Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hope you all enjoyed Christmas

I had a wonderful Christmas, I was very fortunate to have such a great Christmas.

I had most of my family with me and Z this Christmas, celebrating Christmas. I went to church for the first time in many many years, to celebrate in the European style. That was a very different experience and wasn't as bad as I imagined and with my parents there as well, being reminded that my father used to be in the choir when he was younger, I had totally forgotten until I heard him singing, puts me to shame quite easily.

The food for the Slovak Christmas was a sauerkraut soup, and then fish in batter with potatoes, onions, which Z did so very well and made us all very full. The most fun part of the proceedings on Christmas Eve was to watch everyone open their presents. My parents liked their mini gift, thankfully my mother has a good sense of humour. Watching Z open her presents I got her was really great, especially she had a few surprises, things she never expected to get, which just made it all the better. I got very lucky, some very nice clothes and by named brands too - Paul Smith, which is some really nice stuff. It is an advantage to have Z working in Selfridges......

On Christmas Day, I managed with Z to make a lovely English Christmas dinner for everyone, and for once I didn't manage to make a mess of the cooking, so thankfully everyone had nice tasting food, an organic chicken which was very nice. I was surprised how well I managed to get it done, so very happy to make it a couple of days which all those who were there enjoyed.

This Christmas has been a very lovely time and it was so nice to celebrate it with my family and with Z. Maybe in the future I will be lucky enough to have all of my family around at the same time, but who knows. And if you are reading it, the rest of my family, maybe another time, when there is less physical distance between us.

For the rest of the festive season, everyone enjoy. I have shopping to do tomorrow, and see if there is any bargains to grab, not just any old rubbish, stuff we need for the house. So not too much to spend, thankfully. I think my credit card is very sore from this Christmas period, but all worthwhile.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas to all

Well I have finished work for the year and don't have to go back until the 2nd Jan 2007 so that is a relief, time to relax and enjoy a little break.

For the first time ever I am hosting a Christmas get together, and not just one but two. Z encouraged me to host a Christmas get together for my family, well as much of my family as I can as sadly part of my family is thousands of miles away, so part of it won't be with us which is a shame, as I know it would have been lovely to have all of them together tonight and tomorrow.

We are going to have two Christmas celebrations, greedy I know. Going to celebrate it the Slovak way today on Christmas Eve, having Slovak food and doing things the traditional Slovak way, opening presents on Christmas Eve, going to the church during the day on Christmas Eve. Going to be a different way to do things, sadly I can't bring the snow Z is used to at this time of year, but otherwise we are trying to recreate Christmas as much as possible for her the way she has celebrated in the past.

Then on Christmas Day we are going to have the English style food, with a chicken not a turkey, crackers, etc.

So my family will get both celebrations, and I will get to experience what it is like hosting such celebrations. Given my cooking isn't the greatest I am hoping my mother will be on hand a little bit to ensure we at least have something edible for the Christmas Day. I know Z will have no problem ensuring her food is perfect.

To everyone out there, have a wonderful Christmas however you celebrate it, enjoy the company of those close to you, and may 2007 be a wonderful year for all of you.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Petition for English Parliament

For those who have read my blog of recent, you will know I am supporting the campaign for an English Parliament, to give us English a say in our own country, not to let it be run by those who are elected north of the border, who can't have a say in their own countries affairs, but are happy to ruin our England. Examples like Gordon Brown, John Reid, and many other Scottish MPs who remit for their own people is less than it is for us English

Petition for English Parliament

And as the government launched e-Petition and Tony Blair has admitted that the English want their own parliament and government, but is unwilling to give it to us. Nice touch in democracy Tony. Why don't you force through an English Parliament before Gordon comes along and ensure you have a legacy for the English, because we want our own parliament, we want to have control of what is ours. How about it?

For those who believe that England should have its own parliament, sign up, you never know it might actually happen. Worth dreaming

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Britain's borders not sufficiently manned

This was on the news yesterday, and though I shouldn’t be surprised it does surprise me, because not that Britain is so easy to enter, with little work to get in, but also that elsewhere in Europe that it is that simple to get most nations passports, which then are used to allow people who shouldn’t be allowed freedom to travel, the ease to get around without question.

As you can see from the link Britain fails fake passport test it is also suggesting that what we thought were high numbers of Poles coming to the UK, might actually not be the case, it is suggesting that it is more illegal immigrants who posed as Poles.

So as most people already know, we have a serious migration problem in Europe, the borders are all too easy for people to get through and travel around with little to deter them.

Many also make their way to the UK, simply because of the so-called riches in this country. There are still many who think that London’s streets are paved with gold, and that lures them to our city.

I think we as a country should be advertising how things are really in this country, a third rate health system, a third rate transport system in London, housing which you need to earn at least 100K a year to get on the property ladder, employers wanting you to work 50 hours a week, despite what your contract might say, many employers not even paying minimum wage and even if they do, if you can survive in London on that, you will need a miracle.

Europe really needs to sort out its borders and fast, with Bulgaria and Romania joining in 2007, and more expected before 2010, we are going to be overwhelmed by all these illegal immigrants, who do whatever they can do to get passports which are either stolen or fake, and clearly passports that are stolen, should show up on the system immediately across Europe, to ensure that stolen passports can’t be used no matter what. It is a disgrace and really all the countries of Europe are responsible, not just the UK.

An Update: After watching the programme and seeing how easy it was for the reporter to get passports and the quality of some of the passports, it is worrying, very worrying. Europes borders are basically open and easily abused, and despite the claims of the member states that they work with each other, it clearly doesn't happen and as the UK is seen as a soft touch, we end up getting a lot of these people passing through our borders

1st July 2007, an important date for England

For many people in England, this will be a day for cheer, for many it will be a day of sadness and frustration. No it isn’t Tony Blair leaving government, though wouldn’t that be lovely!!

It is the day the smoking ban comes into force in England, and about bloody time as well. It will mean that many can go out at night to places of entertainment – pubs, bars, comedy clubs, etc and not come home stinking of smoke, having a mouth that feels horrid, and their eyes hurting from all the smoke that they had to put up with in the place they were in.

Smoking to be banned in July

England smoke ban to start 1 July

And it isn’t a half way house of places that serve food, it is enclosed spaces, and there is rumblings that Mayor Ken wants to take an even tougher stance for London. On this I will applaud the man. I hope it is pushed so far away, so people can enjoy an air that is a little cleaner. I would have said clean air, but we live in London, and that is going to be a pipe dream.

If he could clean up the Underground, then he really would be on a winner, but as I said pipe dream.

I now can look forward to going out without my clothes stinking to high heaven of smoke, like when I visited the comedy store recently. A suit smelling of smoke isn’t a nice smell, and as I live in a smoke free home, it does really make you feel sick, second hand smoke smell.

Here is to the 1st July 2007 and no more of England being the poor man of the UK