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May. 6th, 2011

What A Day!

Like many, many other Scots I never thought I would see the day when the SNP took a majority in an election. 

It was just a fantasy, something to dream about and wish for, but it seemed as unlikely as winning the lottery.

Yet yesterday we learned that dreams really can come true, and the SNP are now the majority government in Scotland.

I suppose that marks me out as a supporter of Scottish Independence?  Yes, happy and proud to be so and say so, an independent Scotland is very much what I want for my country and countrymen.

Yet that wasn't what this election was about.  No one who voted in Scotland yesterday was voting for independence, we were voting for the party and government who put Scotland first and always.  Yes, we now have the chance to redefine who we are and what we stand for in the world, but that is one of the many challenges ahead of us.  The economy is a mess, we have major issues in health and education to overcome, and no one thinks that this will be easy, and yes, perhaps part of that will be breaking away from the rest of the UK and determining a new and different future.  Or it may not happen, and will forever remain a fantasy, an insubstantial wish and longing, that is for the referendum to decide at some point in the next five years.

For now I am happy that fear and bitterness (check out the London based media) have not won the day...and yet, the nasty comments, the slurs, the attacks....somehow they matter less today than they did yesterday.  They have lost their power, instead of demeaning and weakening us they shine a light on the fear and ignorance which have dominated the discussion on the future of the UK, that somehow their slurs should be enough to stop us choosing a future that does not include an entity called the United Kingdom, or even stop us from asking the question.

In a world which can be unfair, scary and downright cruel, it feels good to say, today was a good day.

May. 3rd, 2011

Writer's Block: It's always summer

If you could only live in one season for the rest of your life, which would you choose, and why?

I wouldn't want to live in just one season.  All seasons have their own beauty, joys and attractions, and all seasons have their downsides, sadness and drawbacks and to really experience all that nature has to offer I think you have to experience it all, besides, how do you choose, a snowy christmas morning verses a field of wildflowers, a long hot day at the beach against running through piles of fallen leaves?  The thought of having to give three of those up.....no thanks

Aug. 17th, 2010

Writer's Block: Star struck

Why do people care so much about the private lives of celebrities? Is it idol worship, schadenfreude, or something entirely different?

Gossiping about people's personal lives has always been a big part of the human condition, hundreds of years ago we only had our near neighbours to talk about which led to such charming events as the Witch Trials, and that was with people we know.  Now gossip can be spread about individuals across the planet and I imagine people feel even less guilty about this as they don't know the individuals personally and therefore will feel even less guilt about intruding on someone's life.

Above all I suspect its beause to most people the celebrity represents everything that they want, wealth, looks, fame and its great to be able to see the lifestyle that you aspire to, to prove that it really is worth aspiring to.  I also suspect that its equally great for a lot of people to see a celebrity humiliated or having problems because it shows that even they are not immune to life's darker turns.

Aug. 2nd, 2010

Do we really know anyone?

How well do we really know anyone?

It seems an obvious question to ask, but just recently it was brought home to me that the truth is we don't really know anyone but ourselves, and even that can be open to question.

We think that we know how someone will react to something, what they will think and do in response to our own actions, and quite often its that assumption that informs how we act.  But how do we know? 

A friend of mine came to me recently, obviously nervous, and told me that she had something to tell me, and that I wasn't going to like what she had to tell me.  I was intrigued, mostly because I hadn't spoken to my friend in quite a long while after she seemed to go cool on our friendship.  Turns out that what she had to tell me, and why she and I were no longer as close as we once had been, was because she had started to see an ex of mine behind my back.  I was stunned, not because she was dating my ex - he didn't become my ex without good reason after all - but because she had been so afraid of telling me, and that she had let that come between us, when to be perfectly honest I couldnt have cared less about her dating him (or marrying him, which is why she chose to tell me now).

So after assuring her that I didn't have a problem with this and after congratulating her a dozen times I asked her why she hadn't spoken to me about this three years ago.  She told me it was because she was scared of how I'd react, that she had always thought I valued loyalty.  Well I do value loyalty, but I didn't see how she had been disloyal, they hadn't dated when we were still together, so I really didn't have a problem.  But she obviously had only seen the value I put on loyalty and not on friendship and being happy for her and him.

And it got me thinking, why?  My friend and I lost three years of friendship because she assumed I would act one way and I acted in another, what was the point?

Makes me a little sad I suppose.


Jul. 15th, 2010

Writer's Block: I scare myself

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is that I will let life's opportunities pass me by because I'm afraid.

There is nothing to fear but fear itself, and as hard as it is if you can face that and overcome it then there is nothing that you can't withstand.  You might fail, but it will be on your own terms

A Moment is All it Takes

Isn't it funny how your world can change in just an instant?

One minute your life is heading down one path, the next it has changed and gone in a totally different direction.  And all it takes is a moment.

A moment to buy that lottery ticket, a moment to cross the road, to  sit down next to someone new.  It can be good or bad, but the more and more I see of life the more I realise that everything that changes us, moves us, it happens in a moment.

It's both terrifying and exhilarating.

And I can't wait for the next moment.

Jun. 30th, 2010

Writer's Block: No bloody way

Could you ever be good friends with someone who hunted purely for sport?

Hmmm......yes, I detest hunting for sport and would not be afraid to tell my friend exactly what I thought of their pastime, however, and it's a big however, that's a personal view, as long as the activity is illegal they are perfectly entitled to go hunting, and as long as they respect my right to not like hunting then we could be friends......though if your so opposed to hunting it suggests that your worldview on all sorts of matters would probably mean you were never faced with this particular dilema

Jun. 28th, 2010

Writer's Block: Future forward

What is the best science fiction movie of all time, and why?

The best scifi movie of all time.....hasn't been made yet

Jun. 24th, 2010

Budget

So the 'horror' budget is finally out.

I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised. Don't get me wrong, it's tough, but does that mean it's unfair?

I've been reading a lot of opinion, mainly from those decrying the budget and there are a few things that I don't quite 'get'.

VAT is Unfair?

How is the VAT rise unfair?  from  what I can make out it's claimed it's unfair because it hits the poorest in society the most, but unless I've got this very very wrong then the essentials such as food and children's clothing are 0 rated.  Yes this will hit adult clothes, yet it will hit big ticket products and yes it will hit holidays, meals out etc, but I would argue that this is actually a very fair taxation, because everyone is hit by it. You can't avoid it, would I prefer to see different levels of VAT such as luxury goods at 25% and clothes and 12.5%, yes I would (and I think that would be good for the economy) but while I don't like paying tax on anything and this will make my life tougher, I don't believe that this is a 'unfair' tax.

Cutting benefits


About time too. Seriously, how many million people are unfit to work  in this country?  And by unfit I mean there is nothing they can do, not nothing they fancy doing, but nothing they can do?  of course those who are genuinely physically unable to work need a decent standard of  living, but there are just too many out there who think that they are owed something.  I've heard a lot of  people complain that they will have to prove that they need assistance all over again....well those are the breaks, if you are genuinely unable to work then I would think that the thought that there are a vast number of people milking the system would have you as enraged as anyone else and happy to do anything to see that those individuals are caught, the rest of us don't get an option on what we want the taxes we pay spent on, the least you can do is help make sure out hard earned money isn't being given to those who don't need it.

Mothers will be forced to look for work when their children reach school age.....seriously, that's not already the rule??????

It's not my fault, why should I have to pay?

I have saved all my working life, I have no debt.  I am not rich, yet I am having to pay just the same as everyone else, i don't want to, but I have to, I understand this, because there aren't any other options. (Unless of course you think going bankrupt is an option)  I hear a lot of people moan that it's all the banks fault, they took the risks, why should the ordinary man in the street have to pay...to which I have a couple of responses:

1. Grow up, that's what society is all about, you enjoy the good times, you all suffer in the bad times (honestly I always thought that's what the socialists were banging on about, amazing how when push comes to shove the lefties turn into the me first brigade and come up with 101 reasons why everyone but their special interest group should be made to pay...sorry kids, doesn't work like that.)

2. Eh what's the average personal debt in this country(including or excluding mortgages) again?  All those people really needed 125% mortgages did they?  A new car every year, foreign trips twice a year........yeah, the banks made the ordinary man in the street do all that didn't they.  i agree the banks need to be hammered, they need their bonus culture broken and the art of responsibility needs to be learned again, but, so do we. It's alright saying the big boys need to learn responsibility over debt, but so do the little guy too.  So you have to settle for a week camping instead of a week in the seychelles, the kids need to share a room, or you can't have that new car, conservatory whatever.....Just because you are offered a loan doesn't mean you are honour bound to take it

So all in all (and I'm neither Tory or Lib Dem and didn't vote for either one) I don't think it was a nice budget, but I do think it was needed

Writer's Block: Sins of c/ommission

Which do you tend to regret more: things you wish you hadn't said or done or things you wish you had?

Well the old adage goes it's not the things you do you regret it's the things you don't......

By and large I think that's true, actions may have unforseen or negative consequences but inaction generally only leads to inertia.

I think however that you should always be careful before you act or say something, because cruel and hurtful words - even if unintended - tend to leave a weeping sore which can cloud relationships and cause harm forver more

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