My parents finally got home today after the trauma of a 7 day volcano induced delay. It must have been a terrible experience, but wait hold your sympathy until you know the facts: - They went for a 2 week all inclusive holiday, the second week was a Nile cruise - They were due to fly back on day 1 of the ash issue - They went with a good holiday company, go on then I'll share, Virgin - Virgin kept them on the boat and sailed back to the start - They then repeated the cruise on an all inclusive basis while waiting for the ash to clear - They flew home a week late - Total cost of the week of ash based air space closure = £150 - Worst bit = the ships entertainment was the same as the week before :0(
During their extended holiday my phone was nominated as ash crisis hot-line. The parents sent me texts and I had to update the extended family. Everyone else was put out that they hadn't had direct contact. I will have my largest ever home phone bill due to the time required to discuss the ins and outs of a 9 word text. Seriously how many ways can you interpret "Still on boat, all OK, don't know when home"?
My brother thinks the volcano erupted just to inconvenience him. There was a possibility that on a Friday night he would have to look after his own son. This would have been especially bad because he has a date. His suggestions for preventing the interruption to his over active dating / sex life was for me to take today off work, drive 200 miles to collect his son from school and babysit until Saturday evening! He complained that he can't babysit on Friday night, had to point out it's not baby sitting if it's your own child, it's parenting.
Fortunately the parents arrived back in time to save the day!
Lesson in here somewhere, it might be to book holidays with quality companies and not Jock's last minute expeditions who will leave you to sort yourself out during an act of God.
I am just arriving home from the beach with my dog when I notice that the grass outside my house resembles a scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds. There are over 20 crows on the grass outside my flat and they are making so much noise it’s actually quite frightening.
As I get closer they don’t fly away, my dog is slightly in front and they are not bothered by her either. As we get within a meter or two they do retreat slightly. They are now sitting on the fence and in a nearby tree.
Then I notice the crumpled black shape on the grass. I move closer to look and the noise of the bird’s increases. I realise that the shape is another crow. It is lying on the ground with its neck bent at an impossible angle. I move even closer and can see that it has blood on its beak; it seems to be coming from its throat.
The bird doesn’t move at all as I approach, nothing, not even a twitch of its wing. The only movement that shows it is still alive is its eye. When I look into the one visible eye I can see that it is still alive. The eye seems to express the bird’s fear, confusion and most of all pain. I look into its eye for so long. I wonder what it is thinking, is the pain too intense for it to think or can it not feel anything. The neck seems to be broken so maybe it is paralysed and is just wondering why it can’t move.
The other crows are still there crying, do they feel pity for the bird on the ground? Or are they just waiting for me to leave so that they can attack the bird, finish it off and eat it? I know they will eat dead animals, will they eat another crow?
I think I should kill it, put it out of its misery, end the pain. I look into the eye and see intelligence. I wonder if it would want me to kill it or would that just add extra terror to its final moments? I could twist its neck. No, I can’t. I just can’t kill something. But it is suffering, would it be kinder? I should. I step towards it and that eye just flickers, I can’t, I can’t even touch it let alone kill it. What if I make it worse and just increase the pain. Could I drop something onto it and crush its skull, I look around and there is nothing that looks right. I look again into its eye and in my head I apologise, “I’m sorry you are hurt and I’m sorry I am not going to help you”
I turn my back on it and start to walk away. I am sure it is watching me. Is it relieved that I am going or is it frustrated that I didn’t help? The noise from the other crows increases but I keep walking.
I am in my flat now but I know it is still out there. Should I go out and do something? The noise from the birds seems so loud. I sit and think about the crow, what is it feeling, what would it want me to do?
I eventually look out the window and the bird is gone. It couldn’t have flown away, it couldn’t even move. Could the other birds have carried it away, No that is a stupid idea, it was a big bird. Maybe one of my neighbours has moved it. Maybe it died and they put it in the bin or maybe they killed it.
Even though the bird is gone I still feel guilty. I should have done something but I just couldn’t find it inside me to kill an animal. Could you?
Firstly why do you sing your own name at the start of the song. Is this so when it's played you know it is your song? It's not really important I just think it is odd.
My main comment is related to the words: Everybodys looking for love. Oh. Oh. Aint that the reason youre at this club. Oh. Oh. I just wanted to mention that most girls go to clubs to have a laugh with their friends, a few drinks and a dance. Probably a large percentage have lovely men at home waiting for them.
Just stay with me now. Say the word and well go. So you expect a girl you meet in a club to go home with you straight away. She might be looking for love but you're just looking for a one night stand.
Instead of talking let me demonstrate. Yeah. Get down to business lets skip foreplay. Lucky girl, you're not interested in talking or fore play, it's all about you isn't it Jason.
In my head, I see you all over me. In my head, you fulfill my fantasy. Further evidence of your selfish approach to sex.
Youll be screaming no. Think about it Jason!
You'll see a side of love you've never known. You think this is love, clearly you have no idea. Love is when you have a relationship, like getting to know the girl. Her name would be a start. Thinking of her needs as well as yours. Learning about what she likes and fulfilling her fantasies. What you are describing is lust, sex, booty call not love.
That said I'm sure with your sucessful music career you will have no trouble finding somebody to fulfill your fantasy!
Recently I lost a little soul who was very close to me and it brought me to the obvious question - what next?
I don’t have the type of faith that leads me to believe that there is a better place waiting for us after death. I would like to have that deep seated belief that nothing can shake but the truth is I don’t and never have.
I love the idea that after death we all move onto a place where we will get to see the people we have lost. I want this to happen, I want to be re-united with my Gran and to get a chance to know my Grandfathers, one that I never met and one who I remember only as a big man. I guess as my life goes on there will be more and more people to add to this list and more reasons to hope that I will see them again.
At the moment I am most missing my little dog, my near constant companion for the last eleven years. I watched her go to sleep in my arms and I did it for all the right reasons but I'm still not sure if it was really right. Who gave me the power to decide if she should live or die? I want to believe that sometime I will see her again and that she will understand what I did. If there is a heaven, a better place then she deserves to be there, probably most dogs do.
Deep down I’m a scientist, I can’t just accept this idea without a hypothesis to prove or disprove. When I speak to people who have faith they know they are right so they don’t need proof. I want to believe but I can’t without knowing. I can’t know so I can’t believe.
I do believe in God but I don’t do religion. I think that the universe contains more than we could ever know or understand. I think that there may be higher powers (a God or gods) that have at some stage influenced us, but if this is the case much of it has been twisted by people hungry for power and control over others. I think it is human arrogance that leads us to believe we could understand the will of a God or gods. I think people take what is there and use it for their own purposes, adding strength by saying it is "the will of God".
At the base of all religions are some lovely stories trying to teach us how we should live. As far as this goes it is great, we all need guidance on what is right and wrong, how to respect each other and how to cope with difficult times. How do we know the stories came from beings that were more advanced than us, they could just be stories written by clever and insightful men and women. Maybe heaven was invented so that people would accept poverty and hardship here because of the promise of something better later. Nothing in the religious texts proves they came from God, not to me anyway.
I have read accounts of life after death experiences, people who died for a short time and had “out of body experiences”. The often repeated images of hovering over your body, seeing a light and even seeing family members on the other side. It sounds good, and maybe I should accept this as proof but the mind is a wonderful and complex thing. At the point of death the brain is firing rapidly and could easily be producing images, hallucinations. If you have heard these stories, seen them in movies or have some knowledge of religion these images could be recreated in your own conscious at the point of death. I hope this is not the case, I hope that it is really the light from a better, cleaner, purer place and that your friends and family are there to welcome you.
Something I am fascinated with is psychics, people with the ability to speak to the dead. I don’t understand this and it seems that there should be an explanation. I have watched the TV shows where a guy stands up and gives people messages. Some are vague and the things said could apply to a lot of people but others are so specific and seem to really know things they shouldn’t. John Edward I find particularly interesting, he has often told people things they didn’t know and he is so insistent. The audience member then goes home and speaks to other members of the family and it turns out he was right. That rules out one of my theories that he was somehow reading their minds (hey I’m talking about speaking to the dead here, why is mind reading less believable). So that leaves me with the idea that they have really good researchers. Maybe if I had the experience myself and was left thinking there is no way he could know that I would believe it was a message from “the other side”. See I want to believe this to!
So can I take the evidence here and use it to give me faith that there is something after death. If I had faith I wouldn’t need this evidence to prove anything because I would just know. The fact that I need the evidence means I don’t have faith.
I can’t know so I can’t believe but what I can do is hope.
Think about it for a while and you can see that it’s really unfair on dogs, the furry ones that is.
Consider everything you know about dogs. They have been stereotyped as faithful and loyal. They are man's best friend and would perhaps be woman’s too if diamonds weren’t so pretty! Think of Lassie (faithful companion, constantly rescuing children) and Greyfriers Bobby (guarding his master’s grave). They are also the much photographed friends of many famous women who are perhaps lacking a good man in their lives?
Your dog will wait for you at home while you go out to work, shoe shopping or clubbing with your friends. He won’t be annoyed when you stumble home at 4am and drunkenly tell him that you love him. Instead he will wag his tail and roll over for a belly rub.
Your dog will follow you round the house watching you’re every move as though you are the most important thing in the world. He will take you for walks along the beach or in the park and fetches your ball back without questioning why you threw it away in the first place.
He will curl up on the sofa and watch Eastenders with you even though he doesn’t follow the plot. He will be there with a friendly tail wag when you’ve had a bad day. He will lick your tears away if you let him, maybe even do some tail chasing to try to raise a smile.
Add to that the fact that he generally likes your friends (especially if they give him biscuits), never criticises your dress sense and doesn’t care how much you spent on that new handbag.
So consider the evidence, are you reminded of a bad boy? In fact your average dog has way more in common with a devoted, loving man than with a bad boy.
So what should we call these men? Let me put forward the case for cat!
The cat is independent and unreliable. Think about the similarities with bad boys Your average cat decides if and when he will pay attention to you, he stays out doing his own thing but expects you to supply food and cuddles when he returns.
Your cat may well have other “owners” that you don’t know anything about. He could be visiting his other homes during the day, even staying there some nights while you sit at home hoping he hasn’t been run over.
He arrives in the middle of the night (dripping wet) and thinks its ok to sleep on your pillow. He knows you will let him in no matter how long he has been away. He might not have seen you for a week but will turn up and act as though nothing has happened. He knows that if he flashes a smile, purrs or rubs up against your legs you will forgive him.
When did your cat ever go out in public with you, the vet doesn’t count as you probably had to force him into a cage and more than likely have scratches for your trouble. In fact if you see your cat when he is out he will probably turn his back and pretend he doesn’t recognise you!
Are you seeing my point, the dog is getting a raw deal here. Cats and bad boys have so much in common you can almost see how girls that have a bad boy attraction can turn into “crazy cat ladies”. They pick up cat after cat always hoping that the next one will be “the one” but they are all cats so it never really happens. The cat might go along with this if it suits him but just when your feeling secure he will be back out hunting again.
I’m a dog person, nothing against cats but I like my pet to be reliable. Perhaps if I apply this theory to men my life will be much easier!
I’m in my cell and I don’t know when I’m going to get out. I am scared and lonely and I don’t know what is going to happen to me. I am asking myself, how did I end up in here?
It was a lovely day so we decided to go to the beach, we all piled into the car and set off. When we get there it is gorgeous. We were walking along the sand, laughing and talking.
Then suddenly I was naked, I don’t know how it happened!
And I’m running, running so fast no one can keep up with me. They are far behind me and when I turn I can see them waving at me. I shout that I am OK.
I’m still running. I feel so free, the wind and the sun are on my face and my body and it makes me feel alive. I can taste and smell the sea air, salty and clean. Life is great, I love it.
Then there are hands on me and a man is saying “what have we got here?” I try to explain but he isn’t listening. I think he is angry with me. I’m put into the back of a van and we are driving again. I shout a bit but no one is listening so I sit and wait to see where we are going.
We arrive at a building and the men take me inside. I am judged to be bad and put in a cell. I look around and wonder how long I need to stay here. I lie on the bed and go to sleep for a while. When I wake up someone is bringing me food. We talk for a bit “how are you?” “I’m OK, can I go outside now?” “Here’s your dinner.” I eat my food but it’s not as good as home. I have a drink and then go back to sleep.
I’m bored there is nothing to do here. I am pacing my cell and trying to see if anything is happening. There are others here too. I can hear them. I try talking but no one answers.
Then I hear someone crying “I want to go home, please let me out I want to go home”, I agree but I’m not going to cry. Other voices join in and I add mine, shouting not crying.
I sleep some more, I don’t like it here. The food is not good and it smells bad, clean on top but wrong underneath. I wait and wait for someone to come.
And then they are there at my door, my family. Someone opens the cell and I step out. They are hugging me and kissing me saying “good boy, it’s alright” and it is because my family have found me. I wag my tail and roll on my back to have my belly rubbed and I realise that life is perfect.