anything that interests, annoys, intrigues or amuses me

No not in that way! 🙄

Two years after my last post 😳 I’ve been playing around with WordPress themes and changing the look of my blog.

I’ve also been trying to work out how to add pages (and get them to show as a link on the front page… unsuccessfully so far!)

The reason for this? I’m considering revamping work’s website and using WordPress for it, this is partially to ensure the website stays future-proof and usable on all platforms, like smart phones, tablets, etc. as well as the old fashioned static PC!

So, just in case you pop in for a quick visit and see things changing or looking broken, please bear with me and of course come back for another look at (hopefully) a perfectly working site!

September 3rd, 2015 at 10:15 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Has it really been 5 years since my last post? I’m amazed to see my blog is still here and even more amazed that it looks the same and actually works on a tablet!
A lot has changed! My grandson, Lucas, is now almost 7yrs old and is a little demon ice hockey player. My son, his girlfriend and Lucas have left Liverpool and moved much nearer to me 🙂
I have changed employer and now work for Add+up, the charity/support group that supported me and my youngest son with his ADHD and I’ve met some fantastic people and made some amazing friends. Give Add+up’s website a visit to find out more about ADHD and the work we do.
Hopefully it won’t be so long until my next entry!

September 30th, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Yesterday, after having drunk several coffees, as I walked past the gym I go to, I needed a pee. Nearest and cleanest loo? In the gym, I looked up at the windows and saw the lights were still on so I nipped up the stairs and straight into the loo. When I came out of the loo a moment later the relief I’d felt just a few seconds before changed into a kind of panic… All the staff had gone home and I was locked in!!!! Luckily I found a list of the instructors mobile numbers on the wall in the office and begun ringing the two that had been on duty when I was in there earlier… Voicemail arghhhhh! I rang a friend and said “Guess where I am?” then proceeded to tell her what had happened. While laughing her socks off, she said she’d try ringing the instructor for me too. Eventually, after what seemed an age, but in reality was probably only 10 – 15 minutes, Nikki, my instructor, arrived to free me, although she was almost wetting herself laughing. I would have been wetting myself too if I hadn’t already relieved myself! 😀

June 2nd, 2008 at 9:28 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

A lot has happened since I last posted here. The worst thing was I guess I was going through some kind of depression. I didn’t want to socialise with anyone. All I really did was get up & go to work (most of the time I didn’t even want to do that), then sit like a couch potato watching TV when I got home.
Things improved though. First, in November 2007, I joined a new kind of gym called Gymophobics. Gymophobics was designed to suit women like me who don’t like exercise or popular types of gyms full of Lycra clad skinny women. Believe it or not I go to Gymophobics 3 to 4 times a week and I love it!

The second big change I made in my life was in January 2008, when I quit smoking! I’ve not had a cigarette since January 7th 😀

My latest challenge, and perhaps it’s going to be the biggest change of all, is to lose weight.
On May 14th I started on a weight loss programme called LighterLife and by yesterday, just 11 days later, when I was weighed by my counsellor, I had lost a whopping 1st 1lb (7kg)!! 😀 I’ve still a long way to go, but I’m determined to succeed.

May 26th, 2008 at 8:32 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll know that I’m a West Ham Utd fan, but yesterday I saw something on TV that made me feel so proud of another team’s fans… the Kopites of Liverpool FC.

Yesterday was the Third Round of The FA Cup and Liverpool were playing against Arsenal. It was being televised live on the BBC. The Kopites decided it was a perfect opportunity to gain maximum exposure for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and show their feelings to the BBC about them employing Kelvin MacKenzie.
They made banners and organised a mosaic made from red and white cards, spelling out “The Truth” to be displayed in The Kop, while chanting “Justice for the 96” for the first 6 minutes of the match. The relevance of the 6 minutes is how long the Semi-Final FA Cup Tie in April 1989 was played for before being halted.

The Truth Mosaic in The Kop – Photo used with kind permission of Stephen Poynor (redforlife at RAWK)

In the weeks before Christmas it was revealed that Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of The Sun newspaper, had been hired by the BBC to present a Christmas Day programme on BBC Radio 5 Live. Liverpool fans were horrified to hear about this, how could the BBC employ this man to present a show for them at all, let alone on Christmas Day? On many forums petitions were organised (11,000 signatures were collected), and many sent emails to the BBC complaining about the choice of presenter. They did have a small success with these actions with the programme being moved to Christmas Eve.

On the 15th of April 1989 a dreadful tragedy took place at the very start of the FA Cup semi-final game held at Hillsborough and it cost 96 Liverpool fans their lives.

As of today, the bereaved families and those fans that were injured and/or mentally scarred by the events of that tragic day have not seen justice done. Despite an inquiry by Lord Justice Taylor, which stated that the official cause of the disaster was the failure of police control, many people still (wrongly) believe it was caused by the fans turning up drunk and late for the match and forcing open a gate which led to the fans being driven by momentum into the narrow tunnel that lead to two, already overcrowded, centre pens in the Leppings Lane End of the stadium. Yes, many fans were late arriving, mainly due to traffic delays and a large crowd did build up outside the turnstiles, but instead of delaying the kick-off, a decision was made, by the police, to open a set of exit gates and allow the fans to get in quickly. More and more fans were entering the pens, completely unaware that fans at the front of the pens were being crushed against the fencing at the front.

As fans were having the life literally squeezed out of them, the game kicked off. Despite pleas for help from the fans, the police did nothing to help. In fact not only did they do nothing to help, they actually tried pushing fans, who had managed to climb over the fence, back into the pens. 6 minutes into the game the police finally realised this was not an attempted pitch invasion, but was a life threatening situation and the game was stopped.

Still the catalogue of errors by the police continued. While fans were doing their best to help fellow fans escape, were attempting to save lives, give the kiss of life and CPR to dying men, women & children, the police refused to allow the many ambulances and paramedics waiting outside the ground access to the pitch and the dying and injured. Fans tore down advertising boards and used them as makeshift stretchers, running across the pitch with them trying to get them badly needed medical assistance.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the national press carried stories over the following days of shocking behaviour by Liverpool fans towards the police & the victims. The editor of The Sun newspaper, Kelvin MacKenzie, even used the front page headline “THE TRUTH” with “Some fans picked pockets of victims”, “Some fans urinated on the brave cops” and “Some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life” as sub-headlines. The story that followed these headlines claimed that fans had attacked, robbed and urinated on police officers, ambulance crews, firemen and victims. These claims were very quickly found to be untrue and all the newspapers published a full apology immediately, all except The Sun newspaper that is.

The people of Liverpool and Liverpool fans countrywide were incensed by the headlines and to this day a boycott of The Sun continues strongly, with people refusing to even read it, let alone buy it. A lot of newsagents in Liverpool still refuse to stock the paper.

It took just over 15 years for The Sun to publish an apology, a cynical attempt to regain a circulation that has never recovered from the boycott on Merseyside, an apology that went on to blame rival papers for a “campaign of hate” against The Sun.

Kelvin MacKenzie further angered the people of Liverpool and the fans as recently as November 2006 by saying he’d only apologised in 2004 because Rupert Murdoch, The Sun’s owner, had ordered him to. He said “I was not sorry then and I’m not sorry now”.

Relevant links:
The Hillsborough Justice Campaign
Video footage of ‘The Truth’ protest
Jimmy McGovern’s Hillsborough Docu-Drama

January 7th, 2007 at 2:18 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Lucas Caleb Marsh, my first grandchild!

He was born on 18th November 2006 at 9.23pm, and weighed a very healthy 8lbs 9½oz (3.900kg) and measured 23″ (58cm) long.
My lovely ‘daughter-in-law’ let me be in the delivery suite for her labour and his birth, and I am so glad she did, it was a wonderful experience to see my first grandchild enter the world. My son and I both cried tears of joy when he was born. Mother & son are both doing very well.

Proud daddy holding Lucas at 16 minutes old

14 hours old

2 days old

4 days old with his great grandmother

The last photo I took before leaving to come home

November 24th, 2006 at 3:12 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Today Dom made me so proud to have him as a son 😀

As some of you may know, he has ADHD and has caused me plenty of heartache and stress over recent years.
On Monday 4th September he started a one week LIFE Course with the London Fire Brigade.
I wasn’t sure he’d complete the week, especially as he hasn’t even managed to attend more than a couple of hours education in the past year, but yesterday was his “Passing Out” ceremony!!

The week started with 14 young people taking part in the course and ended with just 9 completing it. During the week they had to learn how to use the hoses, climb ladders safely, rescue ‘people’, use breathing apparatus in a pitch black, smoke filled building and become part of a team. each achievement was recognised with a certificate which made a collection of them and put into a portfolio, which they can use as references when applying for jobs (it’ll even help them get into the Fire Service if they want to do that).

Yesterday was the final day and parents, carers, friends and local dignitaries were invited to watch the young people put on a display of what they’d learnt during the week and to watch them being presented with their portfolios and a lovely framed photo of the whole team and the LIFE Trainers (fire fighters who volunteer on their days off to help these kids) posing in front of a fire engine.

Here are a few photos from the day…

Roll call at the start of the display
Roll call at the start of the display.
Dom (the one with no helmet on) and 3 others watching other kids & the firemen having a 'Hose Race'
Dom (the one not wearing a helmet) and others watching kids vs firemen in a ‘hose race’
The fire engine 'arriving at a shout'.
The fire engine ‘arriving at a shout’. Dom is sat in the back.

Dom climbing a ladder to do a ‘rescue’.
Dom rescuing a 'victim' from a 'fire'.
Dom rescuing a ‘victim’ from a ‘fire’.
Dom helping to take the 'victim' to the first aid post.
Dom helping to take the ‘victim’ to the first aid post.
End of 'duty' roll call
End of ‘duty’ roll call.
Getting into postion ready for presentations.
Getting into postion ready for presentations.
Dom receiving his portfolio & framed photo from his LiFE Trainer, Chris.
Dom receiving his portfolio & framed photo from his LIFE Trainer, Chris.
Clutching his portfolio and photo, so proud of himself, he's finally achieved something good
Clutching his portfolio and photo, so proud of himself, he’s finally achieved something good 😀
The wonderful guys who gave up their free time to help these kids.
The wonderful guys who gave up their free time to help these kids.

Well done son, I’m so very, very proud of you!! 😀

September 9th, 2006 at 12:29 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

I had a lovely, long overdue, lay in today, getting up at 9am . The weather was glorious, clear blue skies, lots of sunshine and temps of mid to high 20’s.

What better way to spend it than sitting watching hunky firemen? I had been invited to go along to a local fire station to see the ‘passing out’ parade of some kids who had spent a week taking part in a ‘Life’ course run by the London Fire Brigade. These kids get to learn how to roll out the hoses, put out ‘fires’ (not real ones), rescue people from burning buildings and car accidents, climb ladders safely, how to put casualties into the recovery position and to check they’re breathing ok. They also get to wear the full fireman’s kit all week, and learn how to use the breathing apparatus and even get to ride in a fire engine. It’s not all fun & games for these kids though, they have to follow strict rules & regulations otherwise they’re off the course. Out of the 17 kids that started this week, only 12 made it to the end of the week, and those 12 looked so proud of their achievement when they were presented with a portfolio containing all their achievements of the week and a lovely framed photo of the whole group dressed in full fireman kit, and the firemen who trained them, posing in front of a fire engine. After that we were given a lovely lunch, provided by the Fire Brigade.

The beauty of this is… I have another day like it to look forward to, as my youngest son is being referred to take part in the course, so I’ll get to see him at his passing out parade 😀

June 9th, 2006 at 7:36 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

To Andy, the Man Utd fan, who lives in Cardiff, thank you so much for your wonderful generosity & hospitality. You made the 2 Hammers fans & 5 Liverpool fans very happy by inviting us in to your lovely home to watch the match, when we had been unable to find anywhere else to watch it and had begun to believe we would miss the whole game.
Thank you from Lyn, Dominic, Bradley, Lo, Mark, Sarah & Chahine 😀

May 14th, 2006 at 8:01 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

I eventually arrived in Cardiff after a 4½ hour drive, the traffic was snail pace for a while once we got into Wales. The West Ham Fans car park was miles away from the city centre and they provided a ‘free’ bus service to get us from the car park to the city centre (they made up for that by charging £10 to park tho). After lots of phone calls and fighting our way through thousands of fans from both teams, we eventually found my eldest son & his girlfriend. Two hours later the crowd began to thin a little as fans made their way into the Millenium Stadium for the match and we attempted to fight our way into the pub to watch the match on a tiny TV. The pub was just too crowded for our liking though and it got a bit scary when people were trying to push their way in or out of the pub and you couldn’t move out of the way because you were pinned against another fan or a wall, so we left & tried to find another, less crowded, pub. We weren’t having any luck though and were beginning to consider finding a shop that sold TVs to watch the match through the display window, when we saw a couple of guys hanging out of a window. Jokingly, we asked if we could come up and watch the match on their TV, to our amazemant they said yes! We made our way up to their lovely flat and were able to watch the whole match in comfort on a huge widescreen TV :D

The match was an exciting game and with the Liverpool fans outnumbering the Hammers fans in the flat by something like 15 – 2 (the 2 being me & my youngest son) you can imagine the noise each time Liverpool managed to equalise and the slightly more sedate celebrations when West Ham once again took the lead hehehe. It was a shame the final outcome had to be decided on penalties, but someone had to win, there could be no rematch at a later date.
Both teams played fabulously and did their fans proud. After an hour or so of being in with the Liverpool fans in the street while they celebrated, we made our way back to the car and begun the horrendous journey home. It took almost two hours to get out of Cardiff on the Motorway… the speed we were driving at was something like “I can walk faster than this” speed! We eventually arrived home at 12.45am this morning, feeling totally exhausted but having enjoyed ourselves.

Congratulations Liverpool!!

May 14th, 2006 at 7:22 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink