The Spectre of Abuse Is Still With Us


I have been contacted by a young mother who knows her six-year-old daughter is being abused by her father and older step-brother. She is not being helped by the very authorities that are supposed to be there to do that. This is where, we the internet community can help.

I have re-posted and re-blogged the SOS from the unfortunate young mother in the hope that the story will reverberate throughout the internet/Wordpress blogs and Facebook pages of my online friends.

This abusive husband and father has spawned an equally abusive eleven-year-old son who is perpetuating the abuse and trauma he suffered at the hands of his father. He is abusing his six-year-old stepsister; behaviour that is being actively condoned by their father when the little girl is taken on visits that she does not want, but have been so ordered by the courts. 

It must stop. We must stop it. Please help by copying and reposting on your websites too.

Toni Maguire wrote a book, Don’t Tell Mummy. It was all about the same thing – only the mother in that story did nothing; she deliberately let her daughter suffer abuse and trauma. This young mother – mrswrongchoice – is desperately trying to help her child. We must not let her cries fall on deaf ears.

Where do we get the strength?


Where do we get the strength to carry on when life delivers one of her body blows? The news has been overloaded with stories of human suffering. Families who have lost loved members, and violence perpetrated by those who believe they have a right to take life.

At the time I lost my husband in 1989, I thought I wanted to die. I could not understand why people kept on about “…that’s life…” when I was trying to come to terms with not having my soul-mate next to me in bed or sitting in the car. Continue reading

MISLEADING SIGNS


I wonder how many people have seen signs or read notices that cause an involuntary smile whilst being read? Like: ‘TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE THE FLOOR BELOW’ or that seen in a London department store: ‘BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS’. As a retired teacher, I’ve also seen some very funny words written by children and young people; even by the not so young when caught off guard, or writing in English as a foreign or second language. Continue reading

Clearing the Clutter


Having completed the last assignment of the penultimate module for the degree I hope to complete with the Open University in 2016, I set myself the task of clearing clutter.  It’s a habit instilled into my psyche by my clear-the-clutter-at all costs mother who refused to allow me to keep any of my childhood toys or books. ‘You’re too old for all that now; time to give it to someone else.’ Continue reading

Human Rights and Wrongdoings


Like so many people, I have been appalled at what is happening in Gaza. There can be no excuse for the mass slaughter of innocent civilians no matter how much blather is spouted by the Israeli publicity machine.

I am old enough to remember the terrorist tactics of the Stern Gang in what was Palestine. The blowing up of the King David hotel and the blood bath that ensued before the UK, to its everlasting shame, pulled out of the situation and left the Palestinians to their fate. The rest is history: the sponsorship of the Zionist ambitions by the USA, the UN, and all those who subscribed to the arms supremacy currently enjoyed by Israel.

I suppose Arthur Balfour, a British politician, must bear the brunt and blame for having, in 1917 allowed those Jews seeking asylum from persecution in Europe to find sanctuary in Palestine. By giving these refugees a place of safety, he also gave them an excuse to call it a homeland; but Palestine was never the property of the UK to give to anyone, commendable though this gesture was.

Since 1947, the Israelis, some descendants of those original refugees, have systematically stolen land and property from the Palestinians. They have reduced the host nation to becoming second-class subjects in their own land – without rights or hope of a future. Here we may be forgiven for drawing parallels with the Nazis, and what they did throughout Europe. Bit by bit Palestine has been reduced to the strip of land known as Gaza; another ghetto. Now, even that is being violated. True to tradition, according to the history of the Old Testament, the Israelites were ever the aggressors; driven to acquiring the land of their neighbours and arrogantly calling it their own. Some things never change.

Perhaps that was the reason the Romans expelled them from Jerusalem two thousand years ago – warning all Jews never to return on pain of death; a warning that was never revoked.

Meanwhile, the world’s politicians wring their hands and spout their rhetoric while Netanyahu puts up two fingers at the United Nations and tells all of them that Israel will stop only when it chooses.

All this we can ponder on while we remember how the might of America and UK marched and blasted its way into Iraq on the mere pretext of supposed weapons of mass destruction.

The catastrophic meddling of George Bush and Tony Blair has resulted in a maelstrom in the Middle East that will have repercussions for years to come, yet Israel has obtained, against all international agreements, atomic weapons. The disillusioned expert who disclosed this to the world in 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, has spent many years (eleven in solitary confinement), entombed as a political prisoner in Israel after being lured to Italy, and then kidnapped by Mossad. He is still not allowed to leave Israel even though he has served the heinous prison terms imposed upon him, despite pleas from his worldwide supporters that he be freed.

All this and the world looks on.

The Complications of 21st Century Communications


Yesterday, Monday 5th May 2014, I reported a problem with the cable delivering the telephone line to the outside of my house. The cable has become dangerously loose.

I was out of the country for some weeks and have been busy catching up on various matters. My neighbour drew my attention to the matter this week-end. It being a bank holiday, I thought to leave the matter, but on seeing for myself the urgency of the possibilities, I decided to try to communicate with British Telecom, who, through their most unhelpful robotic system of communication, told me it was a matter for the individual company with whom I had my telephone account so I phoned the TalkTalk helpline – and succeeded in talking to an operator in India.

After a somewhat protracted process of questions, answers, and laboured explanations, I thought he had understood that the matter was of some urgency. I tried to make him understand that the cable is attached to a heavy metal bracket on the outside of my house. The bracket is hanging from the wall by one screw. The cable is heavy. I am afraid that if the cable breaks free from the wall, the weight of the cable will cause the bracket to swing free. It could the kill or maim anyone passing underneath, or severely damage a passing vehicle which might also result in a driver fatality.

Afraid that the young man might not have understood the urgency of my request for help, I determined to try to contact my telecommunication firm by email – but failed miserably. Although there are several options – somewhat euphemistically called Help or Customer Service  none allowed me to send an email direct to Customer Services at TalkTalk. It has forced me to conclude that trying to communicate with telecommunication firms such as this, as well as BT, is somewhat like trying to find a hen’s teeth. They don’t make it easy, so I decided to try the questionable mailing system we now have in UK, as that too has proved a dubious method of communication in recent weeks – apart from that of the ‘junk’ variety.

A friend recently sent a card – a single flower with a button at its centre – by first class mail. It arrived six days later, having been posted and delivered locally, in Carmarthenshire. Now I know this is the biggest single county in Wales, but letters from Sri Lanka and New Zealand take only four days to arrive. Not only was the card delivered late, but I had to drive five miles to the nearest post-office to collect it, (I was so informed by the printed missive left in my mail box) where I was made to pay £1.11 – (£1 handling charge and 11 pence extra postage) because the button in the centre of the flower made the letter too thick to pass through the mandatory test slot, (but not the post box into which it was popped by my friend) determining the next price category requiring that extra 11 pence postage. My question for the post office was, ‘How much time was wasted by the postman fiddling with a footling plastic test slot instead of doing what he should have been doing – delivering the letter?’ Surely the postal service has not had to stoop to such measures in order to boost profits?

Magic Moments Become Golden Memories


This was yet another morning when, at around four o’clock, the mongoose family in the roof space above my bedroom ceiling decided to play their own version of rough and tumble, or seeing who could throw one another furthest. The sky was still dark, but with that hint of grey that foreshadows the sunrise and causes the darker silhouettes of the trees to show clearly against the horizon. Somewhere a cockerel was doing his best to waken all with his clarion cry, and there were sounds of birds waking and adding their music to the dawn chorus.

With the passing of my last few days in Sri Lanka, my friends took me to the Mada Ganga  Sanctuary last Saturday. It was a never-to-be-forgotten experience. A paradise of exotic flora and fauna that enabled me to hold a baby crocodile in my hand and watch it appear to smile as I stroked it under the chin, but I was saddened that the young fisherman had tied a cord round its middle to prevent it swimming away.

Three members of the family enjoyed the experience of a foot-massage courtesy of hundreds of goldfish swimming in some special pens, but I decided that walking along narrow wooden gang-planks was adventure enough for this septuagenarian, and that discretion was better than risking a dowsing by falling in the water because my arthritic knees no longer take kindly to me bending down without something to grab hold of when I need to get up again – their elasticity has passed its sell-by date.

I have taken some great photographs, but will need to download them on to my computer at home before I can share them on my webpage. However, that will be a bonus enabling me to relive every moment captured all over again