Climate change

It is apparent that Climate Change isn’t something that President Trump is willing to take seriously. Pulling out of the Paris Climate agreement is short-sited and foolish. I know there are a lot of people out there that will be desperately disappointed at his actions.

When you dig a little deeper there is a lot of climate change denial that seems to go around the world and it’s troubling that it seems to run through the rightwing side of politics. Whether it is protectionism and a need to looking after your own this isn’t something that is going away or something we can pass off as a political idea.

Just for instance that you don’t think that global warming is real and that the ‘planet can take care of itself’ as one ex-Top Gear presenter once said. Just for an instance, you think that all of these scientists were wrong. Wouldn’t it actually be responsible, for future generations, that we look for alternative fuels that don’t rely on removing stuff from the earth? There is only so much coal and oil that we can remove from the ground.

earth-216834-960-720.jpg

I got my electricity and gas bill the other week and it was the first time I noticed that on it was how much CO2 I had caused/used during the last few months. I was shocked that it wasn’t in grams or smaller amounts but a huge amount of CO2. Just me. Sitting in my own house. One out of millions just in this country.

So whether or not we care about the world we live in or whether our political beliefs lead us to deny climate change, we should take a moment to think that maybe in a hundred years time the people who are on the earth might wonder what we did to keep this planet healthy. Did we deny it and think that it’s someone else problem or too busy to even care.

How do you move on?

I spoke in the last blog about remembering the time when my father died and how it has affected me now that my mother is no longer with us. There are some people who stick to death and bereavement like chewing gum sticks to the cat. But how do we move on?

Firstly, do you want to move on? There seems a thread now in society that if we aren’t at the grave every week or sometimes even every day that we have forgotten the person or the person somehow doesn’t hold the same meaning to us when they were alive. I have seen and read numerous times how families are clinging on to the memory of their loved one in some vain attempt to keep them alive. Siblings forced to mourn for a brother or sister they haven’t even met.

Because you are moving on with your life that doesn’t mean you forget the person or love them less. Building shrines to someone aren’t helpful. I will talk about the person but there are times now after the stage of mourning where you have to start living your life again. Sitting around thinking about the person you have lost all day isn’t helpful or healthy.

I am not a one to shy away from bereavement and expressing the hurt and pain it causes. At my funeral, I don’t want any of this ‘celebration of life’ crap. I want crying and tears. Then when you have done the dishes and hoovered then you can raise a glass or seven and then start moving on with life. I am dead. Gone. Not coming back. No amount of bright colours or waving off balloons is going to bring me back. I might joke about this but I know that a lot of people want a celebration of life and there is nothing wrong with that either. It’s not me and not who I am.

People who post messages to a person on social media like they are looking in from another spiritual dimension can be helpful for younger people in the beginning but again I have read where people are posting messages about how the person who has died will be drinking alcohol and spending Christmas on a cloud somewhere. A bizarre way to view the afterlife and a little childish in my opinion.

Bereavement can cause a whole raft of behaviours that are strange. It’s when that behaviour is unhealthy or even dangerous that help should be given. It can cause serious mental illness and as someone who has suffered from depression for over twenty years I have had to be aware of my own health and keeping that from slipping downwards.

p02b35hc

The best advice I have heard in the past few months is taking a few small steps into the world again but don’t expect change over night. I am terrified of leaving my home town and going on holiday. I am racked with guilt about ‘enjoying’ life. Somehow it seems wrong to have a life outside of mum. Having been her carer for so many years. But if I was to ask what she might say about my guilt, she probably would laugh, and ask ‘What on earth have you got to feel guilty about?’.

She would then chastise me for being silly and tell me to move on. It would have been her way of dealing with things. Dismissing them and then getting on with life. If life was as easy as that I wouldn’t be writing this blog in my living room but in the south of France somewhere.

So you take small steps until you are ready. I went for bereavement counselling as part of those small steps I am not ashamed to say I got help. There is no shame in asking for help from anyone. It hasn’t been easy but I am glad I did it. It doesn’t make me any weaker or less of a man it means I am being honest about what I am feeling and willing enough to take steps to being well again.

Stop the world 

What on earth is going on with our society and other countries?

  • Two unarmed black men shot and killed in the USA
  • Over three thousand incidents of hate crime reported to the police in the UK last month
  • Five police officers killed in a sniper shooting in the USA
  • Hundreds dead in Baghdad in a terrorist bombing
  • Two dead at a music festival before its even started in Scotland
  • New prime minister voted in who has a poor record on LGBT rights

These are just some of the stories I have been reading about this morning. What really is going on? Has the world turned in on itself?

Hate is the keyword in all of these. Hating on black people or gay and lesbian community. Lack of tolerance and education has caused this. Justification of religious freedom to deny decent equality laws.

broken-world-500.jpg

Let’s get rid of proper education on relationships in schools as we are terrified to teach children to be aware of dangers that lurk in all areas of life. Terrified of standing up to people who spout hatred and bile about muslims or other religious groups.

Cl-1YvVWIAArXp-.jpg

I bet not many people know that the Mayor of London met with Archbishop of Canterbury and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis to discuss the rise in race hate incidents that a occurred since the vote to leave the EU. Mr Khan broke his fast during his time in Ramadan for Iftar.

There are those who think that people of different faiths and nationalities cannot live side by side in harmony. There are those who are determined that their hatred will somehow win over the rest of the country. I have said it time and time again these people will NOT win. I prefer to live in a world where there isn’t fighting or death. Where people can share their differences and respect them.

There has to be reform of gun control. There has to be the continual stamping out of race hate and crime. Those who perpetrate these crimes should be punished. Those who use deadly force again another person without proper justification should be made to face the consequences.

 

More Brexit silliness

I have been thinking about this post for a long time. I have been wondering how to make sense of it all. For someone who is innately miserable and depressive, I am trying to see the good.

I said in my last blog that we need to pull together as a nation and work for the good of everyone. That seems a far away dream at the moment when rolling news items talk of awful incidents of racist attacks on people who are British citizens but were born in a different country than the UK.

Racism and abusive hate speech should be socially unacceptable. It should be condemned right from the beginning from all political parties what every their differences of opinion may be.

The turmoil within the Labour Party adds fuel to the uncertainty. Within times of crisis, it has been said that the country needs an effective opposition to hold the government to account and to ensure that we come out if this crisis as unscathed and intact as we were before Brexit was announced.

We need to reassure each other that things will be okay. There might be some rough moments but those in the communities should reassure the minorities that they are welcome in our country. Our country is better than racism and hate. Despite the lies that have been bandied around by both sides its time for reconciliation and hope.

The result

I woke up about 7am and looked at my phone to utter shock and dismay. The majority of the people in the UK want to leave the EU. It had been said at the beginning that it was going to be close but it would be the remaining vote that would get the overall majority. This wasn’t the case.

The simple claim that we could automatically funnel the supposed £350 million from the EU to the NHS has been proven to be false even Farage backtracking to claim he never said that in the first place even though it was a big decider in voting to leave.

Billions have been wiped from stocks and shares and I already have seen an advertisement on TV for those people who have lost money and how to claim compensation. This won’t last for today and the stability that we experienced before the referendum will not continue over the coming months and years.

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 13.47.44.png

What do we do now? I am a firm believer in democracy and freedom but when the country decides to vote in such a way that yourself might not agree with we have to respect the majority.

I will continue to fight inequality and racism where ever I see it. I will champion the immigrant who has left their country due to war and conflict. If they need somewhere to go I think our country should be welcoming. You won’t see closed borders despite what the leave campaign have argued.

I will roll my sleeves up and get on with life.

Real fire

One of the things that I have always wanted in my house is a real fire. I know that from being at my grandparents house it always lent a cosy atmosphere to the place. Very homely. I was always put off by people say it will take a lot to clean and all that. But I have  decent central heating to the point that I don’t use the gas fire currently in my house.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 12.35.29.png

I am thinking of possibly an open fire like this or a contained fire in a stove and the technical name ‘inglenook’. There are three chimneys in my house and I know that there are fireplaces in each of the bedrooms. I might explore the possibility of opening them up again and using them on and off. Local council says that you have to use smokeless fuel and this is easily bought from firms in the north east.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 12.37.07.png

Last year my gas bill which includes the boiler for the central heating and a gas hob was approximately £800. I find this extortionate. I am being charged a fixed amount even if I don’t use the gas. What a total rip off. I know that once the fire(s) are cleaned and ready for use that I will look to see what the lowest possible tariff there is for gas. I could use it for times when the house becomes very cold. The amount solid fuel I could get for half of that amount would last beyond a few months during winter months.

 

Giving up (update)

I few weeks I posted a blog about looking towards the future and trying to comprehend life after the death of my mother. The post got me thinking that taking small steps to achieving something was the way forward. I know that from time under the CBT therapist she mentioned about setting smaller goals and putting a step forward in ways I know that could be measured and achievable.

I turned to one of my great loves. Photography? no. Drinking? no. Ogling young men? NO! Just tell us!!!

Food.

It always makes me chuckle when people ask me if I like a certain food as I pat my belly as say I didn’t get this size chomping on sticks of celery. I learned to like all food. It was a given in my household growing up that if you didn’t like what you were given you would go hungry as there was no alternative.

So I decided to make the thing that I really wanted to eat. Gone are the days when people cooked traditional food in the house. It’s now ‘pub food’ or ‘gastronomy delights’ and that sort of crap. I do like meat and I am a fan of the steak and kidney pie. I thought I would try it first rather than the steak and kidney pudding which my grandmother used to make.

So I have cooked and prepared. At the moment the meat is cooking and I have other stuff to do. I haven’t made the pastry from scratch because I don’t want to try everything at the same time and I haven’t made pastry since I was a kid.