Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Reflecting on That Magical Hall of Mirrors.

If you’re sitting in a coffee shop and reading this article, then you’re blessed with good eyesight or, with corrective glasses, you still have that same gift. But have you ever wondered about your eyes, those balls of jelly, what it is about them that make you able to see and also what it must be like when glasses can’t do it for you?

In a nutshell, it all seems to be about light and reflection and, after having lost my eyesight on Christmas Eve in 2010, and having to wait until the following April to see almost as well as I did before, I get the strangest feeling of that ‘Hall of Mirrors’ that used to delight the oldest of us when we visited the shows at the seaside resorts, when our parents took us away for the day. In one mirror you could see yourself as a ‘page three’ shape, though the real you would need to lose a couple of stone and yet, in another, you could see what overeating could result in. Others offered a delight of strange shapes and the experience gave you a chance to laugh at yourself and at your friends and family. It was a simple pleasure worth having.

Bad eyesight that cannot be corrected takes the simplest of things away from you, things you didn’t really think about before. Descending stairs blend into one, contrasting floor tiles look like steps and you proceed with caution, the computer and the supermarket are definitely out, as the glare (what glare, I hear you ask) may prove crippling and the housework (every cloud has a silver lining) becomes difficult. You might pass friends in the street, only to be judged as unsociable and, as regards to travelling alone, what was once an independent act, now becomes a perilous journey. Independence slides away from you and your confidence finds a new but lower level. Those jelly balls might be the windows to the soul but they are also the levellers of life.

We all know that we don’t appreciate what we’ve got until it’s gone and that should make us appreciate health and safety regulations, rather than hate the time they take to implement, making life slower and, on occasions, less fun. After all, didn’t we find it fun to take the odd risk, rather than think sensibly? Well, those of us who didn’t do any damage to ourselves.

Maybe health and safety for eyes goes beyond wearing protective glasses. That’s why opticians are there and don’t forget the all-important ophthalmologist who can look inside your eye, spin it round in his own hall of mirrors, take a cross-section view without resorting to scissors or knives and maybe even see a trace of your family’s eyesight history at a glance. That glance could allow corrective action before there is a need for curative exploration.

We spend a lot of money on cars, as we always want one better than the last one yet, when it comes to health, we think about the cost. I’m still trying to work that one out but caring for your own health should be given the number one place on your busy agenda. Once that’s addressed, everything else falls into place.

Every morning when I open my eyes, I realise that I can see. Having been without it for that short period of time makes me appreciate just what I’ve got. The next time you’re sitting in the coffee shop on route to wherever you have to go, and taking a moment to do a little reading while you have your cuppa, remember to appreciate those wondrous jelly balls, as you can’t replace them for newer models!

Cats do Not Have Owners!

On English TV, there’s a programme each weekday morning at 9.15 a.m. on channel 5, which I enjoy watching. The Wright Stuff is headed by Matthew Wright and the programme involves a panel of three well-known (for some reason or other) people, who take part in a chat about what’s going on in general. Each will choose some articles out of a British newspaper to talk about and the show will also involve questions being put to the general public for telephone and text comments. While the questions may not always be ones you have an opinion on, the interaction is always good.
This week, a newspaper article for discussion was about two people fighting for custody of a cat. It seems that the original owner had had the cat for several years but it had then (like all cats do) gone missing. The second owner had got the cat from a rescue centre and felt that she was therefore the real owner. During the court battle, it has come to light that the cat had been chipped by the original owner but his had not been realised until the battle had commenced.
My contribution to this argument is (if they live close to each other) does it really matter who the ‘owner’ is?
I love cats and have always had one (and sometimes more) through my sixty two years and I know that a cat will live where it wants to live. As a child, I remember my black going missing for two years and then, when it returned, I was pleased that I had a tin of food waiting. A cat I had in my forties turned out to be living in four other houses on the estate.
Many years ago, I remember reading a letter in a magazine, where a woman took her cat to the see the vet, as it wasn’t eating. The cat appeared healthy enough and so the vet suggested that the woman tie a message to the cat’s neck, which should read, ‘If you are feeding me, please ring this number.’ She got four phone calls.
Cats don’t have owners. Dogs do. Cats don’t. They’re wholly independent and that what makes them great pets.

Derek Acorah – A Really Genuine Guy.

I was lucky enough to be staying in the same hotel as Derek Acorah, the top UK psychic medium, in Benidorm, when he was in that area for a show and, having the privilege of meeting him as the real man, was a warming experience. He is so genuine and he gave me some ‘spirit’ information which he could not possibly have known. Thanks, Derek! I’m onto a second one of your books and your genuine character shows through there, too.

Derek Acorah

I hope we bump into each other again.

Could this be a Cure for Ebola?

I have been sent these links which make excellent reading and viewing. Information has been released, which states that ozone therapy may be the way to control Ebola. Doctor Rowen explains that oxygen is the source from which immune cells go on to kill bacteria. Let’s hope this proves to be the way forward.

Sections of Writing Magazines for Sale

I’ve been saving writing magazines for four years and have almost every copy. Their content has been amazing and they have taught me about short stories, novels and novellas, writing for magazines, building your profile on LinkedIn etc., how to be a travel writer, guest blogging, ghost writing, you name it etc..

For personal reasons, I now have all of this information on my computer and so I want to part with the actual paper copies. Their weight is quite something, so I can’t imagine anyone wanting to buy all of those forty + magazines from me. For my own benefit, I have listed information from each and every magazine, so that I can find at ease the information that I need (e.g. if I am writing a short story, I know which magazines to read for support). Therefore, for a small fee, if someone wants information on a particular topic (e.g. short stories), I am happy to cut these magazines up and provide the purchaser with those actual sheets alone. This will significantly reduce the weight and I will recoup a little bit of the money spent on the magazines.

If you’re interested, please contact me at and I will send you a list of information related to your area of interest, so that you may see what is available.


Spanish or not Spanish – that is the Question.

Our new country will never cease to amaze us. It’s like this.

Spain has several languages. That which is referred to as Spanish (español) is what we know as Castillian Spanish. This is the King’s Spanish (rather like how we say the Queen’s English) and is spoken in a big part of Spain. However, there is also Euskera (spoken in the Basque County) and Catalán (spoken in Catalonia).

And here lies an interesting story.

In the Basque Country, up that there at twelve thirty-cum-one o’clock in the country, the language is very different from Spanish and no-one knows where it originated. Some people say there is a hint of German in there but most people have no comments to make on the language

In Catalonia, where Barcelona is sited, is located at around one-cum-two o’clock and there language is also completely different to the native King’s Spanish. It is said by the Spanish that Catalonia has long wanted to be a country in its own right and they feel very strongly about their own language.

And then there’s us.

We live at eleven o’clock, just above Portugal and the best way to describe the language here is to call it ‘Geordie’. There’s a hint of the King’s Spanish in there but the King might find it hard to communicate with his subjects here. However, her, the words not only sound differently but are also spelt in a different way ( rain – lluvia – chove (here in Galicia), night – noche – noite and also daughter – hija – fija).

As I learnt Castillian Spanish many years before coming here, I try my hardest to maintain this Kings version so, every time I hear a new word, I check it in the English – Spanish (i.e. Castellano) dictionary, to see if it is there. If it is, I add it to my repertoire. If it isn’t, I bin it.

If you travel to Anadalucia at five and six o’clock, they speak the King’s Spanish but thy cut the tail of many of the words. For example three will be pronounced tres in Spanish but as tre in the Andalucian region. Buenos días (good day) will be bueno dia and gracias (thank-you) will be gracia. And so it goes. At first, I was irritated by the (for me) mispronunciation but now, after having visited there several times, I have to say that it sounds quite delicious.

So, should you be visiting Spain and wanting to dust the cobwebs off your textbook Spanish, bear in mind that, depending which region you are in, you may, or indeed, may not, understand what is being said.

After almost eight years here, I am lucky in that I can pick the bones out of Andalucian pronunciation but, with the language the way it is spoken here in Galicia, I daren’t get involved!

Taking Care of Personal Machines

Personal Machine

The last century has seen great changes in ‘life as we know it’.  Having gone from living hand to mouth and through the industrial revolution, the people of the Western World are now far away from that hierarchy of needs and well into choice and comfort.  In our busy, and very technical, lives, we now need to think seriously about how we are treating our own personal machine (now to be referred to as PM) and making sure that it is indeed fit for purpose.  Here is a bottled breakdown of points for consideration:- 

Computer – situated in the head (the uppermost part of the PM).  This important part of the PM needs to be oiled regularly.  While some may be using brain training equipment, advanced education courses or maybe learning how to become a responsible adult, one must not forget that this computer, known as the brain, must also receive good nourishment (a good intake) and plenty of down time. Housed in the very same head, are the sensory systems of vision and sound, both helping the owner of each PM to navigate through the world as it currently operates. 

The Mechanical System – the rest of the PM.  Charged by the brain which is situated in the head, the rest of the PM carries out the duties needed to function well and achieve a good ‘best before’ date.  Its components include four limbs, extended and flexible sections which help the PM achieve its needs.  Lack of use of these limbs can cause failure to successfully perform tasks and eventually lead to a breakdown of the individual PM. 

The Cost of Running a Personal Machine.  Prices can vary, according to quality of intake and the responsibilities expected of the individual PM.  Like putting diesel into a petrol engine, getting it wrong can lead to problems.  The PM may start to suffer from sluggishness, corrosion, a full breakdown, or maybe even need to be written off’.  Whilst it is a good idea to insure your own PM, such cover will not lead to replacement, should writing off be the only option. 

Risk Assessments.  Some advanced PMs (e.g. those that made use of advanced education courses and can be classed as trouble-shooters) can be approached, as to what the individual PM needs to take into account when trying to reach maximum performance and that hopeful ‘best before’ date. 


In today’s world, there are a lot of machines out there.  Some of these lesser models (i.e. not the PM) can be enjoyed, given away and, indeed, thrown away.  With these types of machine (also referred to as computers, gadgets and gizmos), which may become personal to you, you can look after them or fail to care as, let’s face it, you can always get another.  Unfortunately, at the moment, while the PM can make use of minor replacements, it cannot be replaced by a true ‘like for like’. 

There are plenty of books for idiots (this is not a criticism but the name of a book style!), middle of the road books and advanced teachings, all designed to help the reader become aware of how to care for PMs, information being available at  local trouble-shooters’ offices, libraries and also via that ever popular desktop computer, laptop and smaller versions of this same disposable machine.  In general, care will take the form of suitable intake, running your PM through rigorous exercises (many of these can be done without being connected to a power source), understanding risk and sometimes seeking advice from those ‘in the know’. 

It’s never too late to start, is it?