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Monday, 31 December 2007

Give us back our children.

That title should be the rallying call of all sensibly minded parents up and down this once proud and fine country.

In recent years we have seen a rise in the English nanny state which has been hell bent on removing our children's childhood. No playing football in the streets or down alleyways. No ball game signs put up everywhere in any space large enough to fit a ball let alone a group of chidren with one. Games were frowned upon and in some cases barred from the school week of lessons. Places we almost 50's once played have long since been either built upon or fenced off.

Children today are not allowed the freedom we had as children. Government, Health organisations, teachers and parents have caved in to their own fears which has resulted in strangulation for todays children.

Schools have in many cases been taken over by headmasters and headmistresses and teachers who have ensured boys and tomboy girls are not allowed to tune into their aggressive side. Play with toy guns is a punishable offense by exclusion in some pre schools and primary schools.

We got over the rubbish ideas of the 80's which dictated that individual sporting talent was bad and that team work was the holy grail. Even the though of winning was frowned upon. We got passed all that bullshit only to have those in a position to change the rules make it so very hard for todays children to play as we did in the 60's with toy guns as cowboys and indians or taking a few sandwiches and a drink plus a football or two, a rugby ball, cricket stumps, ball and two bats to spend all day Saturday in the park 1/2 mile away from our home. We came home as darkness fell. On a Sunday we would all get on our bikes with our pack lunches and ride for miles on country roads. Sometimes we would ride the 60 miles from Hull to Scarborough. Spend and hour or so on the beach eating our packed lunches before beginning the journey home. Our parents never worried about us as there simply was nothing to worry about unless we got home after dark in which case we would be banned from partaking in the following weeks events. We numbered 12 children aged from 7 to 12.

Todays children are shielded from such activities because their parents have been bombarded with fears from every corner imaginable. The truth is that there are no more nor less child stalkers now than there was in the 60's. There are more vehicles on the roads but there are specially prepared cycle tracks which they could merrily ride along. Country roads are more of a challenge but with proper awareness of their surroundings they could still be ridable and enjoyable whilst riding. The dangers we 60's children surmounted we surmounted because we learnt as we went.

And it is that learning as you go, learning from previous mistakes as children, the freedom our parents gave us to enjoy life that made us the most successful generation today. In fact the most sucessful generation ever to walk this Earth.

And it is that chance we as todays parents are denying our children. Through misplaced fears over things that simply are not any worse than they was in the 60's.

Give us back are children by removing all the obstacles that have been placed in front of them over the last 40 or so years.

Give us back our children and let them play as we played.

Give us back our children.

Saturday, 29 December 2007


One of todays buzzwords is floods.

Never before in the last 2 centuries of England's past has the word been so over used.

England, or rather parts/areas of it, have always been prone to flooding. As people have built on floodplains all over the country, and councils have failed in their duty to clean drains, the more chance there is of that area flooding. It is basic commonsense.

So, now we have constant news reports of flood warnings. Can anyone really be surprised that this happens?

Todays buzzword is floods.

n : stock phrases that have become nonsense through endless
repetition [syn: cant]

-- From WordNet (r) 2.0

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Home spun food.

Back in the days when my grandma was alive food tasted so much better then the current offerings around. Even so called 'fresh' food tatses nothing like it used to do. Fair comment in that over the years smoking, first tipped cigarettes, then untipped, then a pipe intermixed with the odd cigar, all change ones taste buds but the food of today most certainly is different taste wise. Even 'organic', whatever that term implies, food.

My Grandma had her own vegetable plot in her backyard within which she grew all manner of vegetables as well as rhubarb and a greenhouse for her tomatoes. When anything was ready she would pluck them out of the ground and prepare for us the most wonderfully tasting food I have ever eaten. Granted I was but a mere youth back then, around the 1970's, but even so I can still taste that food in my mind that she served up and it was truly wonderful. Granted my Grandma was a truly wonderful cook who learnt her trade cooking and serving in an officers mess but I doubt even her cooking skills could hide bad or unfresh food.

Bounce forward several years and the food, even so called fresh and organic food, tastes, at best bland and at worse awful. Nothing at all like what the food is supposed to taste like. I think it is shame that we have several generations who have been brought up on supermarket fresh food which is anything but.

My wife is a truly wonderful cook. Considering her age at the time of writing and the fact she had no formal training in the art of cooking the fact that she can cook to an impressive standard is somewhat unusual in this day and age. She seeks out only vegetables grown locally which do retain some, but not all, of the flavour I remember from my youth. She has a nose and eye for vegetables that are seemingly not right.

Modern cooks in your everyday housing estate, holed up in flats (apartments to our American cousins across the pond) and around suburbia across the length and breadth of this once fine but still proud nation buy and eat processed and frozen food. Freezer food like packet beef, frozen chips, beef burgers, fish fingers anything and everything that can be stored in a freezer or fridge are part and parcel of everyday meals not just for the adults but for their children too. This sends out all the wrong messages about what is good and what is not. Sure, some frozen food stuff is good and more and more of it hasn't got those 'E' additives and other preservatives but to eat that stuff day in and day is just plain wrong. Not just from the point of view of cooking and eating it but from the point of view on ones health. Yes, eating all that pre-processed and packaged food takes a toll on ones health and general well being. No matter how much exercise one does in a day eating that kind of food will undo all the good the exercise does for your body.

I have been lucky in that my Mother cooked fresh, natural food stuffs as did my GrandMa. My first wife could burn cornflakes but by that time of my life I could cook as good as my Mother could. Having been trained in the art of cooking by both my Mother and GrandMa. Even though I was working 10 hour days, 6am to 4pm, I used to come home and start cooking simply because my first wife was so bad at it. After some 15 years of this arrangement my first wife and I split up. I met my second wife who had learnt her cooking skills from her military trained as a cook Father. She is an excellent cook who would rather spend 3 hours preparing the meal than be content with a 20 minute frozen food knock up. Apart from the period with my first wife, and even then I had naturally grown food food stuffs and fresh meat.

All this has meant that my body is generally healthy. Sure I have major arthritis everywhere but the other aspects that make up ones body health are as good as they can be. I believe this i down to not eating any old frozen crap during my almost 50 years on this fragile planet we like to call home.

Sadly, from a cost perspective, todays markets put a premium on so labled healthy, fresh vegetables but for me that premium is well worth the extra cost to the weekly or monthly veggie household costs. I strongly believe that the government can play a role in getting this once healthy nation back on track by doing a blanket advertisement stating all the benefits fresh fruit and vegetables give over their frozen food equivalents.

Get with the program folks and you will feel the benefit within a year of changing. Your children will thank you in years to come as they grow into adults and are feeling great in themselves.

Monday, 10 December 2007

It is all about control.

It is all about control. It is happening all over the world. As more and more countries join the democratic bandwagon so they seek to control the average Joe more and more. And the scarey thing is, they are winning.

The paranoid antics of the American presidency and his underlings that everyone bar them themselves is a criminal is seeping into the minds of the European powers that be. As that bandwagon rolls on we are seeing more and more organisations with vested interests in various things cow towing to their masters by bringing in more and more draconian messures designed to stop you, the average Joe, from doing what you want to do.

Witness the crazy antics of the RIAA and MPAA in the United States of America. Witness the IFPA's antics in the European Union. Witness the lawmakers antics in any arbitry 'Western style' country. The music and movie industry is seeking to control what you, the average Joe, can and cannot do on the Internet. What you can and cannot show on the Internet. They are acting as feeders for lawmakers who themselves will bring into Law those very same ideals. In the U.S.A. they have something called 'fair use' but they are seeking to break that down. In Europe most countries have no 'fair use' policy but it has been accepted in most countries that copying once is acceptable. Actually, it was long ago deemed unpolicable. However, fast forward to today and we have the Internet which is policable and they are seeking to police what you, the average Joe can and cannot do on the Internet.

A potted version of my views from my Internet days goes something like this: I have been 'on' the Internet since the time before it was labled the Internet. Back then I used a dialup modem to connect to the local university. All text mode only, jumping from machine to machine via telnet. While the whole thing was good and exciting no-one had any idea how much nor how fast it would grow. But it did grow and fast. The Internet was born. Even then, in the early days, no-one cared (much?) what ordinary, your average Joe, was creating or doing on the Internet. Then along came WWW and with it a sense of something great. Still no-one cared (much?) what anyone was doing on it. Technical people built web sites. Some great, some decidedly average, others were rubbish. But, the whole point of it was not lost on technophiles. It grew and grew and grew. Until it grew too large for governments to ignore. Now we are at the stage were governments want to stifle innovation from your average Joe and at the same time lable them criminals.

Behind the government we have organisations who have vested interests in various things so they too much seek to kill off various parts on the wider internet. Enter stage left all the arms of the music and movie industries. Enter stage right all the patent holders who are seeking nothing less than to strangle anyone or anything within their sights.

Today we have an Internet that is open to all. From the all powerful governments to little Miss Mayweather who sat in her bedroom with a computer, an ADSL connection to her ISP and some software to create web sites, creating web sites that within 5 years will see her captured in the dragnet and hauled off to jail for doing nothing more nor less than various organisations and ordinary people have been doing for the last 7 to 8 years and that is creating a web site that pays homage to her favourite music and movie stars.

It is all about control and control you they will.

Saturday, 8 December 2007


Oh the irony!