Jo

I haven’t said anything really about what happened to Jo Cox, but it’s prayed on my mind a lot.

I went to school with her, and I work in Birstall.

Just half an hour before she was attacked, I had driven up that very street three times looking for a parking space. It crossed my mind many times that I should pop in, see if she remembers me, and tell how impressive it was to see all she had achieved. I hadn’t seen her since school, until recently when she had become an MP. I berated myself a little thinking what I could have possibly achieved with a bit more effort, okay, a lot more effort having been at school together.

We used to chat sometimes at lunchtime. A beautiful young girl she was, always wore long flowing skirts as I recall. I can’t remember what we ever chatted about, it was a long time ago, but I just wish I’d taken that chance to pop into her office and say “Hi”. I wish I’d done it that day, and I wish I’d been able to do something about what happened. I imagine a lot of people do.

As today is her funeral, it’s tragic to think what happened. It appears she had so much compassion, she was always posting photos on Twitter of where she had been locally. She went to my daughter’s school one day, and she came home so excited, saying how nice she was, how she told her she went to a school nearby. I understand she did school visits often. That is really quite lovely.

I wish I had something profound to say, there seems to be sadness in every other thing we see or read about these days, but the one thing that has struck me, is just how far reaching her life was. There were messages of sympathy from around the world, from royalty, presidents and prime ministers; it’s not often you see such an outpouring of emotion for anyone, let alone for a politician, certainly not something I’ve witnessed before. I’d like to think it was because she was so very different to many politicians we see these days. She came from a small town, a normal school, and did so much more before she took up a life in politics. That young girl I remember truly soared, and done more than I imagine she ever thought possible.

I’m just desperately sorry that this happened, and filled with sorrow that her children will grow up without their mother. I hope that she is at peace, and that her legacy stays fresh in the memory for many years to come. I’m sure it will. I sincerely hope it doesn’t sound in any way pretentious or condescending, but I’m proud of you. Take care lass.

Oil companies: Arse oils.

Last week, the Guardian ran an article stating that the petrochemical industry knew of the potential of oil to affect climate change.

It didn’t take the piss out of anyone. It didn’t target a Prime Minister with a mouth full of half truths and an arse crack full of sweat.

It didn’t give anything a face. It didn’t give us a face to deride.

BUT this is far bigger than any of this Panama Papers bollocks. Far bigger. Why? Because rich people telling lies to avoid tax and make money makes them selfish, greedy bastards. Rich people telling lies while knowingly ruining the environment that over 7 billion of us share makes them filth.
The thing is, most people won’t read this. The media struggles to hold your attention these days, we want news fast, we want laughs, we want fun, we want “Proper Tasty” bullshit meals with bacon and cheese, we want pathetic “how many squares, only a genius can solve it”, we want 60 second news updates that tell us which celebrity has worn a dress that makes their arse look fat.

We’ve been conditioned into thinking that anyone mentions the environment is a drugged up tree shagger, that the climate has always had rises and falls in temperature and it’s perfectly natural, that climate change is a myth to make money off green taxes, that climate change is scaremongering so some nasty man can put up a wind turbine that ruins my view and ruins my life. But the main reason no one dares contemplate just how bad things have got, is that we’re just too ignorant, and far too lazy.
I’ll give anyone a pound who can write me down the balanced chemical equation for converting sugar and oxygen into carbon dioxide and water without looking it up, it’s something your body is doing right now, and is a remarkably simple equation. Go on, try it, but it’s incredible how many people are experts on the billions of equations that it takes to estimate the effect of spunking millions of tonnes of carbon bi-products into the air and water. Can you really work that out and tell me you know everything will be fine? No, you fucking can’t, so don’t sit there and tell me climate change is bollocks, because you don’t fucking know. You’re not a scientist are you, you work in an office, or a shop, or a factory, and you haven’t studied science for twenty fucking years, so how, tell me HOW can you dismiss climate change like you do?

The petrochemical industry is huge, and all it cares about is making money, I suppose we all do to an extent, but at what cost? In the seven years I spent studying the environment, one story stayed with me more that most, and it’s the story of Ken Saro Wiwa. He was a farmer in Nigeria, and near to his farmland, oil was discovered. A large company, one we have all heard of, started drilling, after paying lots of money to some people, and oil poured out all over Ken’s land. He wasn’t happy, would you be? So Ken, and some other farmers who had nice puddles of oil on their crops, complained. So the people who had been paid the money tried them for treason and hung them.

“Did I read that right?” you might think. Yes, they hung them, no more complaining, plenty of oil; lovely. Lovely, lovely, lovely. This was 1995, not that long ago is it? The large company settled out of court not that long ago, still saying they did nothing wrong, but you make up your own mind. Go have a read.

We have been conditioned into thinking our way of life is normal, and it is, but at what cost. Ken Saro Wiwa paid the ultimate cost, and in time, we all will, we all die, but (and here comes the tree shagger bit), what about your kids, and your grand kids?

The thing is, the youngsters today are far more clued up, I’ve read about it, and a lot of them think “us lot” in our 40s and older, are a set of twats. I’m telling you, if you’re lucky to make it to your dotage, and your great grand-daughter sits on your knee in your 100th year, don’t be surprised if they say “Did you really drive around in cars that did 10 miles per gallon and not give a fuck?”. And you’ll say “We didn’t know any different. They said it was safe, like cigarettes”. And they’ll say “But you could have stopped using oil for domestic power, you could have used tidal energy, solar energy, you could have put up more wind turbines”, “Oooo not turbines love, ugly aren’t they”, and they’ll say, “But the Arctic has thawed and Holland is under water”, and you’ll sit and nod, because you didn’t read up on how much carbon is now in the atmosphere, and how it leads to methane deposits being exposed in the polar regions, and how even slight increases in global temperature lead to more water vapour in the atmosphere, which carries far more heat energy than carbon dioxide….

Just have a think eh? Read this, and have a think.

A poem

I recently had to write a poem for a course I was on. I’m no poet, but one should always try one’s hardest, shouldn’t one?

Apologies in advance.

I’ve a lump in my throat, as I sit here and write

Sharing these memories, well it seems so contrite

But share them I must, and you must understand

If this hurts you at all, my dear it’s not planned

I’ve relied on your strength, since I was only a child

You’ve always been there for me, your touch soft and mild

You’re there when I’m crying, at my lowest ebb

You’re the one I first reach for, with a nose full of greb

My heart gently breaking, my eyes full of tears

You’re the first there to wipe them, to tend to my fears

You’ve caught more than tears of that I am certain

You’ve spared hundreds of socks, and many a curtain

Do you remember the time, in my memory it lingers

I was juggling with scissors and cut one of my fingers

You were first there as always, to tend to my wound

“It’s nothing” you said “you’ve not been harpooned”

“Here let me see, I’ll make it all better”

As you helped me to dab all the blood from my sweater

But it’s not just the sad times, you’re there every day

You’re always on hand for me on my right, come what may

I love you my darling, you’ve helped me so much

You’ve cleaned so much mess I’d rather not touch

Do I take you for granted? I admit there’s a chance

And I know when you’re missing ‘cos there’s shit in my pants

If I turn to the right, and I see you’re not there

And there’s no one to shout to, no one to care

I’m home all alone, and I’ve run out of arse wipe

I’m gonna end up with a chocolaty pinstripe

Right up the middle of my boxers from Tesco

As I waddle to the kitchen, it’s almost al fresco

I hope that you’re waiting there under the sink

All packed in polythene in a light dusky pink

Or perhaps you’ll be yellow, with scent aloe vera

Good god how much further I wish you were nearer

Look behind the stuff to rid plugholes of gunge

If all else fails here’s a washing up sponge

Look behind the bleach and the bottle of Domestos

And what the hell’s this? A misplaced Fray Bentos?

But now’s not the time to ponder badly packed shopping

Back to the task there’s a bottom needs mopping

I lean in still further to the back of the cupboard

OH THANK GOD I FOUND YOU I emotionally blubbered

Make haste back to bathroom, we waddle with meaning

Trousers back down and commence with the cleaning

You said you had reasons, when you let me down

Said you wished you had stopped my finger being brown

Was I in pain? I’d rather not linger

The only thing that hurt was the depth of my finger

But I forgive you my dear, for your moments of weakness

We all suffer at times from a lack of completeness

Our partnership’s true we need no explanations 

Perhaps my fat finger was on your perforations

It’s best we put behind us this minor mishap and

Despite 7 washes my finger still smells of crap

All the bad times my love are long since forgotten

I promise I’ll always use you on my bottom

For without you I’d probably be using a stick

And clumsily spread some poo on my dick

So our relationship love will blossom like a tree

I’ll use you forever, ’til someone does it for me

Toilet paper holder

 

Dear Members of Parliament

Dear Members of Parliament,

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog, urging your leaders, to ask you, our politicians to stop the bleating and braying at each other in the houses of parliament. I recall my grandad when I was young saying “listen to the bloody idiots” when they played excerpts of the day’s proceedings on the radio, and I’ve never understood why you do it. It is childish, disrespectful, unnecessary, ridiculous, shameful, and is nothing short of a national embarrassment. I wrote the blog because the discussion at the time was regarding the result on whether we should go to war in Syria. Going to war is not a decision to be taken lightly, I’m sure you will agree, however, this did not stop an all out free for all “who can act like the biggest idiot competition” taking place that day. It was a disgrace, and I was ashamed that you people “represented” the country I call my own.

I’ve done all I can to avoid coming into contact with seeing or hearing activities in the Houses of Parliament since that day, and it has served me well. However, as you are possibly aware, there is a referendum coming up, one that requires equal, if not more important discussion, where we decide as a nation whether to stay in a political and financial union with the rest of the European Union. I have therefore felt compelled to listen in to what you, our duly elected MPs have to say on the matter.

I’m frankly, if I may be so bold, appalled.

I would like you to consider that at present, Earth is the only planet we know for a fact is inhabited by any living species. I would like you to consider that it is an unbelievable miracle of chance that we are living on this planet right now, as it hurtles through space at incredible speed. I would like you to consider that you, the 650 people in that building, represent over 50 million others, and that you, and the words you say in the coming weeks, will influence and impact on the thoughts of most of the adults and many of the children in that 50 million, on a decision we will make, and how it shall affect the lives of the 450 million other people in the EU. I want you to consider that on this tiny rock in the middle of the massive Milky Way, over 7 billion people live, and that we are about to decide on whether our 50 million walk away from an association of countries borne out of wanting to help each other, trade with each other, and protect each other.

And when you do consider this, when you walk into the Houses of Parliament to talk to each other, perhaps disagree with each other, and to try decide what is best for people on this tiny island on this tiny, tiny planet, I want you to do one, tiny thing; SHUT THE FUCK UP AND LISTEN.

I don’t care who’s wearing what. I don’t care whose mother thinks what. I don’t care if you hate each other. I don’t care if you shag each other. I don’t care if you have two houses, and I don’t care you just got a receipt for that coffee you’re drinking. I want facts, I want quiet, I want discussion, and I want to know that you think enough of the 500 million people that are going to be affected by the words that come out of your fucking mouth.

Take pride in what you are, and what is expected of you, and if you are not up to it, please leave.

This shit is important, I beg you, DO NOT fuck it up.

NEVER refuse fish finger sandwiches

Why is important to never say no to a fish finger sandwich? I’ll bloody well tell you.

Yesterday (Sunday) was my birthday. On Saturday, my dear missus asked me what I wanted for my birthday tea. (Historical information – The first year we were together, she asked me the same question, and straight out, half joking, half serious, I said sausage, beans and chips, for twas my favourite meal as a kid. So we had it, then we had it every year after. Sadly, a couple of years ago baked beans started giving me indigestion, so we’ve moved away from this to other childhood favourites).

Without thinking, I said I wanted fish finger sandwiches. I really did too. I love fish finger sandwiches, and now “posh” places are charging £8 a pop for them making out they’re posh, robbing bastards. Piss off London, it’s nothing posh, it’s a Northern kids delight, and you shove your twice fried chips up your hoop too.

Where was I? Yes, fish finger sandwiches. However, as my daughter and her boyfriend were coming round, and my mum, my wife said she would struggle to cook sufficient fish fingers and ONCE cooked chips in the oven (Historical information – The bottom part of our cooker stopped working over Christmas so we’ve ordered a new one, but of course I have to book a fucking day off work to wait for someone to fit it because large companies simply can’t give you a time more accurate than 8 hours to do fucking anything), so she suggested we had Mexican. I like Mexican food, it’s nice, so I agreed.

Saturday afternoon, and we had to pop into Bradford to pick up a birthday present for our youngest whose birthday is in a couple of weeks. On the way back, I suggested we pop into Asda to get the things for the Mexican. My wife said no, the little one was asleep and she didn’t want to get her out as she needed a rest, but we then decided it would get it out of the way, you know now it is. We drove into Asda car park, and it was rammed. It was raining, and I said supermarket mince is pretty crap anyway so shall we toddle into town to go to the local butcher. We both thought this was a good idea.

We parked into town, and my wife stayed in the car while I went for the mince. As it was 3.30pm and so very close to 4.30 when they shut (!) they had put all the meat back in the cellar, so I waited while they buggered off to fetch some. They weighed it and only had half what I needed but I took it anyway wishing I’d just gone to bloody Asda because I was going to have to go now anyway.

Walking back to the car, I saw my wife was out of the car and chatting to a bloke at the side of it. Perhaps an old acquaintance. No, he was a chap from the adjacent shop, who had come to assist after the Christmas lights which were twinkling beautifully suspended over the street, had come crashing down onto our car, a couple of them having a nice little explosion as they did so.

The chap had helped drag them from under the car where they had nicely slid as we were parked on a hill. I thanked the chap, and proceeded to ring the council, as there was 30 feet of flashing lights hanging onto the pavement with a live exposed cable making a nifty Tarzan swing for any young teenagers passing by.

The council didn’t answer. So we rang the police. As a nice citizen I thought the wire was potentially dangerous and I offered to wait with it. The police said that would be good, and it would be an hour at the most to get someone there. “AN HOUR” I exclaimed, but he said that it would be that at the most.

The kids were kicking off in the car, they were bored. We gave the youngest her birthday present to shut her up. Our five year old came to stand with me and found it exciting, asking every sixty seconds what time the police were coming.

It started raining. Rain and electric don’t mix well. I pushed the cable up to the wall as close as I could. I was bursting for a piss. There was one round the corner, so my wife stood with the cable while I went for a wee. I opened the door and saw a man doing something that didn’t look all together right, so I left, still full of wee.

I got back to the car and my phone started ringing, but it diverted to Bluetooth in the car and I couldn’t answer on my phone. I gesticulated to my wife to answer it, who was sat in the passenger seat with the baby on her knee trying to entertain her. She fumbled across for the button to answer but it went off just as she pressed it. I wanted to Basil Fawlty branch twat something. I was distracted by my phone buzzing again, it was a text from the police saying the council were on their way and ending “you cannot respond by text to this number”.

WHEN WERE THE COUNCIL COMING? I was cold and wet and my teeth were swimming in piss.

I rang them back, and enjoyed being on hold for 15 minutes, before a woman said the council would try ring me when they find out which electrician is coming and what time he would be there.

Luckily, precisely an hour after the first call, a smiley man turned up, said he would sort it, and gave me a cuddle.

I was freezing, soaked, had most likely now got a bladder infection, and I needed to buy another birthday present for our youngest.

So the moral of the story is this; if your partner suggests fish finger sandwiches for tea, you fucking well have them.

 

I’m not going to teach algebra, but please help.

In the late 80’s I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I was around 14/15, and I liked schoolgirls, so becoming a school teacher made sense. I took A levels, and I made an arse of them, but I passed maths, the important one for a maths teacher. I was offered a placement at Bristol Polytechnic, and somewhere in York. Can’t remember the name of it, which is a worry.

Anyway, I decided to take a year out, can’t remember why, but during this time I was offered a job. The Managing Director and Sales Director seemed to like me, and in an effort to keep me, offered me more money. Soon I was earning almost £10k a year, and this was cool beans. They paid for me to go to college and I did a postgraduate and got letters after my name (ooooooo!).

Turns out the Sales Director was a twat, so I left.

I found out the Sales Director had left, and the new Sales Director asked me back, so I went. Turns out the new Sales Director and the MD were think as a mince milkshake, and the company went pop, so 200 people lost their jobs. We all got drunk. I kicked a kebab, but that’s another story.

Years passed, but I always harboured the desire to teach. So in 2008, I started a degree. You need a degree to teach you see, a post grad in science doesn’t qualify you to teach fractions to 11 year olds, but nevertheless, I started. In the 7 years since, the Conservatives, spearheaded by Michael “Prick” Gove, have royally shagged the education system. Good teachers have been driven to the point of despair, and unless you’re a “Yes” person who’ll suck off anyone and everyone off to get anywhere, not giving a shite who you stand on to get there, you’re just a number. A number that is treat like shit. Well that can kiss my balls. I wouldn’t be a teacher now for £100k a year, honest.

Where was I? Oh yes. Tomorrow is my final exam, should I pass. It’s in Leeds. So the purpose of this is thus:

Do I:-

1) Drive

2) Get the train so I can get pissed after in Leeds if it went well

3) Get the train so I can get pissed after in Leeds if it didn’t go well

4) Can someone take me to the train station

5) Can someone pick me up from the train station

6) Can someone buy my beer.

9) Don’t laugh at me being a maths teacher, I’m good at maths

y) And algebra

My BSc Environmental Studies and general tree bothering.

It’s not something I bang on about, but 2 weeks today, I sit what will hopefully be (should I pass), my last exam for a BSc in environmental studies. I chose this subject because I’ve been concerned about what we’re doing to our planet for a long time, and I wanted to learn. It has taken 7 years with the Open University. It has challenged my will, my pocket, and my patience, and it has been a huge undertaking for reasons I won’t go into, because that’s not why I’m writing this.

I am writing this because something has suddenly struck me, not something I’ve read in those seven years, this isn’t something I’ve ever heard mentioned before by anyone, and it is this: think about something 100 years ago, and think about something 200 years ago.

My first thought of 100 years ago would be World War 1. Images of mass slaughter and unimaginable suffering. My first thought of 200 years ago? Oh I’m not sure, some posh fucker in a wig playing the harpsichord? Downton fucking Abbey? Something like that.

Certainly though it would not have been the rainforests of South America. Mangroves. The Arctic ice sheets. Atlantic fishing stocks. Oil extraction. River pollution. Energy crises. Water equality.

When I read or hear people saying climate change is bollocks, that the Earth has got colder and warmer for EVER ‘cos that’s what it does, they ignore the fact that ice cores prove beyond doubt that carbon dioxide levels are soaring, and that because the rate of Global Mean Surface Temperature increase has slowed in the last 15 years therefore it’s stopping, I just wonder what they think of? Do they think of the same things I did?

I bet they didn’t think of the others, because it’s only just hit me, 7 years on.

I’m not going to rattle on about it, it was just a thought. When those people were pottering about in those foggy paintings of London with their bowler hats on, when Beethoven was doing his thang, when Titanic sank, pretty much all that lovely oil and coal was where it had been for millions of years, sitting, storing carbon. And we’ve dug it up, and we’ve fucking burnt it. And it’s too late to go back, and developing nations like China and India want to be able to burn as much as we do, and as much as America does, and they don’t give a wank how much they use.

So next time someone mentions climate change, before you dismiss it totally, just think how much the Earth has changed in the last 200 years, honest, it’s staggering.

I reckon we’ve 100% full on too late to do anything about it fucked it right up. Ah well.

Have a lovely day😀