Euro2016 football and EU Referendum.

The two most watched & followed topics at the moment? Possibly.

Let’s look at the opinions on the football.
From a wide selection of family, friends & total strangers asked, the following three answers were the most common.
(1) England is going to win;
(2) England is going to loose;
(3) I think their shoes (boots?) are so colourful.

Now looking at the EU voting.
(1) UK is going to win;
(2) UK 
is going to loose;
(3) I think their mothers dress them funny.

Let it be noted, that there was a 3% undecided in both cases.
The reason why they were undecided?
” What is EU2016? I don’t follow sport”
“What is EU Referendum? I don’t follow politics”

OF course there are two guaranteed winners
The beverage industry & the pharmaceutical industry.
Win or loose, both parties will be hung over the next day
and the country will grind to a halt. No one will feel
like going to work.
More illegals will stream in to fill the jobs that the revellers
do not want to do.
And, if you had shares in the beverage & pharmaceutical industries, you will make a lot of money.

What ever revs your engine, don’t forget to vote.
There are still many countries that still don’t have that privilege?

In my previous life.

In my previous life, I was a hunter gatherer, with a flowing red cape, able to jump tall buildings in a single bound, Nothing was impossible for me, for I was the one.

A husband, father & friend, a great achiever and above all, the provider of wondrous things.

That seems like a life time ago, in some distant galaxy, the memories of which are disappearing into the mist of each passing year & with that passing comes a certain nostalgia, for when grasping at the past, the very fact of a longing to return, as if in a time machine, to a former time or place in one’s life, to one’s place of birth & to one’s family and friends, becomes a struggle.

However, there is a certain resilience in that struggle, for each day has now become a blessing, one to strive to participate in a positive manner & more often than not, with a playful look at what has become my new life.

One takes on new challenges like pretending to be a gardener & learning new skills, of being a writer now & not some fearsome warrior in the saddle of some noble steed, off to fight & slay the dragons of the world.
Now I have become more like a Don Quixote, tilting at the windmills of my mind.

Random thoughts of a writer.

A child’s ‘why’ question.

Question – Were all people in South Africa once not South Africans?
Answer – No, they were put in areas & called something else.
Question – Why?
Answer – Well, at the time it seemed like a good idea.
Question – When did it change?
Answer – When the rest of the world got cross with South Africa.
Question – Why?
Answer – Well, at the time it seemed like a good idea.
Question – What changed?
Answer – Oh, a whole lot of things they called sanctions.
Question – Why?
Answer – Well, at the time it seemed like a good idea.
Question – What happened then?
Answer – We had elections & everyone became part of a Rainbow Nation.
Question – Why?
Answer – Well, because a Rainbow is bright & colourful & beautiful & tells the world what a wonderful country we are.
Question – And do all the colours now play with each other?
Answer – Well, not really.
Question – Why?
Answer – Well, at this point in time, it does not seem like a good idea.
Question – Why?

Now this could be considered my version of The Never Ending Story?

Finding and Enjoying Inner Peace?

Once, ever so often, I manage to sleep for 4 hours or longer. Normally, it is an hour here or two hours there. Last night was such an occasion & I must admit, when it happens, I revel in it, for I know it will be followed a bad episode.
So while this feeling of euphoria & freshness abounds with much happiness, I will try and seek out the source.
The Internet says “Inner peace (or peace of mind or inner calmness) refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress”
Well I never!

Marilyn Briant-Rockmore (on blog says – “Peace of mind is not the absence of conflict from life, but the ability to cope with it.” Unkown. She further investigates what Inner Peace means to her. Interesting.
The and Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW is a relationship expert, grief counselor and the author of six self-help books, discusses the matter even further.
Do we constantly attend to the “gloom and doom” voices in our heads, bombarded by each day’s supply from the media?

I know, as a sample of one, that the reports about the state of things in South Africa troubles me. The world bayed for the end of that practice of Apartheid & now I wonder if the Freedom so hard fought for, has brought the just rewards to the Rainbow Nation, for which they so richly deserve?
Equally so, I think about what if that Trump chap becomes President, do the good people of America really want his finger near that red button!
Perhaps it was paying more attention to ‘Me Time’? Normally I find it a pleasure or even an honour to help others. But not yesterday.
Planning for a proposed trip back to South Africa left me feeling excited with the prospect of seeing first hand, what has transpired in that wonderful country. Whether a few weeks would do the investigation any justice is quite another matter.
Goal setting & planning can bring their own set of pitfalls?

September does seem a long way away, but hopefully there will be a few more Inner Peace moments along the way?

Does God read Social Media?

Now before everyone gets their knickers in a knot, let me tell you a story.
I live in an area where there is a wonderful abundance of senior citizens, most of them above 75 & some of them pretty close to 100.
One of them in particular, is a source of some amazing anecdotes.
About age she says I am a trainee senior citizen & that she is ‘knocking’ on Heavens door.
Of course she has been known to call me a young whipper snapper too, especially when, as she puts it, I don’t ‘look lively’!

Back to her story & that day out.
This is a country with a booming old age community & there are many wonderful groups that dedicate their time to keeping these oldies(?) active & amused.
Well Sybil (let’s call her that) – a seriously devout lady, Irish & of course Catholic. She reminds me a lot of Mrs Fawlty, waylaid me while I was outside swearing at the weeds and asked me if I knew anything about computers.
“A bit”, I answered. One must be very careful with this lady, for she has a razor like mind & a tongue to go with it. Before you know it, one is walking the plank after receiving a severe lashing on the poop deck!
She wanted to learn about computers as her grandchildren were always playing with those gizmos and she had signed up to attend a class on computers for senior citizens.
Well, off she went & came back with the mutters.
Apparently the young man giving the class was worse than a whipper snapper. He was a ‘snotty nosed little smart arse’. Her words, not mine!
He had told her she had disrupted the class with all her questions.
Poor chap, I should have warned him?
He had been going on about how computers could open up her world to a wealth of experiences, to which she replied – “Young man, I have had more life experiences in one day than you will have in your life time”

It was about now that she brought the class to a standstill with ‘that’ question.
“Does God read Social Media”?
Poor fellow, perhaps he should watch the film – Miracle on 34th Street?

The First Cheap Magazine for Middle Class Women.

In 1856 Samuel Beeton persuaded his wife, Isabella, to be a joint editor with him in a new publishing venture, a monthly paper called The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. Initially priced at 2d, this was the first cheap magazine for young middle-class women, and it was an immediate commercial success, with an advertised circulation of 50,000 copies by 1856. (Ref: British library)

One wonders if this type of magazine would be published today, would it be considered Sexist or at the very least ill advised?
When the above mentioned magazine is compared to today’s offerings, with circulation in the millions, could one consider today’s ‘Good Housekeeping’ (Circulation +/- 500,000) an indication of what might have been?

When visiting the local supermarket, one just has to look at the Magazine isle to see what is on offer, the predominance of which could be considered for the ladies to choose from. This is a presumption on my part, as I observed more women perusing the racks than men.

Many of today’s magazines are becoming digital offerings, both free & by subscription. Does this indicate a positive trend & perhaps the death knell of print? Only time will tell.

Mark Anthony’s First Blog.

Can you imagine how difficult it would have been, starting your first Blog way back in Roman times?
Well, I believe this is what got him killed.
He was often seen, jotting down some notes on his tablet while sitting in the Forum. Of course they had tablets in those days & I would not be surprised if this is where Apple got it first idea from.
Of course it was a version 1.0 tablet. A simple wax tablet with a pointed metal stylus. No storage facility. No auto spell correction. If you made a mistake you used your thumb to ‘rub’ it out & started all over.
Then when Anthony got home he would laboriously transcribe his daily notes on to a scroll, the Roman Blog, written on a long strip of paper rolled around a stick.
Soon, other members of the Forum asked to look at his Blog & depending on what he had written, this content was well received.
Content appeared to be Emperor!
His followers grew from one or two to a few dozen, but Anthony soon realised that he needed to come up with a better method of distribution.
Building his audience began to be uppermost in his mind.
He began leaving little snippets of his next Blog lying around the Forum, enticing prospective followers with a call to action.
More Scribes were hired & soon had a functioning list from which he could sub divide & direct certain of his Blog entries to those particular followers.
But more was to come. Some of the merchants in the town heard about this Blog & asked Anthony to include carefully worded bits about their products. These merchants were prepared to pay handsomely for this privilege.
And before he knew it, Anthony had to give up his day job in the Forum & concentrate full-time on his wealth building Blog.

But sadly, among his many followers, there were a group of jealous members. They were a soulless bunch, with little or no creative or entrepreneurial spirit. Most of all, they envied the wealth he had created from his Blog.
They plotted his demise and as we all know, Anthony’s last recorded words were “Et Tu Brute?”


Vitamin D and all that Sun.

There is no getting away from it. Being outside in the sun does wonders for one’s state of mind.

I had been fudging on getting a start with this year’s seed sewing, waiting for that ideal sunny day. Well, there was no dodging that today & out I went, with trusty trowel in hand, ready to prepare some trays.
Soon the seed trays were filled with some of my home-made compost, dutifully sifted to provide the perfect home for some Cobra Green Bean seeds.
Things took a bit longer this year which saddened me.
The arrival of Mr Bee with some of his mates, cheered me up as they went weaving drunkenly from Pansy to Pansy, as if they had been on a bender the night before?
The flowers had all turned their garishly painted faces towards the sun, tempting the bees with their multi coloured faces & sweet smelling pollen. Now I ask you. What red blooded bee could turn down an offer like that?
All to soon, I was breathless, with perspiration running down my face. Only five seed trays & already I was struggling.
This does not bode well for the growing season ahead, but it was a necessity.
The puce white skin, which would bring shame to any Ex Pat South African was in desperate need of a bit of colour. One of the neighbours had already indicated some concern as to whether I had intended to remove my T-Shirt.
Maybe not today. My face & legs were enough.

It was grand being outside again.

And yet people are starving?

On one side of the world, people are dying because they are eating too much or rather the wrong type of food and yet, on the other side people are dying because they do not have enough food; of any type !
Add to this troubling statistic the fact that the first group do not exercise enough while the other group have to walk miles just to get some water and we soon come to the conclusion that this world is indeed a crazy place?
Then there is that evil stuff they call money. Some have it, while others don’t and the rest lust after it. Then we have countries that spend a fortune on war, elections and corruption and manufacture & distribute marvelous items that in real world do little to solve the original two problems.
Now this wonderful human race has started to do something about this sad state of affairs. Firstly, they divided into groups to explain why they eat certain foods or not.
Those that lust after food, helped along by those that lust after money and hey presto the fast food empire was built.
Then you have the Vegetarians, who have been around since the land barons ruled the world and did not allow the peasants to kill  & eat any of the wild animals on their turf by penalty of death.
Then came the Vegans, around about 1944, just about the time the world was finishing off a war to end all wars, which, by the way, left many of the protagonists worse off than their antagonists!
And finally you get the Carnivores, who really don’t give a fig, just as long as they can have a barbecue on weekends while watching their favourite sport.
One could drag this diatribe on for ever, by adding the very profitable charitable industry that has sprung up and  is now invading our TV time, but we will leave that for another day.
The original question remains.
And yet people are starving?

While the Silence Reverberates ?

Another wave of horrific terrorists led atrocities have struck in Europe.

And the world shudders in unison with its condemnations.
Our hearts weep for the victims. Will there be no end to this craven ideology?
I grew up in a country whose Apartheid ideology brought suffering to many.

The ANC led Freedom Fighters or were they terrorists too, started a campaign of activities that cost many lives.
The world united & brought an end to this & Freedom was found in the ballot box. Democracy stood firm & the majority began their rule.

Years have past & we look at the conditions in South Africa today, 2016. Atrocities have returned under a despotic led government ‘of the people’? Where ‘kill the whites’ is the lingua franca of the day.

Time for an independent inquiry?
Time for an independent inquiry?

This caption needs to be independently verified

Where are those same people who shouted in disgust during the Apartheid years?
While the Silence Reverberates ?