Archive for the ‘Random Nonsense’ Category

Ride like a girl meets Anti-Knife UK

27 Sep

String theory physicists would no doubt have a formula to explain it but it seems that yesterday the story was completed with a most satisfying conclusion.

It all started when back in London in early November 2015,I phoned the founder of Anti-Knife UK ,Danny O’Brien , to talk about knife crime related matters and his upcoming trip to an event in Edinburgh. At the end of the conversation ,I said, “I’ll send you the field for the Melbourne Cup.Pick a horse and I’ll put a pound each way on it for you.”

Back came the due reply ,”Prince of Penzance please”.Not a horse that I knew anything about as I didn’t follow Australian racing at all. I went to Paddy Power in Morden , placed the bet and said jokingly ,”I’ll be back for my winnings.”The price was 100/1.

For some reason I woke during the night so I switched on the radio just in time for radio BBC 5 live to cross live to Melbourne for the running of the Melbourne Cup.

The race that stops a nation in Australia.

Two miles ,where legends are created.

I listened out for Danny’s choice and my own. And the result is well known- Prince of Penzance ridden by Michelle Payne created history. The first woman jockey to win the Melbourne Cup,a race they send horses from all around the globe to win.

And Danny O’Brien had chosen the winner,mine came 4th.

As Danny wrote on Facebook later that day, the only time he didn’t mind being woken up early was to be told the horse he had chosen on the other side of the world because he had visited Penzance had won him a nice amount of money, which would be used to travel to campaign against the rising tide of knife crime in the UK which affects all age groups and all levels of society. A lot of campaigning is done out of our own pockets as funding is scarce .So having dropped by Paddy Power ,collected the winnings and tipped the employee,I met Danny at our usual business meeting place,a coffee shop at Victoria Station to hand over the winnings.

Danny set off for Edinburgh and I looked online for more information about this amazing win. That the jockey had had to struggle hard to get to where she was was made clear in her words which caught media attention.She named those who had given her a chance but added

“I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because women can do anything and we can beat the world.”

And that reverberated with me.That had been my attitude in the seventies and eighties in Australia. Last century.

Surely things had moved on since then .

Not in horse racing apparently.

Move on 4 years. A new film is released , Ride like a girl, telling the story of Michelle Payne,filling in many details the media had not mentioned in their Cup success story.

Yesterday I went with family members to see it and we all enjoyed it immensely.

A gripping tale bringing laughter and tears and much talk that continued over a Pad Thai in the local Thai restaurant.

The circle is now complete.String theorists must surely agree the world is a very small place. Certain themes are universal.A chance event can have surprising consequences.


So I’m uncool.

10 Mar

1527007_10202870060539963_1791412173_nAnother day spent staying home, out of necessity for reasons both health-related and financial.

The sun , the ever threatening sun was shining this morning. For most a source of joyand for me too so long as I do not have to go out in it. The old risk of inflammation has made its presence felt of lateso I must be careful. add to that the fact that I am not rolling in money. A facebook comment written yesterday is only too true.-Living in London does not mean you have a pocketful of money.I have learnt to enjoy staying home . There is a freedom that comes from finding things to do at home.

And there is quite a lot to do. Liking your own company seems to put a balance in your life, gives a kind of confidence.

I happily join the ranks of the uncool . As the man says in “Almost Famous”, ” I’m always home . I’m uncool.”

But his music insights were spot on. I too find I can judge situations better from a distance.

Yes, I am always on Facebook, maybe too much in your face but I find great interest in posting what interests me and

hearing from  thousands. I also grace twitter and keep informed. My golden rule probably very uncool in this age of

showing how clever you are is to treat others as I would like to be treated.


Sunday sunny Sunday

09 Mar

What a difference a fine sunny day makes. I woke up to a bright sunny morning.

On the walk to church, I realised I was too warmly dressed but that is better than feeling cold.10003894_10202866695015827_1017190216_n

People were walking more energetically and some even had the trace of a smile.

Long may it last. We need this spring, not because winter was freezing as it   wasn’t a  particularly  cold   winter.

But it was a long rainy winter. We need some drying sun. And a chance to enjoy the spring flowers.


International Women’s Day- a south London viewpoint.

08 Mar

Woke up to hear visually impaired skier , Jade had gone whizzing down a mountain in Socchi with a guide to win silver.

Rather inspirational ,I thought as I tested each eye to check vision had not worsened and started on the many sets of

eyedrops  I take daily. Good for her. Nowadays, women are able to do whatever they want. Study, work, marry, live with

someone or live alone. At least here where I am that is the case.

I must admit that I am well aware that women are not as free as they would like to be even here in the modern UK.

Lack of money, lack of education, lack of self-confidence, lack of hope may all combine to keep women down.

But some of us have come through, some of us have found our voice ,demanded respect and work to improve our lives and

the lives of others. It has come at a cost but the gains are worth it.


Friday thoughts of Socchi.

07 Mar

World leaders flying to and fro and being photographed trying to look tough, wise and statesmanlike.

At least those I’ve seen in photographs. I do not own a television and do not want to.

What is the truth about the situation in the Crimea? It depends who you talk to.

The very word brings back 3rd form history and the Crimean War. It shot Florence Nightingale to fame,

the lady of the lamp whose organisational skills transformed the nursing profession.

After that Florence confined herself to her home, possibly seeing the Crimea as the pinnacle of her career.

Fortunately, events in the Crimea have not stopped the Paralympics from going ahead in Socchi,

giving athletes the chance to defy our  beliefs of what is possible. All the best to the Paralympians.

We need you to lift us and help us realise our better selves.


Just write. You’re interesting.

06 Mar

I want to write here every day. The trouble is what to write. What I did today ? What I ate today ?

It probably doesn’t really matter. the important thing is get thoughts down on paper- the web actually,

not a cluttered space full of papers.

Sitting here in a lamp lit room, with my beloved radio on, I stare at the fake red roses

in the fake Grecian style vase in front of me and away I go.

I had a good day. I woke up feeling energised . I made headway on work pending.

I had an interesting discussion on sources of energy with the meter reader.

The effects of blossom. I feel a bit stronger1623711_10202844732226771_951899886_n.

Long may it last.


Pancake day. What to give up for lent.

04 Mar

Still undecided as to what to give up for lent. Apparently a neighbour in the early 60s gave up the radio for lent

and found it very difficult according to my mother.

Meanwhile I had a creative pancake day. No flipping. No flopping.1800489_10202834032959296_621120057_n


Learning to spend time alone -me and my radio.

03 Oct

Having grown up as the eldest of 8 children, 5 of whom are boys and being of a temperamental character when young, I am well used to being among a noisy group of people. Then while working as a teacher , noise at a school did not particularly bother me. Therefore moving to Corfu with its generally loud tone of conversation seemed a natural part of life .In fact , it was a kind of unwritten law that the loudest voice always won in any discussion.

While driving ,I relied on music on the radio if I was not driving someone to a lesson , shop or hospital.As a result, I knew all the latest songs in Greek as well as foreign songs.

On losing my sight, I became more used to being alone in silence .However, the truth is that there is rarely true silence. When I couldn’t see anything except a white cloud , my hearing became like that of a wolf .I could hear conversations clearly from the other end of the world or so it seemed-somewhere I couldn’t see.

For some reason best known to themselves, a flock of birds used to sleep in the trees around the hospital and their singing kept me company as the sun went down and things went quiet.

Sitting here, I have the sound of the wind through the trees.  It has a calming effect.

But the wind can blow. The birds can sing.  In truth, it is the radio that I love most.It entertains, informs and calms , a simple piece of technology that offers far more variety than tv


A year of living dangerously

02 Oct

Africa needs you.

Life spent exploring the medical field continues at a cracking pace as I learnt at my last appointment that the back of my good eye is still swollen.This explained the renewed need to use a magnifying glass and the sense of  rising frustration accompanied by the words-oh no .it’s coming back, !!

Anyway the consultant was having none of it.She said I had to have another injection in my face. This time it hurt less but she ordered me to rest more as facebook chatters have been told.

More anti inflammatory infusions have also been ordered so whole afternoons will be whiled away at the hospital.Doctors are certainly doing their  darndest for me.

In the meantime,. I have been honing my football pundit skills and my jam making skills.As a result I daily acquire more facebok friends and have a shelf of jars of jam.What has come as a surprise is the number of people who regard my writings as inspirational.Today I received the accolade of Africa needs you and find the responsibility of such words far more daunting than the up coming eye treatment.


a year of learning dangerously

22 Sep

Injections in your face are not really so bad,

I continue on a learning curve I never dreamed possible-going up and down on doses of steroids that definitely make me react strangely .Take the other afternoon.There i was waiting on the station platform, well away from the edge ,waiting for my train to be announced, when i looked into the distance and saw what I thought was a man about to jump off a building.

What to do?

I looked left and right and noone was reacting.I peered into the distanceand realised my mistake .It was a street light.Thank God I hadn’t shouted -don’t jump !!

I make mistakes all the time but fortunately not of that magnitude.So what is happening with my sight. The latest is some sort of swelling at  the back of the operated eye is limiting vision. rather than filling me up with more drugs in addition to the cocktail I currently take ,a little injection in my face will do the trick and really it’s not so bad but my face is large and round.

By the way,my divorce case went to court this week ,I got a tax refund and I went to see Tinker ,tailor ,soldier ,spy-a film from the novel by John Le Carre which I have read about 10 times so life remains interesting and the learning continues.



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