Friday, 22 September 2017

Brexit Briefing: The Speech in Florence.

Mrs May delivered her BIG BREXIT  speech in Florence this afternoon.
She confirmed that there will be a 'transition period' of up to two years following the March 2019 deadline.
The UK will be honouring its payments to the EU throughout this period.
Mrs May is seeking a 'bespoke arrangement' with the EU but failed to explain what she actually meant by 'bespoke arrangement.'

It's taken 15 months to get this far.

As I listened to the speech I became quite agitated and then somewhat flummoxed.
Mrs May chose Florence as the destination from where she would deliver her speech.

Describing Florence, Mrs May said:
'It was here, more than anywhere else, that the Renaissance began-a period of history that inspired centuries of creativity and critical thought across our continent and which in many ways defined what it meant to be European. A period of history whose example shaped the modern world. A period of history that teaches us that when we come together in a spirit of ambition and innovation, we have it within ourselves to do great things.'

Er, yes quite. But we are leaving.

And then:
'Indeed, we want to be your strongest friend and partner, as the EU and the UK thrive side by side.'

Er, we WERE friends and partners. But we are leaving the partnership.

And then. And this REALLY annoyed me:
'.....the UK has never totally felt at home being in the European Union. And perhaps because of our history and geography, the European Union never felt to us like an integral part of our national story in the way it does to so many elsewhere in Europe."

Bloody cheek..
I've felt 'European' ever since I went on a school exchange trip to Paris in 1979.

No doubt the Brexit negotiations will trundle on, like a very slow game of badminton.
There will be a lot more 'kicking the can down the road.' A lot more upset and unrest.

At the end of the day The Remainers won't 'win' and neither will the Brexiteers.

A colossal waste of time.
And definitely not 'a great thing.'

Bloody Brexit.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Happy Birthday Radio X

Here is my new 'retro' radio, by the toaster and with the manky back door in frame.
But this little gem of a radio blasts out SO much fun everyday, it brightens my life.
It is tuned to Radio X.

I have listened to XFM since its conception in 1997. I remember many a Saturday afternoon driving to the seafood stall but having to pull over so many times in fits of giggles , tears streaming down my face, listening to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.
The crab and prawns always gave me indigestion as I would be doubled up on the way back home.
Cramped with laughing with a belly full of fresh crab is actually quite painful.

In 1996 I went to see Oasis at Maine Road. It was THE BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE, as anyone who knows me will testify. I still, to this day could bore for England about it but oh what a glorious night.
I was on a high for two whole weeks after the gig and wore my sky blue Oasis T shirt and trackie bottoms to meet my kids from school. proudly, much to their embarrassment. Of course XFM and then Radio X has Oasis as their main man band wise. But wouldn't the listeners be jealous to know that after that magical gig I wandered through the streets of Manchester (absolutely Coronation Street land) back to my hotel. As I tried to navigate the revolving doors a tiny little bloke was being shoved by a huge burly bouncer type of guy. Then I realised the tiny bloke was Noel.
 OH MY GOD.
Somehow I ended up at the after gig party with Liam and Patsy, Noel and Meg, the other band members and all of The Manic Street Preachers. A roadie with the Manic's couldn't believe I had 'dustbin lids' I think the adrenaline took years off me.

The next morning I got the train back to London and it broke down every five minutes. It was the longest train journey but I was just SO happy I didn't care.
The following years had me singing an answer to my kid's questions, it must have been maddening.
'What's for dinner?'  'I'll pick you up at half past three, we'll have lasagna.'
'Oh mum, hurry up'  ' So Sally can wait'
You get the picture. 'Don't look back in anger'
Around my way the birds are singing.
'You've got to make it happen' was a case of misheard lyrics on a car journey when my daughters had a giggly fit as they thought the words were 'you've got a naked husband, you've got a naked husband.'

Music, XFM and now Radio X music has helped me through difficult times.
Every morning I am in stitches listening to Chris Moyles and the team, the teams are so important.
I love Toby Tarrant, Jack Saunders, Dan O Connell, and yes, of course Pippa and Sunta who both add so much to the entertainment even if they are mercilessly ribbed by either Chris or Johnny.
And the most surprising person is definitely Johnny Vaughan, I thought I didn't like him, I don't even know why, perhaps it was bad press. But now, he is my favourite, well him and Gavin 'The Woodman' Woods.
I adore the Saturday 'Kickabout', just a minute of their bantering has me crying with laughter.
I love the way the whole Radio X team gel together and I normally get really annoyed with too much talk when I want music.
But, you guys have smashed it.
Great music, great talk, brilliant camaraderie.
Oasis, Radiohead, Snow Patrol, Kasabian, Coldplay, Bowie, Smashing Pumpkins, Pink Floyd, et al.

Nowadays my kids are grown up so it just leaves me to sing to my dog;'You're in love with a psycho, you're in love with a psycho and there's nothing you can do about it.'

Happy Birthday Radio X.
XX





Brexit in Florence.





artycelia 
I am quite dreading the speech in Florence on Friday. I hope Boris is gagged and chained while Mrs May spouts another load of silly meaningless slogans and soundbites.
' We will survive and thrive following our departure from the European Union '
'We will continue to have a close relationship with our European neighbours.'
' We will be enjoying new trade deals outside of the EU '
'We are stuffed, can we call the whole thing off?'
Boris wriggling out of his chains yelling, 'bus, BUS, what about the BUS? '
Ho hum.
I am sure the EU are shaking in their shoes.
What an embarrassing mess we have gotten ourselves into.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Brexit Lies: Past, Present and Future.


Sometimes I come across an article that is so true to my own feelings and beliefs that I really, really wish I had written it myself.
The following is an excerpt from Alastair Campbell's blog posted on 14 July 2017. Full details can be found at www.alastaircampbell.org/blog.
The post is entitled 'As the national mood shifts, a reminder that the £350m for the NHS was just one of many Brexit lies past present future .'
Note the third paragraph. This week Boris Johnson has returned to his forlorn promise written on the side of the infamous Brexit bus. Liar, Liar, pants on fire.


When the Brexit pathology is studied, hopefully by historians examining how the UK found its reverse gear and pulled back from national self-mutilation, the role of lying will have a prominent place in their analysis of how the return journey to sanity was made.
The £350m extra per week for the NHS is merely the most famous of a whole galaxy of lies on which the Brexit case was built and continues to be pursued. These days, the Brextremists like to say it wasn’t really a promise, so much as a clever campaign tactic, an illustration of what could happen if everything went well. This is, like most things that emerge from the mouths of hardened Brexiteers, disengenuous at best, another lie at worst.
Not even Boris Johnson believes it, or tries to defend it any more. But why should he worry? We live in an era when proven liars rise to be US President, or count their time in the Kremlin in decades not years, or in Johnson’s case get rewarded for his leading role in a campaign of lies with promotion to Foreign Secretary, allowing him to hold on to the belief that he can one day pursue his Churchill Fantasy all the way to Number 10.
Can anyone recall the last time Johnson was challenged over the £350m claim, or its role in helping the Brexiteers to their narrow victory? ‘Boring,’ say the Brextremists. ‘Old news,’ echo the media. ‘Time to shape a Brexit for the many not the few,’ say Labour. ‘Phew,’ says Boris, ‘looks like I got away with it again.’ Like he got away with the lies he told for the Daily Telegraph in his days as Brussels correspondent, when his ‘EU ban on bent bananas’ was but the best known of his post-lunch inventions.
And while the £350m big fat lie on the big red bus may be the one we remember, neither should we forget that LEAVE lied about so much more … we had promises that coming out of the EU would see us building not just more hospitals but ‘hundreds’ of new schools. There would be lower taxes for families and businesses, lower council tax, lower VAT on fuel, no VAT on tampons, higher wages, stronger employment rights, more roads, more money for railways, more cash for regional airports, more pay for junior doctors, abolition of prescription charges, more money for scientific research, equal or more support for universities, regional funds and cultural organisations, more public support for agriculture, more for tax credits, money for steel workers, money for new submarines. We were even going to get more to fix potholes. Lie upon lie upon lie.
Then there was the lie that we would be able to negotiate new trade deals with the US, China, Japan, Canada, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand ‘immediately after we vote Leave.’ Er, like last June 24. How is that going Mr Fox? Not as well as your air miles account. But not to worry eh … after all, these new trade deals that we don’t have and can’t yet negotiate will take effect immediately as we leave the EU. Or not.
And just as they had a nice round number for the extra money for the NHS, they showed the same attention to invented detail with their lie about how many new UK jobs will be created through new trade deals with USA, Japan, ASEAN, India and Mercosur. 284,000 no less. Or not.
We had the lie of the points-based immigration system. We had the lie told to EU citizens currently living in the UK, who subsequently became ‘pawns,’ that there would be no change to their status.
Then there were the trade lies about how we would stay in the single market. At worst, David Davis assured us, we would get a deal with the exact same benefits. Johnson couldn’t have been clearer. ‘There will continue to be free trade, and access to the single market.’ His former pal Michael Gove called it ‘win-win – we maintain free trade, stop sending money and also have control of our borders.’
Oh, but then there was the widely ignored question of that other border, the one between Northern Ireland and the Republic. There was ‘no prospect of security checks returning to the border.’ Promise. Honest guv. ‘There is no reason why the UK’s only land border should be any less open after Brexit than it is today,’ was how then Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers put it. At best, a false promise, at worst a lie.
Lie upon lie upon lie. And before anyone goes all ‘dodgy dossier, 45 minutes’ on me … five inquiries, cleared by all of them. So as a proven teller of truth, I feel well qualified to call out these Lying Brexit Bastards.
A new Big Lie is currently entering the Big Lie lexicon. It is that 51.9 percent having voted LEAVE last June 23 – National Self-Harm Day – the number has now risen to over 80percent. The thinking is that given neither Tory nor Labour committed themselves to reversing Brexit, that means anyone who voted for either is now signed up to it. And as the only avowedly anti-Brexit parties did not set the electoral heather on fire – the SNP slipping back, the Lib Dems failing to cut through with their pledge of a second referendum, the Greens struggling to make gains – so far as the Brextremists are concerned, the debate about whether we leave really is over. But it really isn’t, is it? In fact, might the reason the Brexiteers are getting a bit panicky is that they know from their contacts in their constituencies, and from businesses in virtually every sector, that with every day the Brexit cliff-edge gets closer, the desire to pull back gets stronger?
I am one of those 80percent. I voted Labour. Partly out of tribal loyalty. But also, as I wrote in The New European shortly after the election was called, to stop Theresa May getting the mandate she sought for a hard Brexit at any cost. We all have our own reasons for voting this way or that, and I know I am far from being alone in saying that was mine. It is also true that if Mrs May had secured the landslide she sought and expected, she would have had the mandate to do what was set out in her manifesto. But she didn’t, so she doesn’t, and that is why she is reduced to a pathetic relaunch founded on pleas to other parties to share their ideas with her.
What neither she nor Jeremy Corbyn nor anyone else is entitled to do is to assume, let alone state, that those who voted Labour at the last election did so as an expression of support for Brexit. And if Labour stick with their current position, which is far too close to the government’s to be of any meaningful difference, then not just old tribal loyalties, but I suspect the support of many of the younger people Corbyn motivated to vote Labour, will be tested.
There is undoubtedly a shift against Brexit taking place, but with scant reflection of that in Parliament. Day after day, whether it is economic bad news, or another sector or individual calling for a rethink, we see that change, even with a media largely determined to shut real debate down. And just look at how even among the true believing Brextremists the debate has shifted. They have gone from a pre-referendum posture of ‘Brexit is going to be absolutely brilliant’ to ‘we know it is not going to be brilliant, but there will be a lot of trouble if we don’t deliver it.’
Even the most ardent among them have stopped making any effort to argue, that Britain will be better off. At the weekend, the Brextremist ‘line to take,’ circulated to their little band of ideologues from Brexit Central, was that democracy itself would have to be questioned unless Brexit was delivered, as voted for last June. So even they, it seems, no longer think Brexit should happen because it is good for the country, but simply because the country voted for it, at one moment in time.
There are however two other elements of democracy worth mentioning – and they are related. One is the role of truth. The other is the right of people to change their mind. And partly because the public now has a clear sense not only that they were lied to during the referendum, but that they are now being fed a different set of lies about how pain-free Brexit will be, they are beginning to doubt the good sense of exiting the EU, and moving to the idea that the country may need to take another look at this.
So it may well be that though the Lib Dems’ central line on a ‘final deal’ second referendum was rejected at the election as the two party hegemony reasserted itself, that is where we end up. Democracy, dare I suggest to the Johnsons of this world, may end up demanding it.
Meanwhile, as the economic reasons to change course mount, the Brextremists and their cheerleading papers are reduced to taking at 100percent face value the word of Donald Trump, who in a succession of bilaterals at the G20 Summit said pretty much whatever the person in the square comfy chair next to him wanted to hear, even if it was directly contradicted either by something he had said in a previous meeting to a previous square comfy chair incumbent, or to an audience back home.
Watching Theresa May lap up his meaningless promise of a great trade deal, which he was going to do very quickly – of course he will, he is Superman – was to wonder what part of ‘America First’ she fails to grasp. It was also to realize that she, like her plans for Brexit, are weakened beyond repair. As a result, Vince Cable is not the only one thinking Brexit may never actually happen.
Written by Alastair Campbell 14 July 2017 

Friday, 8 September 2017

Politicians Discuss The EU Withdrawal Bill. aka 'An Astonishing Monstrosity.'


artycelia 
'The Bill, as it stands is an astonishing monstrosity.' Dominic Grieve, Conservative, Beaconsfield, gives his opinion on the EU Withdrawal Bill this afternoon. (7/9/2017)

Tom Brake (Lib Dem Spokesperson, Exiting the European Union) described the Bill as 'a sow's ear, and a 'power grab' by ministers.He has deep concerns regarding Human Rights.

There are concerns in The House that by exiting the EU, Great Britain will have a less democratic society than it has now. Immigration, Economic Independence and Sovereignty are major issues.

There are worries about the Henry V111 Clauses particularly Clause 7 and Clause 9. The fact that the Bill does not deliver any clarity is another cause for concern.
There appears to be a lack of safeguards in place.

So all in all it does indeed appear that The Bill, in its present form is 'an astonishing monstrosity.'

To be continued.


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Brexit Today.




artycelia 
Surely a 'vote of no-confidence' should now be the order of the day?
Mrs May's handling of the Brexit negotiations is embarrassing and damaging. There will still be a Europe across the beautiful briny sea long after the British ship has sunk but does May realise this I wonder.
She needs reining in , shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted will not wash.
We need sensible, fair and level headed policies to lead us out of Europe.
But how I wish we could just stay.
Mrs May is not inspiring confidence for the future of Great Britain.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Brexit Briefing.




artycelia 
Will the government stop spinning and telling porkies please?!
There is no mandate for Brexit.
There is no consensus of opinion as to what Brexit will do for the future of Britain.
The referendum vote was to stay or leave.
Stay with what or leave with what?
Who on earth knows or knew?
Bloody shambles. A disgrace.
Politicians should hang their heads in shame.
I'm alright Jack no longer cuts it.
My Conservative MP is as old as Methusalah, nice house etc totally unable to rebel against his own beliefs.
Am really fed up with the status quo.
I want to stay within the EU.
Rather there than here in an uncomfortable and disconcerting Little Britain.

Friday, 1 September 2017

My Polish Friend.

Jay.

I take my dog for a long walk everyday and everyday is a different experience. Today I noticed a lot of Jays flying about. I love Jays.  I am always delighted to see such a magnificent blue flash appearing overhead. But there is another reason that I am always pleased to see a Jay.

About ten years ago I was working in a dental studio. The man who ran the studio fancied himself as a bit of a ladies' man but I wasn't interested in him at all. It was the old man who did the technical work who held me in thrall. His name was Heinz and he was in his early seventies. He was short and round, his cropped hair was grey and he had made his own teeth. He was Polish. We became great friends. We made a very unlikely couple. Me, tall and slim and quite a bit younger than him. I suppose people presumed him to be my dad but he came to mean much more to me than a surrogate parent. He was so kind even though he had lived through terrible times. He described being poverty stricken while growing up in Poland, he told of his escape from his homeland and his tough life in Britain. But he never felt sorry for himself, just grateful for the life he had made. Always the under-dog, he seemed to accept that his dentistry skills would be taken advantage of by people less skilled in technique but more polished in talk than himself.
We went out for lots of meals.  He would dress up for our evenings and always wore his hat. He had impeccable manners. He would stand up in the restaurant until he had seen me settled and then would make a grand gesture of seating himself, placing hat and gloves neatly on the table next to him. The waiter would not be permitted to remove them to the cloakroom. It was these little gestures that I found so charming.
We would chat and laugh for hours, I can't even remember what we talked about but simply feel a rosy glow at the memories.
I did remember one occasion however when he told me about his 'hunting hat' that he had had for years. He used to have a Jay's feather poked in the rim but had lost it.
The day after this particular evening I was out in the park with my dog, (this was Alfie, my previous dog) and lo and behold a Jay's feather fell to the ground. I should have been astonished but I wasn't. It was one of those magical, mysterious things that happen sometimes. Best not to reason why.
I will never forget the look on Heinz' face later that day when I handed him the feather. Years seemed to fall away  and his eyes filled with tears.(So did mine). A magical link between us was cemented with that feather.
On Valentine's Day that year , 2007, my phone rang and it was Heinz. He wished me Happy Valentine's Day  and thanked me for being such a lovely lady and good friend. He said he never expected he would find such happiness so late in his life and that our friendship had made him a very happy old man.

Out of the blue Heinz received a phone call from an old ex-colleague asking him to go and work for him in Sierra Leone. Most old men ( and Heinz was an old man, not sprightly and fit) would not have given this idea a second thought, but not Heinz.
Off he went with his feather in his cap.

I received a letter from him, inside were a few photos of him in Sierra Leone. Smiling at me with his lovely kind eyes. He looked pretty pleased with himself. He returned to the UK to sell his house and  tie up some loose ends.

Then came the phone call. Heinz told me he was gravely ill. He also told me he didn't want to see me. He wanted me to remember him in happy times, looking well.
 Death came and took him swiftly away.
I loved that man. The memories of our funny friendship will stay with me forever.
The Jay is a lovely reminder of our time together.

September.

Persephone and the Pomegranate Seeds
Oil on paper by Celia Turner.

September...Autumn...Winter...Spring

The trees flush red and drop their leaves, the flowers wither and the crops stop growing.
Persephone has travelled to the Underworld and Demeter roams the earth missing her daughter.
But Spring will come again and Persephone will return to her mother.
The grasses will become green, the flowers will bloom, the trees will sport blossom, then leaves and then fruit.
Demeter and Persephone will walk hand in hand, talking and singing and laughing and the evening primroses will open just to see them passing by.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Live Forever.

This is a photograph of me and my eldest daughter, she is thirty years old now. The photo was taken by her grand-dad on holiday in Spain.
I had Emily when I was 23.
I had no plan for our lives, other than to be happy.
The early years of my marriage and motherhood were lovely. We owned our house (well, with a mortgage) my husband had a good job in The City and I was a stay-at-home mum. Me and Emily had a blissful couple of years. Then when I was pregnant with my second child, my husband lost his job and the recession kicked in. Our riches turned to poverty.
Our freedoms turned into prisons. The prison of poverty and depression.
My husband fell into a despair. But I had two young people to nurture.
A lot of people were in the same boat and we all helped each other out, some managed to stay strong while others fell by the wayside.
Then circumstances picked up again and we were OK for a while. My husband chose to spend a lot of time in the pub, but that was alright with me as it just meant that I could enjoy my two precious daughters.
I ignored my husband's mood swings. I was too busy playing with my daughters and my nieces and nephews. I absolutely adored being a mum, an auntie, a sister-in-law.
There are good memories: lovely restaurants when my husband was working, Bibendum was a firm favourite with its swish, ridiculously handsome waiters delivering outstandingly good food.
Oh and the brilliant gigs.  Oasis and  Pink Floyd in 1996 resonate in my memory. The Oasis gig will live me forever. That night in the stadium at Maine Road was easily the best night of my life. I remember feeling the years falling away, I danced and sang like a teenager, I laughed and cried, the atmosphere was electric and the adrenaline was pumping. I was on a high for about two weeks after the gig, silly smile glued to my face and managing to get a lyric into nearly every conversation. 'I'll pick you up at half past three- we'll have LASAGNAAAAA.' I must have driven everyone potty.
But there were nagging problems in the marriage. A sense of isolation. My husband was never there. He missed birthday parties, births, joyous special individual moments.
He was an angry man. But I remained oblivious to this anger, in fact I found it boring- which is weird, but then I had been brought up by an angry dad so maybe the anger or discontent didn't have the desired affect he wished to pronounce on me?
Life went on.
The girls thrived. We got a dog- Alfie, a black Labrador.
Emily went travelling while my younger daughter attended college. My husband was still in the pub.

My brother became seriously ill. My sister-in-law and I were very close, our children had grown up together and I love her very much. My poor brother died slowly, bit by bit really, over the course of three years from a brain tumour. He died on November 8th 2002.

But on the night of 7th November 2002, my husband complained of a bad headache which turned out to be a brain haemorrhage.
A real nightmare ensued.

My husband 'recovered' although when he awoke from nine hours of life saving surgery, he said he wished he had died.

Still, we ploughed on.

Then, in 2007, our car broke down.

How silly is life?
I suggested to my husband that the car had overheated and we needed to let it cool, replace the water and start it up again. My husband was enraged at this suggestion and threw a very large, very heavy bunch of keys at me, hitting me in the face.
A young boy, walking past witnessed this and it was the look on his face that ended my marriage.
The disbelief at the anger, the over-reaction, the bullying behaviour? I don't know. But the look in that young boy's eyes changed my outlook forever. And I thank him for opening my eyes, to my marriage and the direction of my life.


Fast forward ten years.
I live in a funny old rented house. I live with Emily and our dog, Billy, a chocolate Labrador. My younger daughter lives nearby with her partner who is lovely.

We are happy, we love each other, support each other  and life goes on.

Emily is pregnant with my first grandchild.

I am writing a lot.
My dad is relying on me to help him now that he is old and alone.
My sister-in-law is content and has carved out a new life for herself and her family.
My ex is still in the pub.

Life goes on.
Round our way the birds are singing.
Round our way the sun shines bright.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Brexit: Policy?









I watched an interesting 'A Conversation With...'  programme the other day, the guest being Nigel Lawson. (Ex- Chancellor under Margaret Thatcher))

Mr Lawson was explaining that although he backed Brexit and thought it about time we left the European Union he was at pains to explain the crucial points of policy.
Policy. Policy. Policy. 
He could not re-iterate his point enough. 
No decision, he said was a good decision unless the policy behind it, ahead of it and by its side (my words) was well researched, strong and ultimately do-able and in the best interests of Britain.
A weak policy should not be given the light of day.

In my opinion, there was never ANY policy for Brexit.

Although I am a Remainer I believe for the sake of democracy that Brexit is sent back to the drawing board.

When (and if) a sound Brexit POLICY is written it can then be discussed in The House and The House of Lords and then ( after amendments and in full) be given into the public domain.

After a period in which we can absorb, research and examine the policy we will be invited to vote in another referendum. 

Meanwhile the 2016 referendum is declared null and void.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

When No News is Good News.

The Tooth Fairy. Oil on canvas.  Celia Turner.

A little while ago I found myself sitting in the dentist's waiting room. I don't mind visiting the dentist, in fact I actually quite enjoy it, so different is the experience compared to when I was a child. Back then it was such a gruesome affair, brutal even, compared to modern day dentistry   I remember the waiting room of yesteryear, very uncomfortable rickety chairs, peeling paint and pictures of gnarled old trees adorned the walls. My brothers and I would make up stories about those trees, anything to keep our minds from Mr Paddyachy, he of the white coat and cruel intentions.

In the surgery of modern times there are no pictures or peeling paint. On the wall is a flat screen television. Sky News is on all the time. We, the patients, are treated to scenes of utter devastation, tiny babies being pulled from the aftermath of an earthquake, dusty faces and bewildered eyes stare at us from the ruins. We see a shot of a bedroom hanging from the side of a building, the bed has a red bedspread. Old women, bent over, wander amid the debris, headscarves askew, crinkly eyes crying. The scene is eerily silent. It is also silent in the waiting room.
Next on the screen is a big man shouting and pointing at an audience. He waves his arms about, he has weird hair and for some reason seems a bit threatening.
Next up are tanks and soldiers, BOOM and BANG and bodies under blankets.

Then, just like that, we are given the latest sports report. This has always confused me. Why IS sport so important? Why is it on the News? It seems distasteful to end a distressing news report with a downcast description of a lost football match.

The children in the waiting room look uncomfortable but there is nothing for them to do except watch the television.

Figures from the NSPCC's  Childline Service show the number of children and young people looking for help with anxiety has jumped sharply, the report states that there were 11,706 counselling sessions where anxiety was mentioned in 2015-2016,This is an increase of more than a third (35%) on the previous year. The report also states that the problem seems to be getting worse, with provisional figures showing that from April to September the service dealt with an average of more than 1000 cases of anxiety a month. Children as young as eight have called the service to discuss their fears, with girls seven times more likely to contact Childline than boys.
Childline president, Esther Rantzen said children and young people are sometimes upset by world events, " Seeing pictures of crying and bewildered toddlers being pulled from bomb damaged homes upsets all of us," she said. "Often we fail to notice the impact the stories are having on young people."

I can absolutely relate to this; I can remember seeing footage from the Vietnam war when I was a very young child and being really, really upset by it.  'The News' was then deemed to be a 'grown-up' programme and I never dared to break the serious silence my parents kept up when watching it.Therefore I didn't ask what was going on, I simply remained haunted by the terrible pictures I had seen.

We now have 24 hour news channels, often the news is just there,as background noise but it is important that we realise that all this 'news' can be overwhelming and frightening to children. We must try to educate and reassure our young people and to take care that they are not overly exposed to violent and dramatic scenes on an everyday basis and to keep 'news' in context. After all 'The News' rarely exposes its audience to 'good news.'

On my next visit to the dentist I took the painting pictured above, I told him it was a gift for the young people to look at while waiting for their appointments. He told me they have the news to watch and I replied that the news was often too grim for such a young audience. He said it was real life.
If I was a child again I think I'd rather look at a pretty painting than at a screen full of crumpled buildings and sad looking grandparents wandering around in a daze.
Real life can wait.

We'll see if he puts the painting on display. I hope he does.


@artycelia



Saturday, 19 August 2017

Brexit: A Mistake or a Calamity?






Last year, after the result of the referendum the mood of the Brexiteers was high, they were delighted in their ' win.' As a Remainer I was shocked and disappointed at the result but took it upon myself to wonder why and how I had misread the mood of the nation.
I maintain my view that for a lot of people the EU Referendum vote was a protest vote against personal circumstances.
However, the vote was to leave the EU and now (perversely) I feel those brazen Brexiteers have been dealt a disservice. Those very ideals they voted for have been broken down, put into a transition period or diluted as to make them an irrelevance.
The lies on the bus are known as lies on the bus.
The politicians are the last at the party propped up against the fridge, in the kitchen, staring into the dregs. Or they are not at the party at all. They weren't invited.
Ironically the Europe we voted to leave in 2016 is now on its uppers. France and Germany are enjoying a reconciliation in friendship.
Europe is united against the threat and incidence of terrorism.
The Brexit negotiations are a disaster and an embarrassment.
Europe is laughing at Little Britain.
Our demands will not be met.
We seem to be asking for all the benefits of membership of the union but simply do not want to pay the administration fees.
Great Britain will be far better off in the European Union.
It wasn't broke therefore why fix it?
Britain will be isolated, financially worse off, disrespected and alone if we leave the EU.
Exit Brexit.
Future generations will accept a mistake but not a calamity.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Comment: No Child Is Born Evil.


People are not 'born' evil.
These terrorists have 'learned' to take an evil path. Therefore someone has 'taught' them to believe the path of their evil is not only the correct path but a path that will lead them to some sort of honour and martyrdom.
Someone has 'taught' them to such an extent that we can say 'brainwashed' them to truly believe their views are correct but not only that, they are brainwashed to believe that the views of others are not simply incorrect but abhorrently wrong, distasteful and disgusting.
They are taught to disrespect western civilisation- yet curiously don't mind living in a western civilisation alongside members of their extended families.
They find themselves living within a tolerant society yet they themselves are intolerant to the extreme.
They find themselves torn in a frustration of secretly wanting to be a 'westerner' while being brainwashed into seeing western society as the root of all evil.
Who is playing with their emotions? Who is sending a drip, drip, drip set of notions into their heads? Who is preying on the mixed up emotions of teenagers? An age when it is perfectly acceptable to rebel. Yes, maybe get ten earrings or a few tattoos as in Western society. But to rebel in Islamic enclaves?  Do they choose their own rebellion? Are they actively encouraged to the path of extremism, carnage, murder?
The bottom line is with the Imams. They MUST take more responsibility within their communities. They must be held to greater account on the behaviours of those in their midst. The Muslim communities and Muslim families must step up and take responsibility.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Exit Brexit



I brought my dad back from his hospital stay today. He is 81. He has been fitted with a pacemaker. The hospital staff have been absolutely brilliant, kind and lovely. To his surprise though dad admitted that they were all ' Bloody foreigners. ' As he walked back through his front door I reminded him that without those bloody foreigners he would have been carried out of his house in a long box.
He voted to Brexit.
Britain, wake up and smell the coffee.
Exit Brexit.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Exit Brexit





Exit Brexit.
Politicians come and go. As do their egos.
Britain is European.
Little Britain is long gone.
Wake up and enjoy your life.
Strong coffee and a croissant.
That's breakfast sorted.
A chicken and chorizo pasta lunch.
With a glass of red.
Coq au vin for dinner with crusty French bread and a Fitou.
Let's embrace our union rather than leave the party, empty handed, alone and bored. Only to return to an empty flat and a bowl of cornflakes.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Brexit: Transition Period



Brexit died a death as soon as the words 'transition period' were mentioned. 

They appear in every article concerning the process of leaving the EU and are pounced upon by our cousins in the EU. (Quite rightly in my opinion as the words make a mockery of the 'leaving process.')

You can't 'leave' a little bit and over time.
You announce the time of your departure and on that date you leave.

The good thing being that once you have left you could perhaps return.

Our government's dithering, hesitating ,faltering and fluctuating position over Brexit, what it actually means and when it will take place will be the death of it.

'Transition period' has been eased into the Brexit talks to replace the non-entity that was ' No deal is better than a bad deal.'

The Leavers have been well and truly duped.




Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Chaotic Politics


Britain is in chaos and our politicians are to blame.
I think the problem lies with too many 'career politicians.' We see this so much today and it must alienate a lot of voters who are struggling with everyday, real-life issues.
There's nothing more annoying than listening to views about the NHS, the rail service, dealing with bureaucracy,  the reality of unemployment, social care etc from people who have never experienced these issues.

Also, it seems to me that politicians have a mind-set that is fact based, but that's all. They seem to be lacking in intuition, and that all important sixth sense.
They simply don't 'understand' people.

This was so evident in the EU referendum. People were pleased to be given a voice but that voice wasn't really to do with our membership of the EU. For a lot of people it was a protest vote against their personal circumstances. Their lives were hard, they wanted something to blame.

If the question in the referendum had been: Do you believe our membership of the EU to be disparaging to your life chances? Yes/No.  What would the result have been?

People would have wondered what on earth they were voting for or against.

And since the referendum those very people who thought their voice had been heard are now finding that actually it hadn't.

The same goes in the US. Rallying calls for a 'Very big this or a very big that' won over the voters.

We need politicians who have lived a life outside of parliament. Real men and women who are in touch with real people.

People who can 'read' the mood of the nation, empathise and really want to work toward a better future.

Brexit: The Battle of the Lions and the Leopards


The Leopards, David Davis, Boris Johnson, Liam fox and Michael Gove, the advocates of Brexit presented us with a situation where Britain would be better off both politically and economically.
To adopt or even envisage the compromises necessary for agreement with the rest of the EU would be to recognise that Brexit was sold to the British electorate on a false prospectus.
Far from improving the UK's position in the world Brexit can only diminish it.
The Brexit choices are:
Minimum change from the status quo.
Maximum change from the status quo.
Half-way house between the two.

All of which are inferior to the present state of affairs.

The Lions, Philip Hammond, Damien Green and Amber Rudd need to ROAR.

Mrs May needs to admit that Britain needs to Exit Brexit , and take herself off into the long grass to lick her wounds. 

The Leopards have never been and never will be the kings of the jungle.

Brexit: A State of Emergency.


As a UK citizen residing within the European Union can I declare a 'State of Emergency'

My reasons:
A really rather reckless referendum.
A lot of porkies.
A minority government in disarray.
A total confusion on exit strategy.
A Prime Minister on her last legs.
A total lack of cohesion within the government.
A feeling of absolute dread that my country is making the biggest mistake in its entire history.

As a nation clinging onto the our membership of the EU are there ANY statutes that the EU can bring forth to change the direction we are going in? Over the edge of the cliff that is.
Please Macron, Merkel etc hatch a plan and save us from ourselves.
Even if it's a gracious (but long) breathing space while our annoying politicians sort themselves out.

Sophia Loren.



"Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical."

"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful."

"If you haven't cried, your eyes can't be beautiful."

Monday, 17 July 2017

Brexit Today.


Brexit has turned into Hard Brexit or No Deal Brexit. 
What happened to 'the best deal for Britain'?
Why is David Davis allowed to decide that we to leave the customs union and the single market?
Did every voter in the referendum know the difference between the  customs union and the single market and did they take their studious views as a basis for our future trading relations with Europe?
Does it not seem unarguable that if we put between us and the biggest free market in the world new tariffs, new regulatory barriers, new customs procedures, certificates of origin etc we are bound to be weakening the economic position from what it would otherwise have been?

Why are we going backwards?

Why are we allowing ourselves to be so distracted by Brexit to the exclusion of what needs to be done for the future?

The NHS, schools, the workplace, communities, the retired, the young, the old, all are  affected by this backward looking nonsense that is Brexit because they are not getting the attention they deserve.

All Britain's allies and friends, from Australia, Canada, India, Japan and the US to London's 27 EU partners had urged British voters to Remain in the EU. It is hard to think of anyone beyond Britain's borders who is happy with this stupid decision to Brexit. 

Mrs May needs to don her 'Revolutionary' hat and find a way of aborting Brexit in order that she can get on with the job as PM.

It might do wonders for her future. Be brave Mrs May. SAVE YOUR NATION.