliament who had been promoted to Education Secretary for the Tories, and he listed one of the things he likes to do is bicycling. To me there is no such damn word and to use it makes no sense. I asked others I know, apparently it is said a lot on the continent, they say I am bicycling. To me the word they should be using is cycling. Unless the grammar changed without me knowing, which is more than possible, I thought it had to be cycling. You don’t hear it said that the riders in the tour de France are bicycling, they are cycling and are cyclists. I know that you are riding a bicycle, but when you are using it in the context of what you are doing, you say I am cycling or I am a cyclist, not I am bicycling or I am bicyclist.

If anyone, anyone at all knows the proper context of this, I would love to know, and if they know when it changed as well, because to my knowledge it has always been cycling and cyclist.

Queens Speech

Yesterday was the Queens speech, and this government is to introduce 45 bills, yes 45 bills, my god

Blair's reform and respect agenda
Queen's Speech at-a-glance
Queen's Speech: Others reaction

I have to say, these bills seem totally laughable, did he not listen to the electorate in the past weeks, when people said that ID cards were not of interest and all that money is a waste of time, I am hoping that enough Labour MPs will rebel over this, if not, then we really are walking into a police state. This government is making life less enjoyable, more restrictions, more bans with no basis in common sense. ID cards are the biggest waste of money going. If this list in total had been produced prior to the election, there is not a chance that Blair would have won, this is the time to say, oh my god, say goodbye to freedom. ID cards will not make our lives safer, and better, it will just mean the government holds more information on you that you don’t know about, they already have a great deal of information that we don’t have access to, and we will be forced to pay for the ID card, and the cost is estimated to be £100. Who on earth feels comfortable about being charged that for an ID card. If the government wants us to carry ID cards, they should pay for it, why should I pay for something I don’t believe in, don’t believe will stop the terrorists. One last point on the ID cards, all the so called terrorists out there, have to be rubbing their hands with glee, they have succeeded in making this government so scared that our freedoms are going to be curtailed. And this is after we survived the IRA in London for so long without having to have our freedoms curbed, but now we do. Such a bad move.

Another things I am unhappy about in this bill, is more power to the Welsh Assembly. Whilst I agree that they should have more power to govern themselves, what upset and angers me is that London isn’t to be given more power to control its own situation and why is it that England doesn’t have the power to act independently. We English are losing out a great deal in this situation, having regional government has some sense. If you are going to offer it to the Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish, why shouldn’t the English get their own as well, why should we be excluded. The thing that makes this situation all that much worse is that, English MPs have no say over a lot of things in Scotland and Wales, but the Scottish and Welsh MPs have a say over the English affairs. If you look at this Labour government in the last parliament they had a lot of Scottish and Welsh MPs and were able to railroad a lot of laws through that affect the English but not them, like the students having to pay, mmm, funny how the Scots have a different rule, but the English will suffer.

The Incapacity Benefit changes is another one, I am really concerned about, the idea that those on IB are slackers, is such a joke. The government is to blame for the high numbers, there are some who are on it, who are on it to avoid being on the unemployment figures, but the majority who are on it, are on it, because they can’t work, be it from physical, mental and emotional problems. If they want to speed those on IB to be off it, then speed up the NHS, so many on it are waiting for operations or treatment from the NHS and until they get it they can’t work, so to penalise someone for a failure in the system is unfair. The DRC has even said they are concerned with the reform - Warning over benefit reform
And if your own DRC is concerned, then that has to say it all, what are you missing?

Respect, never going to happen to you Mr.Blair, you will never get my respect, you don’t deserve it, you are turning my homeland into a place of fear, and instead of people being open, we are slowly but surely turning into the old communist state like USSR, where people report each other for minor things, and actually try and get ahead by being underhanded, instead of assisting each other. I can see more people leaving again. Respect has to be earned not forced through with laws. With proper education, proper chances for all members of society and fair treatment for all, that will lead to respect. Until we have a system that is fair, offers equal chances for all, it will not be a place where anything of use can grow and become reality. Too much is being done to exclude those who don’t fit the so called image of perfect people.

The housing benefit bill, is a scary bill especially for those living in London, it is already impossible to get the whole thing paid for now, so if you live in a one bed flat in London, you can be sure if you are on benefits that you won’t get it paid for, which is wrong. How is it the fault of the person that the prices are what they are, if it costs £650 for a one bed flat in London and you only give the person £550, because it is deemed that is what you are only going to give, then you make a poor person even poorer, force them into more debt, more problems, more likely to have a life that is not acceptable. We are really going in the wrong direction, rent controls would be better, and that way, we could assure that people were being charged reasonable levels, but if you life in an area where the rents are high and you can’t move, due to disability, etc, you are forced into a spiral of more and more debt. This also goes for the Welfare Reform Bill.

This is what was quoted by the government
Under the Welfare Reform Bill, which was announced in the Queen's Speech, changes will be made to simplify the system for reducing or removing Job Seeker's Allowance from a recipient who leaves a job without just cause, or who refuses to take part in return-to-work schemes.

The incapacity benefits system would also be altered to encourage those who can work to return through a rehabilitation scheme, but also to improve the financial position of those who cannot by increasing sickness benefits.

Mr Hain told BBC Radio Wales that Labour's plans to reform the welfare system would see people "encouraged to go into work but not frog-marched into work".

"They don't have to be heavy industry jobs of the traditional kind if you actually have a physical disability," he said.

"We ought to raise our sights here and, in that way, we can also deal with one of the crippling problems of the Welsh economy, which is the relatively low GDP (gross domestic product) per head that is largely accounted for by the high level of economic activity compared with other parts of Britain."

Mr Hain added: "It's important to dispel the culture of pessimism here. Ill-health should not be a bar to employment."

Can anyone else see where this is going? The comment I love most is that if you have a physical disability you don’t have to do heavy industry. Shall I inform you minister what the DWP people tried to get me to do - work with phones, doing work which involved a great deal of calling and support work on the phones, and I am profoundly deaf.
Can anyone else see the problem?

Mental health bill as well scares me, the bill has been rounded on by health professionals and they are worried, and if those who are close to the situation are worried then you have to say, there is something very wrong. Take a look at what is happening in this bill and you will see, if you were ever to suffer a mental problem as many do outside of their own control, you will be struggling from there on because of the changes

The draft Mental Health Bill

This whole attitude towards those who aren’t well, suffering mental problems is akin to saying that it is best to lock them up and throw away the key.

This whole speech I felt was a waste of time, I can imagine the Queen wishing she could say the truth, that her government is a royal waste of time and I want to execute the leader for making my country a shit hole.

Eurovision Song Contest

This Saturday, the contest is on, and I for one am actually looking forward to it, not because I think there will be great songs or that Britain will even win, it is more to listen to Terry Wogan give his comments on those participants. Yes he slams it and see the total political game that it is, and thus makes fun of it, with comments along the lines, well lets see who the Swedes will vote for, and what a surprise it is Finland, Norway, etc.

We don't take it seriously like they do on the continent, and how does Israel get in, which part of Europe are they in? I look forward to having a laugh at it

So go for it Terry, give it your best on Saturday, we shall wait and see how the political voting goes again, maybe we will end up with nul points again, like in 2003.



It was with interest that I found a webpage that shows the absurdity of these ASBOs,
Extreme Cases of ASBOs

There was a court ruling yesterday that an ASBO wouldn’t be served on a grandmother who protests at Menwith Hill instead she is to be tagged

It makes me wonder what did happen to free speech and free will. ASBOs are such a blunt instrument and they really don’t make any difference, in fact I am beginning to get the belief that giving someone an ASBO, especially young people, is seen as a sign that they have achieved something, because they had to be served with an ASBO. The concern here that ASBOs are being handed out left, right and centre and over things that are so minor, if you saw the first link, someone is threatened for making a joke about the Pope’s death, that is nuts.

The sooner it is realised that ASBOs are such a blunt tool being used for the wrong reasons the better. In extreme cases where there are people terrorising a neighbourhood, fine, I can see the logic, but it has already been proved that whilst in the short term an ASBO will make a difference in those cases, in the longer term, it doesn’t help matters, because those who had the ASBO served on them, aren’t forced to change, and not given assistance in helping them curb their behaviour. So where does it make sense?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

EU Working time directive

This issue is a real bugbear for me. I am tired personally of hearing people like Sir Digby Jones go on about how if someone wants to do an extra five or six hours a week they should be allowed. He really has missed the point of the 48 hour max working week. In the UK most contracts people sign specify 40 hour week, and if people wanted to do the extra five or six hours, it would still be under the 48 hour max that the EU wants. What Jones and others like him are missing is the fact that many many people are coerced into signing an opt-out so that their employer can have them work as standard 50/60 even 70 hour weeks, which is so unacceptable. It isn’t a matter of choice, people are forced to sign an opt-out.

Euro-MPs back tighter work hours
EU debates working-hours limits

The reality is this and the links above show it, we as a country overwork our people, we do more hours than anyone in the EU and our productivity is lower, why? Simply because doing more than a certain number of hours in a day screws up your efficiency, it screws up your focus, your health, and we wonder why we are considered the sick man of Europe, because too many companies work their workers to the bone and then bleat when they are off sick through ill health, stress and other overworked related illnesses. The other factor never taken into account, is the damage caused to families, the overload on the NHS trying to keep these people going each and every day, stopping them from having breakdowns. This long hours culture we have in the UK is wrong, and the sooner we toe the line with the rest of Europe the better. Many studies have proved that working long hours saps your strength, it saps the creativity and is also a health and safety issue. If someone has been working for long hours, they can get sloppy, careless and cause injuries to themselves and those around them. For too long we have an attitude of the workers as they are nothing but a piece of meat, well the sooner it changes, the better and all this guff about losing competitiveness, is that, just guff, imagine how much more productivity and fewer sick days would do for the companies bottom line. What they are afraid of seeing is the fact that they either ask too much of their staff, or the fact that the job can be done in less time by healthy, vibrant workers.

iPods can make you go deaf

This is the headline in the London Evening Standard today. Well I have to say when I first read it, I laughed, because simply it seems so funny and ludicrous to suggest such a thing. The more I read of it, the more I understood, what they were saying was that iPods, personal stereos, etc can make you deaf because people have them so loud when they are listening to them, specifically those who listen to them on trains and the tube.

Well if the headline was more accurate, it would have been that people have to turn up their iPods, personal stereos, etc so loud to actually hear them on the train and the tube. That is the issue. The research investigated the damage caused by the players rather than the more important issue which is, the sheer noise damage caused by the tube and the train. So instead of making the underground and the train operators come within the law and not damage people’s ears because of the level of the noise, they focus on the part that has little or no part in it. I am betting if they did research into those who travel the tube and the train each and every day for about a minimum of an hour, they would find that these people are damaging their ears, and why, because the noise generated on the tube and trains is far above what is acceptable.

It is lovely that they can manage to turn the focus on companies like Apple, Sony, Phillips, Aiwa, etc, instead of the companies that are actually causing this problem in the first place.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Well, it was going to happen and it has, I have a new job. I did it, I knew I would, and from June I will be working and developing software all over again.

I am happy to be back in there, getting my mind going and my hands working, well overdue and it is finally a pleasure to be having work, and now my mind turns to making the best of the chance and enjoying it for all it is worth.

I feel like popping open a bottle of champagne to celebrate........

VE Day Celebrations

Yesterday night I went along to the VE Day celebrations in central london. It was not too bad, didn't recognise most of the people who were singing or playing, call me out of touch, but the only ones I knew were Will Young and Cliff Richard, the others I didn't have a clue. Z knew them more than I did and I think that says it all really, that my age is showing. They had Christopher Eccleston doing a reading which was quite good, he had the same look as he does on Doctor Who, except he had a goatee which looked a little strange on him, and yes his ears do stick out a lot.....

It would have been a great night, but my god it was cold, it rained as well, thankfully not for the whole time, but after standing there for about 3 hours, me and Z had to call it a night, we were both very cold and I was freezing, despite walking around and trying to keep warm, it was too cold. Shame the weather spoilt it really. There was enough done to remember those who actions made it possible 60 years ago, and it certainly made me think of my two grandfathers who aren't here anymore and fought in WW2, one with the British under Monty, and another in the USAF based in the UK fighting the Germans.

There was apparently about 15,000 of us packed into Trafalgar Square, here is a webcam, so you can see them still putting away the stuff from last night

Trafalgar Square

Sunday, May 08, 2005

HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy - Movie Review

Saw this movie last night and all the reviews I read didn't come close. If you liked the book, you will like this, if you enjoyed watching the TV Series back in the 80s, then you will like this as well. It is a very well made movie, plenty of laughs in it, and it is very much a quintessential English movie, but a good one though, not a stupid art movie.

The actors chosen were the right actors, you can only imagine Martin Freeman being Arthur Dent, having Bill Nighy is the right move, using Stephen Fry as the guide is spot on and Alan Rickman is perfect as the robot, there are also other voices done by very English comedians including Bill Bailey as the whale. There is also a cameo appearance by the actor who played Arthur Dent in the TV series as well, won’t say where, but those who remember the TV Series will know it.

I have to say a real congratulations for the makers of this movie, they chose the right people for each role, and they got it so right, I hear they didn’t quite stick to the book 100%, but were very close to it, still a well made movie and out of 10, I give it 10, I can’t fault the movie at all, you sit there and you really do enjoy the movie, especially if you enjoyed the book or the TV series. A must go see movie.

Now onto the issue of the cinema, my, firstly why do people think that they are exempt from having to turn off their mobile phones, is their life so so so important that they can’t switch it off for 90 plus minutes, come on, surely it isn’t that hard. Secondly, the food at the cinema, I gave up a long time ago eating the food there, I might get a drink, usually a bottle of water or something, but my god, the size of the food. I saw people carrying around buckets, and I am not kidding, an actual bucket of popcorn, a plastic bucket with a sealable lid for popcorn. My I missed that one, do people really feel the need and want to eat that much popcorn at a movie. It is quite funny seeing some people at the cinema, because some will have the bucket of popcorn, the XXXL size of coke or whatever soda drink it is, and then ice cream and hotdog, it is like they have gone out for a meal, that is how much food they are carrying. And we wonder why we are getting fatter as a nation. I know the small size these days is bigger than the XL was just 5/10 years ago, but come on people surely you don’t expect to eat all of that, and it might just be me, but boy that food stinks to high heaven, not a nice smell to experience when watching a movie.

I am looking forward though to some of the new movies upcoming – Star Wars, War of the Worlds. I think they look great and can’t wait to watch them

Friday, May 06, 2005

What a day!!

Well I awoke this morning to find that we were still to be governed by Labour, well New Labour or as some call them the red conservatives..... My hope that things might changed weren't met, oh well, another 5 years of this useless bunch of f**kwits.. And a note here to Labour supporters, it isn't 4 more years, in this country they can run between 4 to 5 years, it isn't like the US.

Another point on this election, how can this government be in power when only 36% of people voted for them, and how on earth did they end up with a majority of over 60, when they barely got just over a third of the vote, something is very wrong. To my knowledge that is a majority by the popular sense, okay, the Tories got about 33%, and yet so far behind and the LibDems, got about 23%, and got 62 seats. I think this election clearly shows that there is a big call for changes to the election, and that for the next one, that something is more representative of the vote. No government has ever had such a small amount of the popular vote. Sadly for me, the local MP kept his seat, even though he didn't deserve it, far from it.

For those who might ever want to keep an eye on what their MP is doing and saying, check this site

They work for you

My MP is Tony McNulty and he did nothing, so in the pocket of the government, a real Blairite

Anyway, that was enough to make me feel sick, seeing these losers having another 4 years, 8 years of waste and incompetence and given another 4 years, oh my god. And whilst on the point of Blair supposedly saying he would focus on the home issues, rubbish is all I can say. You haven't done so in the 8 years you have been in office, why would I believe you would do so now. You have made it clear you want to be remembered, and you focus on the international scene to get fame, well maybe you will be remembered as Thatcher was, as someone who we were glad to see the back of, and despised a lot, oh hang on, we already do see you that way. You want a legacy for your sakes, not for those who you govern over.

Enough politics, I had an interview today, and I am hoping that I got it, I think I did okay, not amazingly, but okay. I got on okay with the boss, and I can but hope that I get it, the company seem to be a good company and doing things I wish to do, so fingers crossed.....

What is it with chuggers, I walk out of the interview and in the space of 500ft or so, I am approached by 4 of them, I swear with me wearing a suit they see pound signs, I am unemployed, not rich, no money, I just have very well made suits, that I was lucky enough to be given in the past, and despite me looking loaded I am not, so please please leave me alone when I walk down the street.

This weekend is the Spanish GP, and sadly Jenson Button won't be driving due to the ban. To my mind there is a lot of politics going on and something seems odd about it all. There are rumours that an ex-employee shopped the team, but that seems odd, because to my understanding the FIA has to have complete knowledge of the car and all its parts, so they can deem it legal when it runs, so they must have known about the extra tank. What it does show that there is still too many grey areas within the regulations and they need to be tightened up considerably. It also means that unless a major miracle comes around, JB is off to Williams next year, as there is no way he will be able to have 70% of the championship leader by the end of July, beginning of August. Now will Williams want him, that is different, from a British perspective, I hope that they take JB, put him in one of their cars, and then have Davidson in one of the BARs, because he more than deserves a drive.

Had to clear out my dining room, as I have builders in the next two weeks, to fix the room, after the damp course was put in last year, and now the job has to be finished. I have someone in on Monday doing bits, and then the following week they are going to decorate. I can already the mess that is going to be created, does anyone know of clean builders, cause I haven't met any yet....

Whilst all that is going on, I have an operation for my wrist, if it isn't cancelled at the last minute, and if it is I will be less than pleased. Two plus years from the beginning of this process, and since August 2004 I have been waiting for the operation, I don't call that meeting targets, very far from reaching them.

This weekend is going to be a killer, I have an OU assignment to finish and I am so far behind, and I have to send it by Wednesday to get it in on time, I can see a hard weekend, and I am going to the VE Day concert in Trafalgar Square, as Z got tickets for it, there is going to be Will Young, Cliff Richard, and many others who I don't even know, as well as Doctor Who doing a reading apparently. Will write about it when it happens.

A long week over and I so need a break........

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Election Day

Well it has finally arrived, election day. And I am jumping up and down with joy, yeah right.....

It has been one dull election campaign, it has been negative, a waste of time, and without doubt an election campaign that didn't include the voters.

I saw a headline last night from the Evening Standard - "Blair boom going bust". If this is the case, something I have been predicting for a while, then it looks like Labour will have to sort out its own mess.

As for my voting intentions, well it isn't easy, you have the Conservatives in the blue corner, you have the Conservatives in the red corner, and no that isn't a mistype, that is reality, both right wing sets of policies, both advocating privatisation, both not looking after the average person. The only other alternative is the Lib Dems, and I am not entirely sure about them either.

I guess it will be a case of voting against this government and hoping that its majority is reduced enough to make it accountable this time. As much as I don't like it, this government isn't going to lose this election, not possible, too many things stacked in its favour, all I can hope for is a stronger Lib Dems and Conservative parties to make the government think twice about its more stupid policies like ID cards

Oh well, I will put my vote in later when I go out, and can only hope it counts a little.