Sunday, 31 May 2009

I wrote to the Daily Mirror Today........

Asking for them to consider re-publishing the book "A Kiss Through Glass" which i talked about in my last post.

Why? Well i feel that the story held within the covers of this small, just over 220 page book is such an amazing testimony to the strength of the human soul, and the unconditional love and strength of a mother for her seriously ill son.

Will i get a reply? Well, i am not expecting one soon...but you never know :-)

Saturday, 30 May 2009

A Kiss Through Glass by Shirley Nolan OBE


What an amazing and heart wrenching story this is, yet i,along with most other people, knew nothing about the story of Anthony Nolan except for the fact that he was born with a disease that effected his bone marrow, had a mother who set up the Anthony Nolan Trust in the Seventies, and ....well that was all really.

This morning i awoke at 4:37 am and had a mad compulsion to pick up this book, which i had recently won on an Ebay auction for 1 pence!, and read it...and read it...etc.At 10am i finished it, and the emotion that it stirred in my very soul was astonishing, fueled even more so by the fact that i recently learned of how Shirley left this world, also with a tragic twist.

It is a story that is both powerful and moving, has moments of hope tainted with despair, and other times the sheer shock and awe in which the reader realises just what an incredibly resourceful, single minded woman Shirley was.....and all for the love of her only son Anthony.

So please, if you have access to a library, see if they have a copy of this relatively unknown (and out of print)publication,or maybe you will find a rare copy on Ebay, because if you enjoy reading a story that, to be quite honest, would make a factual Hollywood blockbuster, you will not be disappointed, and if you are like me, you will thank god that your lives are (in comparison) so blessed with relative mediocrity.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Anthony (October 21st 1979), and 7 years since Shirley's.

If you only ever had the chance to read one more book in your lifetime..this is it.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Saw the Queen today.....wonder if she saw me ? :-)

Whilst out with mini me today we found ourselves being flagged down by one of the boys in blue (or is that black and yellow ?), anyway, it was because the Queen, who had been at RAF Cranwell for Prince Harry's Passing out parade, was making her way back over to the other side of the station (the airfield side), and had decided to walk the last part of the journey,i suppose that it was to stretch her legs, and Prince Philip's, before they got back on the HS 146 and shot off to the next appointment (or home even).Anyway,we found ourselves about 50 feet away from HRH herself, and so i whipped out the Sony Mobile and got some video of the event.Andy thought it was great, but i convinced him that yelling "Alright Queen" was maybe not such a good idea....i didn't fancy spending a night in the tower with him to be honest :-)

video

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Nooky Video now on YouTube.....Oeerrr ! :-)

Just spent the morning putting together a short video which is to promote the 2 Donor Clinics being held at Newark and Mansfield in a few weeks.
Hopefully if I manage to get the word out to enough people, and they in turn answer the call from Nooky, maybe we can make the 2 sessions a fantastic success and help swell the numbers of those already on the register.

This is the video which is now online:


Monday, 25 May 2009

Have you ever had one of those OMG moments ?

I have, just now whilst surfing the Internet seeking information about something that jumped out of the pages of a 1985 medical book that my wife was reading the other day.

Benzene .Not a big word really, but one which has just sent a shiver down my spine in relation to the words that preceded it, namely "Chemicals that may cause Leukaemia".

Why the concern? Well many years ago in the early 80's i was a young fella who had just started a new career in the Royal Air Force, and over the next 12 years i spent my time quite often up to my elbows in AVTUR (F34) jet engine fuel.And....your ahead of me now aren't you? Guess what one of the "nasty" ingredients of AVTUR is ?....Benzene ! :-(.

I spent 4 years at RAF Cranwell, 2 of which i spent on the flight line, and some days i would spend whole days pumping hundreds of gallons of AVTUR into fuel tanks...occasionally getting soaked when the open lines tanks overflowed due to a sticky filler trigger.
I spent 2 years in a fuel tank bay at RAF Lossiemouth, often crawling into them to carry out work, and although later there was forced air breathing equipment provided, for the most part we used crappy face masks which did bugger all and hardly made any difference.

On one occasion, whilst at RAF Lossiemouth i was testing a drop tank when a hose on the test rig ruptured and soaked me from head to toe in AVTUR. I went to the MO at the centre, was left to sit in drenched overalls for almost an hour, then went home and had a shower on his directions, i was a little burned by the stuff, but it did not really concern me...but now....well now i am beginning to feel a little anxious that the exposure over those years to AVTUR,MEK,OM15,Yellow Chromate and the likes may, just possibly have some link to my leukaemia.

I will be doing a little more research on this subject.I will keep you posted of any developments or discoveries that i make.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Oasis advert on TV is driving me quackers !


I have come to the conclusion that people who work in advertising really are from another planet.
Why? well take (for a random example...that has been annoying the duck out of me for a week or 2) the recent advert for Oasis "The drink for people who don't like water". Now call me picky, but isn't the main constituent of this drink...erm...water ? And if this is the case, why would people who "don't like water" want to drink it...more to the point, why would i prefer to pay 90p for a small bottle of water with a flavouring in it than to simple run a tap and add some squash ? Go figure !

Actually, this advert is not the only one that treats it's potential customers with such disdain that it hurts, it is one of so many others that have probably cost millions of quid to produce, and then completely baffle attempt and con the viewer with, well shall we say "bogus claims" about the products properties and effects.For example:

Gillette "the best a man can get"....our hero drags the razor over his already professionally shaved bonce (which has then be re covered in foam), to demonstrate how good the product is...so good that they have to pre shave for the shaving demo !
Ford,Peugeot,Fiat,Citroen,Vauxhall..etc. Why do they always show the top of the range cars on the glossy footage that is thrust onto our TV sets...then label it with the cost of the base model and a tiny footnote at the bottom of the screen to tell you that the one you are looking at is gonna cost you twice as much ?

Take the Volvic 14 day challenge!......why bother? Just fill up a used plastic bottle with your everyday "common" tap water and save yourself a few quid.Of course the fact that keeping hydrated is proven to be of physical benefit of that there is no doubt, but why buy "designer" water when the stuff in your own home will do the job just as well!........in fact,stick tap water in a used Volvic bottle and not even your snotty friends will suspect :-)

Lastly.Why have Norwich Union decided that they are going to change their name to that of a rather ugly 1970's saloon car ? A Viva.........good grief, and how much did that cost to advertise ? Strange how my insurance policy's seem to be getting more expensive each year ! mmmm?

Anyway, feeling thirsty after all that typing, so I'm going to grab a drink of mercury....it's for people who don't like water you know :-)

Suggestion of how to abolish MP's second home problem.

Whilst having a quiet moment today...and i don't get many of those!.......i spent some time thinking about how we (the general public) could avoid having to pay a shed load of cash out to hundreds of MP's (ministerial parasites), and all of a sudden it came to me :-).

It would utilise facilities that already exist, all we have to do is get one over to London (the Thames is so ideally situated for this purpose....so close to the houses of parliament that travel costs from work to residence would also be vastly reduced )

Anyway, without further adoo...follow this link to see the details of my master plan, just needs a lick of paint perhaps, but i am sure that lots of MP#s would feel most at home there, and TBH a lot of them should be there anyway.......

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6072454.stm


:-)

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Can you help imogin ?


A girl aged six is facing a race against time to find a donor who could save her life.

Imogin Appiah, from Croydon, is suffering from leukaemia and desperately needs a bone marrow transplant.

She is undergoing intensive chemotherapy at the Royal Marsden hospital in preparation for a transplant


But because there are so few black and Asian people on the British bone marrow register Imogin's chances of finding a match are only one in 100,000. A white person has a one in five chance.

The African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust is urging people to join the register.

Imogin's mother Sheila said: “The love I have for my daughter is so deep and she means the world to me. She is and always will be a fighter and we are reaching out for support from people now.”

Imogin, a pupil at Elmwood primary school in Croydon, was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was three. She underwent more than two years of chemotherapy and went into remission.

But in February she relapsed and was told she needs a bone marrow transplant. Mrs Appiah, 37, said: “We only had a very short time to enjoy at the end of her treatment before she relapsed.

"It is absolutely vital that people realise how important it is to get on to the bone marrow register.

“Imogin is having very intensive chemotherapy at the moment. After the last round she was not able to speak, eat or drink. But there is still hope and I am urging people to come forward.”

What a busy day it has been !




Did some video work and added it to Youtube,cooked dinner,cleaned up the house (well some of it !),did some washing, then emailed Lee and Nooky to arrange getting the graphics for the car done over the next few days.Nooky invited me over to his place to get some piccies (and an impromptu video opportunity!)so myself and "mini me" (Andy Jr) went to see him at 4 ish, after a great chat with Nooky and a glass of orange we went back to Sleaford,bought some flowers from ALDI and drove over to the Cemetery in Cranwell village to put them on my RAF mate Rick Carolan's grave (he died May 23rd 1987 in a motorcycle accident on the A15.....bloody nice bloke,great mate,sadly missed).Then Andy Jr wanted to see the old Jet Provost that is now the gate guard at RAF Cranwell, so we drove up to it and had a quick look, followed by a short game of hide and seek...not many places to hide !, then back home for Chili and rice, washed the car and settled down to watch Austin Powers (Gold member)on the telly...love that film.And now...well now i am writing a blog entry...and you are hopefully going to read it at some point.

Whilst over at Nooky's place we did a short "promo" video appeal for the Join for Joel events in June, and i have now posted a still from that here.Cheers Nooky :-)

Friday, 22 May 2009

Happy Birthday to me !

Yes, it is indeed that time again when you add one more year to your running total, and this now brings me up to the grand old age of 43!.
I decided to "produce" (!) another video to mark this event, and so with my characteristic imagination and creative flair i decided to document ...........my daily drive to work !.OK, before anyone tells me that watching a video almost 1 hour and 10 Min's long that shows my 43.5 mile daily commute, let me assure you that it has not been compiled in "real time"...i have speed ed it up somewhat in the style of the classic 1950's film "London to Brighton run in 4 Min's which was made in 1955...slightly before me...by 11 years!.
My offering was recorded on super high tech equipment that i installed in my Trusty Scirocco.....OK, i velcro'd my camera phone to the rear view mirror, but hey, the finished product is not bad for a first attempt.
The footage was recorded in real time, and the original film runs for 1 hour and 9 Min's, however due to some wizardry on my Lappy, i have managed to condense it down to slightly over 8 and a half Min's....if only the real trip took that long :-)
If you are familiar with the route,see if you can spot any scenery that you recognise.
And please, if you have happen to be lucky enough to own a Bugatti Veyron, don't try this on the way home :-)

video

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A big thank you to the 2 "white van" men tonight !

The ones who were having the most dangerous and outright crazy race that i have ever seen 2 white vans have.No lights on during a rainstorm,no indicators from either and attempting to overtake against oncoming traffic causing other road users to flee in terror at their madness !. I have seen some crazy drivers over the last 21 years of driving, but boy do you two get the award for the worst !. Oh yes, thank you to the guy in the works van with the Acronym "VAK" on it, you managed to both overtake me nearly forcing me off of the road, and then as a parting gesture you managed to throw a nice big rock up and crack my windscreen....don't you just love it? did 4000 miles through Europe with out a scratch on the screen, then get it damaged by a couple of nerds on the A17 !.

Oh, i got your numbers by the way, so i will post them on here just in case anyone does a vehicle search and wants to know its previous history....don't buy it :-)

Mad Van Man #1 "VAK" MF09 MCN & Mad Max Van #2 BJ52 FPO...both white !

Right, i will get some tea now to calm my nerves ! Fancy some chinese food tonight :-)

Monday, 18 May 2009

Stick 'em up!....posters that is :-)

What a thoroughly tiring day it was today. Fixing broken beds and blood pressure monitors, putting up 50 posters to tell people about the donor recruitment sessions, checked and inventoried almost 50 sphygnomanometers (BP cuffs!)and then took a ride over to Newark to fix a treadmill!....as if i needed the run :-).
Anyway, i also posted some details about the event on the hospital web intranet, so if you are surfing onto this page from there...hello !.
Just got back from work now, so it's time for tea and a nice relaxing evening...as if!...with 3 feuding children ?......i think a few hours on the ruddy treadmill would be more relaxing !.

P.S if you would like to help us out with this event, click on the menu titled "more" on the advertisement on the post below, then you can print off and distribute them to any places that you think i may have missed...although with the amount of she leather i have burned so far up and down the KTC and the hospital towers, i don't think there are many notice boards left on the site!...but feel free to post them in any locations that you think may encourage folk to join. Thanks :-)

Saturday, 16 May 2009

What is it like to be a bone marrow donor ?

I found this whilst surfing for material for the S2M site and although it is now 10 years old, i think it gives you a pretty good idea of what becoming a bone marrow donor is about. Obviously some parts of the testimonial may be slightly different now, so it would be worth having a read of the Anthony Nolan sites more up to date information.


Bone Marrow Donors - a Personal Expeience

Contact Us


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I am a doctor working in the Midlands in the UK. This diary is of my experiences as a bone marrow donor and hopefully it will help others who have been asked to become bone marrow donors.

I was first contacted in late November 1998 and was told that I was a positive match for the initial stage of a bone marrow screen. They asked if I could send some more blood for testing. This I did and just after Christmas I was told that I had progressed along the matching process and now had a one in four chance of being a compatible match with the receiver. Then some weeks later I was bleeped while on call one night: a message came through to tell me that I actually was a compatible match for an adult woman with leukaemia. From then on, many phone calls and letters led to my admission to the Royal Free Hospital in London where the donation was to take place.

Wednesday 17 February 1999 - Admission Day

After some lengthy preparation, I finally arrived at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead in London for admission. I found the 12th floor, and the reception told me which room I'd be in - not bad, a good view of Hampstead Heath from my bedroom, a TV and en-suite bathroom.

Having been seen by nurses, the anaesthetist and a doctor I am finally free to spend the evening how I wish. I decided that I was going to be spending enough time inside the room and so met with a friend and we went out for a pizza. The only limit was I had to get back in time for final instructions before getting a good night's sleep - my operation is scheduled to be first on tomorrow morning's list at 8.30am.

Thursday 18 February, - Operation Day

The big day. I'm awake at about 6:30 and to be honest my nerves have not improved much. Due to a condition I have, I need some pre-op medication and, after that, I try to get back to sleep - no luck. I read a bit and then I gave up and listened to Zoë Ball on Radio One. She reads out a message of good luck to someone going into hospital for a much more major operation and I feel silly for getting so worked up that I can't sleep, but still, it's different when it's you.

By 7.30am my gown has arrived and I wash and dress ready for the operation. There is still about an hour to go. I'm now fully labelled with a name strap on both my left leg and arm. More waiting, but The Guardian newspaper arrives to break the wait and I browse through the headlines.

Then suddenly we are off. A porter arrives from theatre all dressed in the blues that make staff there look as though they have just got out of bed themselves. He is very friendly, though, and we chat about the books I'm reading as we descend from the 12th to the 3rd floor in the lift: quite a strange sensation while lying on your back. It brings back memories of going down for an eye operation I had when I was about five, something I hadn't remembered for years, but suddenly my memories transport me back there with a teddy under my arm - only there are no soft toys for me this time.

After a short wait in the recovery area - they use this at the start of the morning as an extra access area to the 14 operating theatres - then we go through to the main corridor. Several more checks complete and I'm into the anaesthetic room. This is the one area where if you can't watch television programmes like Casualty and ER you should keep you eyes fixed firmly on the ceiling as there are a lot of shelves of needles, tubes and drugs. I feel a small scratch on my left elbow and the anaesthetist I met last night is slowly injecting a white drug - the anaesthetic. After that, everything rapidly becomes a blur...

...Until I wake up about a hour later back in the recovery area again. I find that the small of my back is aching a bit and I'm a bit woozy. Soon after, I feel a bit nauseous but there is an attentive and friendly theatre nurse to tell, and she soon settles my sickness with an injection. I doze off again and vaguely remember the ascent to the 12th floor again.

For most of the morning, I sleep on and off. Then I start drinking which soothes my throat which is aching a bit from the anaesthetic. By lunchtime I can eat and I have the salad I requested the night before. The food is basic, but not bad compared to most hospitals I have seen.

The afternoon is much the same as the morning. I'm a bit more alert, but sleep on and off. Every half hour a nursing student called Adrian, I think, comes in and measures my blood pressure and my pulse. During the short time it takes for the machine to take its measurement we chat, he is going on holiday tomorrow. He also gets me to roll over to check my wounds, which are unfortunately oozing a bit but quite rapidly healing. I feel bruised and it is difficult to get comfortable, but the pain settles with the tablets I am prescribed.

Friday 19th February, 1999

Even though I slept most of yesterday I manage to sleep through the night as well. When I wake up, though, the painkillers have worn off and my back is stiff. It takes another couple of tablets to get up and shower. It's nice to be clean again. The drip I had going into my left wrist for most of yesterday prevented me from washing, and anyway I didn't have the energy.

Today consists mainly of a final blood test and then I can go home. This happens at 8.30am so that the result will be back around mid-morning.

The doctors and nurses breeze in and out around mid-morning and again everyone wants to look at the puncture wounds, but the most interesting part of the morning was a chat with the donor welfare officer, Marjorie, who gives lots of useful information, encouragement and some details about the recipient, in my case a woman with leukemia who received my cells shortly after my donation at another London hospital.

Then I was discharged at about midday and travelled across London to Euston and thankfully the Birmingham train was on time. Rushing across London, though, was not a good idea and I had to sit down while waiting for the train to arrive. I'm glad I had a dose of painkillers just before leaving the ward. Some words of advice - bring a cushion! Putting it in the small of your back substantially relieves the pain which moulded seats on trains cause - otherwise the bulge presses against the operation site rather uncomfortably. This cushion will become your friend over the next few days.

Once I got home, sleep was the only thing I could think of. You feel quite drained and a bit sore, but at least you feel your small efforts have given someone else a chance.

The Weekend

I had to take Saturday easily as I was quite tired and I felt quite groggy for most of the time. It was a bit like recovering from the flu and I felt I had no energy at all but I was still able to spend some time with my brother and his fiancée who were visiting for the weekend.

The rest of the next week was much the same. You don't feel ill as such, it's just that you can't do as much as you would do normally.

By Thursday I was back at work - not a move I would particularly recommend - take off a week to 10 days after the op if you can. I survived, though, and even managed two 12 hour shifts at the weekend!

It's good to feel that I've been able to give someone a chance at treatment success. I am grateful to the Antony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust for their work in making that chance possible.

020 7284 1234

Contact the A.N.T on: 020 7284 1234

Thanks again for reading this blog :-)

Friday, 15 May 2009

Join for Joel !



Yesterday I received a PDF file attached to a message from Nigel Gorvett of the Anthony Nolan Trust. Only 500 or so KB of data in total, barely half a megabyte, but contained within these binary files could possibly be the key to saving a life.Let me explain.

The files that I talk of contained the data to print 3 posters.Each one has the heading "Join for Joel",one contains details about the Bone Marrow donor session at Newark, one about the session at King's Mill, and the last contains info about both. I suppose what i am trying to point out is that something as small as a 500k PDF file may just possibly be able to convey the appeal for potential bone marrow donors to attend one of the sessions, and this in turn could lead to someone, somewhere finding a match that may possibly save their life.In the same way, when i sometime feel as though bothering to try to make a difference is a little like "urinating into an oncoming gale", i think that perhaps, just perhaps something that i do may lead to someone being cured, and that to me is worth more than all the money in the world !.

Hopefully, within the next week, Lee Baland, my good friend and graphics expert will turn the content of that little PDF file into vinyl graphics, and this will then be applied to both the Scirocco and the trailer.Once this is done i will tow the "rig" to and from work and spread the word to those that see me on my journey each day, sort of a mobile billboard i suppose, but hey, if that "special" person who is a match for someone who so desperately needs a bone marrow transplant See's the ad, then (much more importantly) does decide to attend one of the sessions and join the A.N.T, that would be just fantastic :-)

P.S If you want a copy of this poster to display at work or anywhere you think that people may be interested in joining the Register, click on the "More" button next to Scribd at the top of the poster and select "Print". You never know, one small action like putting a poster in your local chippy could lead to saving someones life !

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

I want this car !.....anyone got a spare £30000 ?

Having traveled the 85 mile a day round trip to Kings Mill Hospital and back for the last 13 years, i have always been on the look out for a mode of transport that would save me some cash on the average £50 per week that i shell out on petrol. I think i now have the answer to my requirements....just need £30000 to buy it now ! :-(

Here it is....smart or what ?



If only :-)

Another day, another hospital ! But not about me this time :-)

No, nothing to do with me this time for a change !.Today was the day that we took "Mini me" (Andy Jr) to the Boston Pilgrim Hospital to have 3 of his teeth pulled...nice !.
The reason for having 3 teeth pulled? Well this was due to a slight mishap he had getting on for 2 years ago when he decided that using a piece of card as a makeshift surfboard on the laminate floor of our living room would be "cool and really good fun", and indeed it was as he slid along the floor. Sadly, shortly after he decided it was a good idea, he forgot that he had left the card on the floor and whilst running into the kitchen for something (probably pop,crisps etc!) he found himself taking the sort of tumble that "You've been Framed" pay £250 for....but sadly none of us had a camera rolling !.
The upshot of his rapid coming together with our living room floor was the obligatory trip to Grantham A&E dept where they confirmed the fact that he had indeed used his face as a shock absorber, and the result was a pair of "broken" front teeth...great !.
We were advised that it was expected that his tooshy pegs would inevitably fall out over the next few days/weeks, but they did not, and this is what resulted in myself and Teresa making the trip to Boston with him today to the the NHS tooth fairy "persuade" the offending teeth to leave him and so allow his new ones to take their rightful place and give him the smile that had been missing for oh so long.
Can i at this point just say a great big thank you to all of the staff that made our trip to the hospital so good and stress free to boot. So many times people feel the need to make adverse comments about our health service and the people who work in it, but on this occasion i feel that the whole team who dealt with my sons case should feel justly proud of their work, and made one little boy who is by his own admission, rather afraid of dentists, feel so at ease and comfortable, in fact rather too comfortable as i am sure that he would quite happily have spent the whole day fast asleep on the trolley in recovery if he had been able too!. Great job guys :-)

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Stand by yer beds!...Nooky is helping us out again !


After a long and pleasant chat today with the man himself i am pleased to be able to confirm that CPL "Nooky" Nauyokas famed for his role as one of the very loud and very motivating NCO's in the hit TV show "Bad Lads Army" (Currently being re-run on ITV4 on Saturdays 9-10PM), has agreed to assist myself and the Anthony Nolan Trust in promoting the donor recruitment sessions that are scheduled to take place in June 09.

As luck would have it, Nooky lives in Lincolnshire, and (if you are a regular reader of this blog!) you will be aware that last year he very generously offered to assist myself and Glen at the RAF Waddington Airshow when we went there over the 2 days looking to promote and secure donations for our Scirocco " Morocco trip. Lets just say that Nooky has a way of motivating people, and the end result was that the weekend was a resounding success.

In case you don't know what Nooky does, here is an article describing what it is like to be on the receiving end of his wrath....although those that know him are aware that he is actually a very nice man who would fit in well working for the AA !

A day with Bad Lads Army's "Nooky" Nauyokas

And here is a clip from the series Bad Lads Army (ITV). Please note that the language is rather colourful !.

Kay Sudbury (Adrian's mum) speaks about her sons legacy (BBC)

Friday, 8 May 2009

Greedy politicians,corrupt system...but hey, it's all legal.....just highly immoral !




Time for my traditional whinge again I'm afraid, and boy is this subject getting on my nerves !.
Its in relation to the latest revelation about the claims that our trusty MP's (Members of Parliament) are making for such essential items as TV's,DVD's, new beds and such like.
Just caught a glimpse of the news and they report that Hazel Blears has played quite a smart little earner when she got the taxpayer to stump up several hundred quid a month for her mortgage, then sold the property and pocketed £45'000 profit !....nice.Especially as in the current climate thousands of folk are currently struggling to pay for the mortgage on their one and only home, and would be so happy to find that their hard earned taxes are being frittered away and given to these selfish, self gratifying gobshites (it's a father Ted phrase!) who are currently telling us all to tighten our belts and watch our spending......sweet !

Q: What allowances are MPs allowed to claim?
A: On top of an annual salary of £63,291, MPs are entitled to claim for a range of things including staffing, IT equipment, travel, pension provision, communications and housing.

Here are a couple of examples of "legalised fraud",the stuff that your tax pays for..............

A SENIOR Labour peer has been criticised after he claimed nearly £45,000 in overnight expenses to stay in a property he inherited from his late mother.

Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy claimed over £3,000 on expenses to fit a new boiler because he believed his water was "too hot", it is reported.

Minister Hazel Blears claimed for three homes in one year and spent nearly £5,000 on furniture in three months.A spokesman for Ms Blears said she had done nothing wrong and the furnishings she had bought were "reasonable".

"Hazel is honest as the day is long," said the spokesman before excusing himself and pointing out the fact that Ms Blears had been at work all day "and we know what is like to work for 25 hours without a break" he added !

And here is a link to the Guardian Website that will really cheer you up!............

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/mps-expenses

Anyway,as long as it's legal, who cares about it being immoral ? :-)

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Leukaemia survivor saddles up for charity

Nothing’s going to stop Robert Day from cycling 81 miles for charity — not cancer, and not even three hip replacements !

Excellent story about a fella named Robert Day who saw the diagnosis of AML not as a possible threat to end to his life but as the reason to begin living it.

Read the who;e article here at the Times online website:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article6210508.ece

Fantastic story and it just goes to prove how sometimes that challenges that we are faced with in our lives are actually able to be turned around and turned into something positive.Well done Robert !

Monday, 4 May 2009

Happy birthday Mini Me !


It was my son's birthday today and we decided to go out to a local attraction called Twin Lakes near Melton Mowbray.Apart from the obligatory downpour of rain over the first hour or so of our visit the weather soon cheered up and was what could be called "overcast but acceptable" for the rest of the day.
Today was of course also the day that he received his new Xbox 360, so as you can imagine we have been quite busy since we arrived home playing Lego Indiana Jones........it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it !. Happy 6th birthday Andy :-) .

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Register and be a lifesaver....please.....

Hi Folks. Yet another, but equally important video that I found on the Anthony Nolan Trust website ( http://www.anthonynolan.org.uk/media/randb/ ).

Just imagine that Adrian was your son,brother or husband, would you want to be a part of saving his life ?



Thanks for taking the time to watch :-)
.

Friday, 1 May 2009

How do you compete for attention with Coldplay and Susan Boyle ?

.
Whilst surfing the web today i ended up on YouTube (as you do!), and conducted an experiment.
First i searched the site for video's for the rather fantastic group called "Coldplay", and surprise,surprise there were bl**dy hundreds of postings for various video's etc (approx 150'000...ish!), and the max number of hits on the highest ranking post was over 44 million !.
Susan Boyle (Britains got talent) is even more of an attention magnet....50,072,145 views...in less than 3 weeks !
Then i typed in the word "Leukaemia" (just for a change!) and guess what.....663 video posts......max number of hits ? around 4-5000......ish!.
Question. How do you get the public to take notice of appeals for help with the fight against Leukaemia ? Answer= Get Coldplay or Susan Boyle to do you a promotional video or just state their support for it......but how do you go about getting in touch with these megastars ? That one i am still working on :-)

Who says folk with Leukaemia don't have a sense of humor? :-)

This is a video that I saw on YouTube a few months back made by a fella called Milt. People ask how others facing serious illness can possibly have a sense of humor...i think Milt confirms the fact that no matter how adverse the situation, the human spirit still has time for a laugh !