Monday, 31 May 2010

Birds fly and so do I....

Back in Madeira for the day, boat business to resolve. Al sorted out,..phew, what a relief!
Return to UK tomorrow. Off to Sweden monday for a week. Really looking forward to it, never been to Sweden. So looking forward to seeing Madeleine´s expression when she sees her loved ones for the first time in two years. Meeting Madeleine´s family is a daunting prospect but, if mormor is anything to go by, then I´m not worried...well..

We return on the 14th June: it will be my 11th flight in 6 months!!!! You would have thought I was wealthy or some kind of celebrity, but sadly I am not. 11 flights in 6, or as they say in madeira "uau".

Monday, 24 May 2010

One "Mour" title...

Jose Mourinho has done it again!!! One more title!!! That brings the tally to 16 major titles in 8 years! Despite reaching the pinnacle of football coaching last week, by being nominated the "World's Best Manager", Jose Mourinho maintains the hunger necessary to go on winning and has steered Inter Milan to the Champions League Title. Inter is the first Italian club to win the treble, ie, league, fa cup and champions league. Another incredible achievement by the charismatic 47 year old Portuguese firebrand. It's amazing to see the English football media constantly reporting on Mourinho's progress despite the fact that he left our shores 2 years ago. Love him or loathe him, you have to admire this man's incredible talent and achievements. Mourinho has brought into the game many changes which are now being replicated by many other coaches, such as ; constant communication with the players during the game ; taking notes ; diverting the press attention from the players ; intense studying of opponents tactics as game preparation. Jose makes his players study DVD action of their counterparts on the field before every single game. Mourinho was once asked by a Sky reporter why he was "such a bad loser", after Chelsea were knocked out of a competition a few years ago; and the reply was "a good loser is a loser"... The Sunday Mirror reported yesterday "a day without Mourinho makes us appreciate what we are missing" . It is now a foregone conclusion that Mourinho is heading to Real Madrid, but I, like many football fans every where, can only dream and hope Jose ends up one day managing our own team, back here in the UK, where he is truly appreciated.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Biting the hand that feeds them...

It's a tragedy to know and hear about the so called "homegrown terrorists" in our midst. What drives these born-in-the-UK kids to enlist and hero-worship terror groups? Could they have been so displaced and wronged by our society as to resent it to death? No...I don't think so.
As with all of humanity's evils, I place the blame firmly and unequivocally with the parents of the perpetrators. The brain-washing and mis-information would need to start at a very young and impressionable age.
Not all Muslims are terrorists but nearly all terrorists are Muslim.
The parents of these misguided would-be terrorists arrived at our shores ,decades ago. Some, if not most, failed to integrate under the misconception that western values and morals were decadent and not up to their standard. Of course we all know they were wrong, but these same parents managed to influence their children with their archaic views of ancient tribal rivalry, intolerance and xenophobia.

Parents mould their children's characters.
Parents influence and shape their children's views.
Parents teach moral values and aspirations.
...and parents should teach their children not to bite the hand that feeds them.

So, a new approach is needed to try to avoid this modern-day phenomenon, from continuing to blight our lives.
The social services need to get more involved with the up-bringing of children from backgrounds likely to produce terrorism. With all the technology at our disposal, it can't be too difficult.

DD Peartree

DD will go far, its only a matter of time. Talented songwriter with a voice to die for. Go nephew.Please check out youtube for more. Search for DD Peartree.

Monday, 17 May 2010 begining in old surroundings

It's great to be back in the UK!

I'm rearing to go, excited and looking forward to my next chapter in life.
I know it won't be too easy, an apartment to find, a job to sort out but, I have bags of energy for the task in hand. It's a new beginning in old surroundings. M is already convinced she will be happy here, nice attitude to have, and I agree.
As I get older (and hopefully smarter), some truths are now so much more apparent than before, in particular the importance of having a positive mind. We can conquer all and overcome all of life's obstacles, if we stay positive.
It's not the problems in life that count, it's how we resolve them :)

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Can a Darwinian be a Christian?

I believe not.
How about a little brainteaser?
Is it "Creation" or "Evolution" with you?
If it is "Creation", who created the Creator?
If Nature created the Creator, then it must be "Evolution".
...just food for thought...that's all

prodigal son returns....

Great day yesterday. First day back,a party that lasted till 4am, Chelsea won the FA cup...what more can a man want?

Friday, 14 May 2010

and off to london we go

Just gone through the check in, half hour to go, feeling good... ok, feeling nervous. It´s the safest way to travel! (Yeah right...walking has got to be safer)I need a beer or two - Bye Madeira

Thursday, 13 May 2010

...homeward bound

The trip back to London is only hours away! The "volcano with the funny name" is still puffing away but the dust is blowing elsewhere...for now, so it´s "all systems go" with the airlines. There is, however, a dark cloud over this move, and it´s nothing to do with the volcano. It´s poor old TBone´s enforced 7 month holiday at SPAD, the equivalent here of the RSPCA. She will be treated well, I´m sure, but... Still, it can´t be helped. Not many people want the responsibility of "fostering" a cat for 7 months and then returning it to it´s owners. Leaving my mum, dad and only bro behind is very painful, but we´re only a short flight away...And to my beautiful children, Shaun Katie and Mattie, "I LOVE YOU AND CAN`T WAIT TO SEE YOU"

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

blue is the colour... (no, not Cameron)

Chelsea Chelsea, great win, one to go

seen but not heard...The Burka

I support the old saying "when in Rome do as the romans do". With some European countries moving towards banning the wearing of burkas in public, I await in anticipation to see where it all leads. I agree that it should and must be banned. I would be arrested if I went to the local shopping centre with the same head-wear. The backlash has started, muslim fundamentalist are outraged, they see it as an infringement of their rights.To most sensible people, forcing women to wear the burka can only be seen as an infringement of those women´s rights.The human face is our means of identification, that´s why photos are used in passports, drivers licences etc. But are there actually many muslim women complaining? Women the world over want to look beautiful and show their charms and be complimented. It´s as natural as their desire to be clean and fragrant. Are western women allowed to dress as they like in the muslim world? Allowed to show a bit of leg and tummy? Not a chance! A lot of muslim men want their women to cover up for whatever reason,but won´t allow western women the freedom to dress as they like in their world. Double standards once again, from societies that treat their women as second-class citizens. If the western society is unacceptable to some, those same people should stay where they belong and feel happy. No one is forcing them to head west! But should they wish to join our modern, fair,successful "Rome, then they should do as the romans do".....

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

human rights...and wrongs

The "old chestnut" topic is back at the fore. I´m referring to "gay adoption". I am a supporter of full human rights to all, regardless of race,creed,religious or sexual orientation.If gay couples wish to be married, that´s understandable and a civil ceremony should be available to all. But, something seems wrong with this adoption topic. Are the powers that be forgetting about "children´s rights"? No one seems to mention it! Incredible! If gay couples wish to adopt, are they thinking about the child´s welfare fully? Are there children who would rather be adopted by same sex couples? I very much doubt that, but that´s only my opinion. We all know how cruel some school children can be when they find out some one else´s weaknesses and differences. Should we not embark on a fostering program first? A sort of trial run with psychological assessments after 5 or 10 years? If it all worked out to the child´s benefit, then, and only then, adoption could be considered. It´s like a race for political correctness gone wrong. Why rush? Why gamble with children´s lives? Why do so many people think they can acquire/buy anything they want? It´s a case of not "seeing the wood for the trees"...Mad world...

football is not a matter of life or death...

I witnessed a scene in the streets of Funchal last sunday that resembled the euphoria of a world cup win. Traffic jams, incessant chanting, a sea of red swept the streets! And all because Benfica had won the championship!!! More than half of the madeiran population supports Benfica. It is estimated that nearly 6 million portuguese support Benfica. According to The Guinness Book Of Records, Benfica has the highest amount of paid up members in the world. Over 200,000 at the last count. Incredible, for a team that has had little or no success for 20 years, but there you go.A local paper has published a list of benefits associated with this win, here are some;

1- The morale of the country will reach unseen heights
2- Productivity will soar and interest rates will fall
3- Domestic violence will stop completely
4- Priests will stop chasing children

As Brian Clough once said, "football is not a matter of life or´s much more important than that"

Scandal-hit pope arrives in crisis-hit Portugal...

The Pope arrived in Portugal,today,to visit the Fatima shrine in time for the May 13th celebration! The Pope and 29, yes 29, staff. Good grief, does he really need such an entourage? And guess who is footing the bill? Yeah, you got it, the taxpayer, including a huge percentage of tax payers,who,like myself,would rather he stayed put and used that money on other much more important social causes. A lot of money no doubt,for an economy crippled with problems. And what are the benefits of such visit? Apparently there are 4 main benefits. They are as follows;
1- Goodwill message of peace to all mankind
... hummm...hummmmm...could have been delivered from the Vatican.

D-Day minus 3...

Good grief, I confess to feeling a little nervous about friday´s return to the UK. Well, it´s been 3 years! Nervous but excited in equal measure. M is also nervous though she tries to pretend otherwise. Will we be able to fly to Gatwick with the Icelandic volcano belching away? Vomiting volcanoes in Iceland, raw crude oil bleeding into the gulf of Mexico and still no new prime minister at number 10. Is it really such a good idea to uproot oneself and migrate? Of course it is...sort of...i guess...Seriously, I can´t wait to see my loved ones and good ol´london town.

Friday, 7 May 2010

"abandoned abroad, and she is a british citizen..."

It´s official!! Pets have no rights. This applies to `pet loving` UK as anywhere else. I took TBone to the vet to prepare her for the flight next week. "Not So" said the vet. TBone needs another rabies shot (though there is no rabies in Madeira), a blood test to be carried out 6 MONTHS before the flight?!? otherwise its quarantine for puss in the uk :( So TBone has to stay behind and serve her time. Now we all know TBone is a very healthy cat with no bad habits, but the powers that be have decided she needs 6 months preparation before entering her place of birth, the UK.!!! How cruel is that?? The customs officers in the UK let in all kinds of human beings everyday!! people with ghastly illnesses and bits falling off , some with illegal documents, some with drugs and weapons in their possession and that´s acceptable, but poor old TBone can´t return home when she wants. I may have to take her somewhere like Somalia, on a short holiday, and then bring her into the UK as a "refugee". With a bit of luck she may be able to sign on for benefits immediately and get a fully furnished council cat-flat thrown in for good measure...And there was me thinking pets had rights?

Hung like a bat...

After all the hype, the election is over and no outright winner, no majority, just like all the polls in the land predicted...with the conservatives slightly ahead. Now the wheeling and dealing starts and coalitions will have to be made. To you and me, it means no change from what we had for 13 years. It´s a different colour label on this can but the ingredients are the same. Hummmm, what puzzles me is that if all the polls predicted this result, why bother wasting fortunes with an election???.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

PolitRicKs and football...

.........hummm, what is tactical voting?

Election fever has gripped the UK!!! Hordes of public relation exercises, constant selling pitch, all for the few undecided votes. Well, the one party scraping ahead, is Cameron´s conservatives. Great promises,great sales pitch, they have moved to the centre since the Thatcher years, but the electorate should still remember the bad old times to trust them fully. They were in charge for donkeys years before the present lot and, if my memory serves me right,gave us a boom and bust economy with yuppies jumping off buildings, the Brixton race riots, the closure of the coal mines and effectively the demise of all the mining communities across the country,took the free milk from the primary school children, sextupled the cost of prescriptions and.., oh yes, and gave us "black wednesday"! Hummm!?!? But now they say they are the ones who know best how to run the economy?!?! And then there is Clegg´s lot, the LibDems,vibrant,fresh and full of energy (they haven´t had a proper job in years so can´t be tired)full of good intentions, intentions... don´t put food on our table or pay the bills.They are actually very nice,not at all dictatorial, but, somewhat inexperienced.Then of course Labour, trailing in 3rd place and looking downcast (like the leader´s chin).Lets face it, how can they possibly win with Gordon as leader? They didn´t before, so why gamble this time? He is not exactly "Blair Material" is he? If Labour lose it will be because of Gordon. They have been the guardians of this great land for 13 years and as such,have the experience, but with Gordon at the helm? No way, it´s like Liverpool with Benitez only slightly more predictable. Roll on summer, get the election out of the way and see the back of Benitez as good measure...not all bad it seems
As the old joke goes, "how do you know when a politician is lying?... his lips are moving"

Monday, 3 May 2010

I did it my way

It was with mixed feelings, that I approached Saturday´s night gig at Moynihans. On one hand it was nice to "finish the job", on the other, sadness that it´s over. A slot I occupied for two and a half years...Lots of lovely people turned up, Madeleine, Ivo, Martin,Taegh and new chappie Joey all had a go at singing. I was surprised Linn didn´t want to sing, but she was there, and that´s what counts! Ivo managed to pass on to the bar staff, during the break, a copy of one of my songs that I recorded with Dieter, What a nice surprise to hear it the first time!! I felt emotional and relieved. Have planned with Taegh to go up to the Earl of Derby-Cambridge, every now and then, for a gig and an overnight stay. So, with that out of the way, it´s now time to start packing for London. I´m so looking forward to seeing Shaun, Katie and Mattie, and also, most definitely, London.
Love it or hate it,(I was tired of it for years), London is one hell of a place, with a huge magnetic pull on all those people, who, like me, have for many years, breathed its air, walked its paths, heard its voices, seen its parks, rode its storms and witnessed its autumns magical dawns over a still lake... Ah..., how I will relish, savour, taste and inhale its familiar aroma, and this time, appreciate it.