Trip to the courts

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kerb trip From BBC Website

Right that’s it I’ve had enough. Line up these idiots so I can slap them please. PC Kelly Jones trips over a kerb and is now suing the owner of the garage where it happened. The kerb in the picture above is obviously highly dange…no it’s just a f*cking kerb. This completely idiotic move is cynical and embarrassing to the police force as a whole. The spokesperson on the radio sounded affronted to have to talk about it and rightly so. Does this woman manage to walk around in general or does she take someone with her to shout “kerb” to her each time she approaches one?

Then there’s the bloody teachers whining and moaning about low-level behaviour being an issue in classrooms – deal with it. Chatting, mucking about, passing notes etc.. can be dealt with if you get a grip of yourself. The report goes on to say that teachers are having to put up with threats, physical violence and kids smoking out of classroom windows. Teachers are “scared” to report it – MAN UP! It’s your job! But in fairness the senior staff should support their staff and not constantly fear the parents.

When did we become so blooming wet in this country – we need a cup of man the f*ck up don’t we? The claim culture and the “rights” culture has gone too far now. Here’s something we need a “responsibilities” culture where people take responsibility for their actions and behaviour. If you trip over something stop blaming other people and pick yourself up and move on. If kids are misbehaving then discipline them – and if parents complain then tell them to sort themselves out too. Parents need to take a look at themselves before blaming teachers for their child’s behaviour.

Occasionally someone else will be to blame for things that happen in life, but more often than not it is us who are at fault. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to print off and keep in case you ever forget what to do when something goes wrong to yourself or someone around you:

1 – Get on with it

2 – Stop moaning and blaming others

3 – Accept that life isn’t always perfect and move on

There you go folks – a brand new idea I’m calling “Common Sense” as we can all share it and use it together. It might sound radical to younger readers but try it and see how you get on.

JD

Post-Cancer Care

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Macmillan

Those brilliant people at MacMillan are working with the government to try to bring about a “recovery package” for survivors of Cancer – and not a moment too soon.

They say that physically, mentally and financially we need to ensure that those who have beaten the illness are in the best position to get on with their lives. Around 25% of people felt isolated after their treatment ended and even more had other issues that were not dealt with. This aftercare is essential as I know myself I took a long time to come to terms with what I went through – and I was very lucky to escape any real invasive treatments. Those that spend lots of time in clinics and hospitals facing up to their mortality need to be supported throughout and after the treatment.

The hardest thing for me was going back to hospital for the first time after I was given the all clear. Those two words “all clear” hold all your hopes together but the return to those rooms, those faces and consultants as well as the other patients around you leave you in a difficult place. My diagnosis of Teratoma Testicular Cancer was made in late July 2005, I was operated on to remove the teste on the first Friday of August and given the all clear on Friday 2nd September – the day before my wedding. Because of the speed of the experience and the anxiety caused with the wedding in parallel I didn’t have time to really consider what was happening to me. To make matters worse I had just completed my teacher training and had to drop out of my probation place to deal with the illness.

So here I was in October of 2005 back in the Anchor Unit (the excellent cancer ward at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary) with all the issues out with the Cancer unresolved. I didn’t know what lay before me, if I would relapse or need the treatment the Doctors had skipped me past. The consultant decided that because we caught it so early that we should monitor me rather than radio or chemotherapy since I was newly married and hoped to start a family in the near future. THis was a good and bad thing because without the blast I may be more susceptible to the spread of the illness but at the same time it left us clear to try for a family.

So new wife, future family, new job were all in my life as was this scary disease and because I never really dealt with it – mostly because I didn’t really understand what had happened – it stayed with me for a good couple of years. Only when the appointments reduced from monthly to every second month and then four times a year the pressure started to lift and I started to feel like I could get on with things again. By this time we had Jake in our lives and Jenna wasn’t far away. I do genuinely feel that if there had been an aftercare or “recovery package” even in the short-term after the diagnosis and all clear I would have coped better.

This was in no way the fault of the NHS or the Anchor Unit as their priority was to ensure my physical health was good, but there needs to be someone to engage with the mental, emotional and for those who have had long battles, financial support and advice. At the moment this plan is only for NHS in England but hopefully it’s something that could be rolled out across the UK to help the near two million survivors of cancer out there understand their own situation.

JD

Is it me? Easter Eggs

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easter-egg-chicks

I likes fine an Easter Egg – in fact the chocolate holidays are my favourite because of the variety of sweet goods on offer – but when is someone finally going to say what we’re all thinking? Well right now since you ask –  Stop ripping us off!

As you toddle up and down the aisles of your local supermarket you will have taken in all the splendour of the range of Easter Eggs from the good people of Cadbury, Nestle, Lindt and Thorntons. Like a cheeky wee dollybird in Amsterdam they tease you by just showing enough to get you interested and you go to grab it and then you see the price. (not a personal story obviously…I was told by a friend. Honest)

In which universe can you justify charging £10 for two bars of chocolate and a hollow chocolate egg? If you walk further through the store you will come to the confectionary aisle which allows you to buy three chocolate bars for a third of the price. We’re being had, we know we’re being had, and they know we know we’re being had. By Tuesday all these eggspensive (sorry) sweets will be reduced to a couple of pounds each and still we don’t question the overinflated prices.

The wee kids ones are fine at £1 or £1.50 each because children love the gift and the fun involved, but these so-called luxury eggs for us adults are taking the piss. For example I looked at the Thorntons Continental selection egg – because I’m classy – and it was ten pounds. Yet I could buy a whole box of these chocolates for £6 just a dozen aisles further through the store. Lindt and their marketing over content are brandishing a wee egg, five chocolate hearts and a half-dozen truffles also at a tenner. Why do we fall for it every year?

Well I’m having none of it. I’ll wait until mid-week and get my revenge by taking a dozen crème eggs for a quid and a couple of on sale luxury eggs for good measure.

Chancers!

JD

Keep the Faith Aberdeen

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rev_poobalan

Reverend Isaac Poobalan has opened the doors of the St John’s Episcopal Church to the Muslims from the next door Mosque to give them space to pray in the warmth of the church. The Mosque is not big enough to hold all those praying and many had to do so outside in the freezing cold. Rev. Poobalan said:

“It was a very cold day, like today, and when I walked past the mosque I saw dozens of male worshippers praying outside, on the streets, right near the church. Their hands and feet were bare and you could see their breath in the freezing cold. Jesus taught his disciples to love your neighbour as yourself and this is something I cannot just preach to my congregation, I had to put it into practice.” – BBC Website

While my personal opinions on religion and my position as an atheist have been made on here before, the one thing I do believe in is the power of human beings to be amazing. What this man has done is ignored all the negative comments he has faced to provide a safe, warm and quiet place for these Muslims to worship five times a day. While the two religions do not go hand in hand there is a mutual understanding between them and this should be applauded. Every time there is a public consultation about the possibility of building a Mosque in Aberdeen, the usual idiots, trolls and scaremongers come out of the woodwork to decry the followers of Islam.

While I don’t have a religious belief myself, there must be places for those who do have a faith to go to and share the experience and their scripture – a safe, warm and secure location for them to follow their religious paths. There are many buildings in Aberdeen City that I will never need, use or want to go into but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exist. The ignorance of those who link Islam and terrorism do not understand the peaceful nature of the Muslim faith – it’s like equating our invasion of Iraq as a Christian act.

The real measure of us as people is not the faith they belong to, the books they read or the buildings they find themselves in but how they respond to each other. Reverend Poobalan has shown what it is to be a decent human being beyond any religious scripture and the more people who take this as a life lesson the better.

JD

 

Cardboard Cut-Out Cops

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bangalore cops

In the Indian city of Bangalore the police only have around half of the traffic police required to fully cover the city – so instead they have put cardboard cut-outs of police at busy junctions to get motorists to slow down and take care – and it’s working!

What a brilliant idea. Drivers won’t know if they are real until they are passing it and by then they will have slowed down. Drivers have been slowing down when they see the ‘policeman’ and accidents are being reduced. According to reports the roads in India’s bigger cities are a nightmare with very little regard for rules, lanes or other drivers and the local police commissioner MA Saleem hopes that this will help the situation. The downside is obviously if people become wise to the idea – so the police will have to randomly appear where drivers think it’s a fake to keep them on their toes.  The same idea was used in Prague a couple of years ago and it worked – until someone stole them. Where else could we use these?

Cinemas have to be an option to stop the idiots talking or being on their phones throughout films, or perhaps in parks at night to stop local “wildlife” enthusiasts from lurking around them. Just the idea that there is an official around changes the behaviour of people and could cut down on crime both on the road and further afield – perhaps we should all get a train set and take a leaf out of Kevin from Home Alone and have it carry a cut out around our houses to fool would-be burglars.

It’s good to see the Indians coming up with clever money saving ideas – perhaps the government could do the same with some of the front bench MPs as most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a cardboard Nick Clegg and the real thing. Sorry, they already did that didn’t they.

JD

Tennant returns!

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David-Tennant

Molto Bene! It’s official, geeks unite as Tennant and Piper return for the 90 minute 50th Anniversary special of Doctor Who due to air on BBC in November.

David Tennant for me is the perfect Doctor Who, with a balance of mirth, menace and melancholy and it’ll be great to see him back in the role later this year – even if it’s only for a few minutes. I have to admit I have a bit of a man crush on him – not in a sexy sexy way, more of an admiration for his acting and personality. That question about who you would invite to your all-star dinner party would have to include him.

I was first aware of David in “Taking over the Asylum” back in the mid 90s where he played Campbell a manic-depressive character who was taken under the great Ken Stott’s wing as Eddie in the show. The cast was great but David and Ken’s chemistry was fantastic. He popped up again in “People like us” and “Posh nosh” but was not on our screens enough – until “Blackpool” arrived and DI Carlisle went toe to toe with David Morrissey’s Ripley Holden. It was a great acting showdown between two of our greatest performers.

Casanova passed me by, but thankfully Doctor Who didn’t and David’s turn in the Tardis took the show to the height it now enjoys. I had the pleasure of catching him onstage in the West End a couple of years back in “Much ado about nothing” and his and Catherine Tate’s performances were brilliant – I’d never laughed so much at Shakespeare until that night. I wish I’d been able to see his performance as Hamlet but the TV version showed what a versatile and charismatic actor he is.

Now in Broadchurch he is the Grumpy Alec Hardy trying to solve the murder of a young boy whilst battling the demons of a similar case from his recent past. From “Learners” to “Single Dad”, “Recovery” to the upcoming “Politician’s husband” he continues to be one of our best TV actors. While his big screen choices have been patchy to say the least, he constantly shows on both the small screen and on stage what a genuinely talented actor he is.

To see him back in the Tardis is great and next to Matt’s incarnation it’ll be interesting to see if he overshadows his successor and reminds the audience of what we’re missing – but having watched him over the last 20 years he knows how to shine whilst letting others share the spotlight.

Welcome back Doctor!

JD

 

North Korea – Stop being Dicks (Copyright Adam Hills)

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kimJongUn

This chubby faced imbecile is playing Chicken with the biggest and most powerful superpower on the planet – Why?

Ever since this little man-child came to power he (or the generals around him) have been escalating the tensions with anyone who will listen. Today they say they are in a “State or War” with South Korea because the US have sent planes there to help protect Seoul from any kind of attack. There have also been numerous hilarious videos from the country showing masses of “member of the public” showing glee and joy whenever the Pot-bellied Despot is around.

For the last 60 North and South Korea have effectively been at war as the two sides have never signed a peace treaty, but since the end of the Korean war there have been no major assaults – just posturing from the North. One of the main reasons for the escalation is because of the way in which Kim Jong-un is viewed by the world according to commentators. He is an even bigger figure of fun both inside and outside the country than his “Ronery” father was so he needs to be seen to be a serious, dangerous man. In fact the opposite is true and he continues to look like a boy dressed in his father’s clothes at a fancy dress party.

So why don’t the US or someone else just take him out? Why don’t we just remove him and move on with our lives? In short China is the answer. They are largely on the side of the North Koreans and we don’t really want to pick a fight with the country that owns huge amounts of the world’s global shares – especially the US. The only upside for the United States is that if North Korea does attack they will only be protecting South Korea – a loophole that Kim Jong-un doesn’t seem to understand.

Then we add into the mix the other nasty piece of work that is Putin and his Russian perspective where he is making noises that everyone needs to “calm down” – by which he just looking for an excuse for a fight. So are we on the brink of World War 3? Yes, pretty much – and it’ll all be down to whether that dumpling dictator understands the big boys game he has stumbled into.

See you in the bunker folks.

JD