Protect yourself.

2 Feb

You may or may not know, twitter was hacked today, a quater of a million accounts were broken into. You can help protect yourself by having a complex password. Use UPPER case and lower case, replace letters with numbers, use a slash or another symbol, use dollars instead of s’s. Make sure you write your password down! I know, for years people have told us not to do it but be honest, how often have you forgotten your password? Keep a little diary, just for passwords, change it often and keep note of it. Use different passwords for different websites.

Okay, here’s an example password….. “password” believe it or not, a lot of people use this one. Sticking with the same word but changing elements of it, like so: Pa$$w0rD. Be creative with your passwords, don’t use your name or your address, be abstract, be obscure, be naughty and the more digits you use, the better.

If you have any advice to add, please leave it in a comment and let’s help people be safe.

Metal River.

22 Aug

For a period of my life, I was homeless. I lived on the streets of London, around Victoria Station, mainly. I spent a lot of time walking and sitting. There used to be ‘soup runs’ all around the city center. Some offered clothes, others offered chocolate bars. Mostly they offered food, many different kinds. When eating this food, I would sit, watching the passersby. The tourists, wide eyed and full of wonder and often as not, completely lost.

Mainly I would see commuters. Drones trudging to and from work. Lost in their thoughts, they barely notice the world around them and hoping the world wouldn’t notice them, they continue on. The traffic fascinated me.

On a good day, I would sit under Abe, (Abraham Lincoln) in Parliament Square. I would chuckle as tourists saw him and I could see the surprised looks on their faces. There is no plaque to explain his presence. You have to walk around the square to a metallic map, which gives a brief description of who’s who and why they are there.

I would sip at a cup of tea, nibble a sandwich and watch the traffic. It flowed, so consistently constant, I thought of it as a metal river. Such a variety of vehicles, it was never boring. The Lord Mayors car, the PM’s car, huge yellow ducks would go by, carrying tourists on a sight seeing tour, never to be forgotten. From classical vintage cars to the latest Ferrari’s and all sorts of madness between.

My metal river kept me entertained for hours. I would lose myself in the flow, watching thousands of faces passing by, keeping an eye out for the smiling ones and in turn I would smile, which sometimes caused a stranger to smile. Smiles were the ripples on this river, eye contact was the equivalent of hooking a fish. A nod or wave was the catching of the fish.

That’s getting towards 10 years ago. I still pause by a busy road and watch the river flow. The roar of the rapids and the gentle buzz of the slower traffic. I do not long for those days with Abe, they were dark and almost hopeless, with no future in sight. Instead, I think of all I have achieved since. My metal river helped me through tough times and still entertains me today.

True love.

16 Jun

I have never known a love so deep, so strong and all-encompassing. Every aspect of my life is changing. my views, long held beliefs, thoughts and my inner self. All being swept up, turned around and placed right back where they were. I would say touched by this love but it is stronger than that, more like being pummelled by a feather.

I don’t know what I am trying to achieve by writing this, I just need to express this love. I was stuck in a mire and have been there for years. I am still in the mire but love has changed my view. All those negative things that make up my mire are still there. I see them as tiny things, like ants, compared to this love I have found.

I no longer look down at the shackles that have held me back for so long. I look to the horizon now, seeing many possibilities, many opportunities. Most of all, I see my first true love, looking at me and smiling. Knowing where I have come from and urging me forward, to be all I can be. My heart swells as she pours her love into it.

Will it burst, I wonder. My heart has never felt such love. Yet I pour mine out as fast, making her heart swell. I have nothing to compare this love to but I feel sure it is a true, deep love. I sometimes feel that this love we share is old, ancient and everlasting. We are just the latest in a long line of lovers, going back through the ages to the dawn of love.

How deep can love get? I don’t know, I’m still falling. Oh the joy I feel, the happiness that permeates every fibre of my being. I look into her eyes and I am transported to a sea of love. I dive deep, revelling as her love engulfs me. I shoot upward and am flying high as we embrace. I soar through the clouds, our bodies entwined.

Does every couple feel this, is it normal, are we lucky to have found such a strong love? I don’t know, I have nothing to compare it too! I am in love with a beautiful woman, who loves me back just as deeply. That I do know and I’m thankful for it!

Boys will be boys.

9 Jun

I live in London now and as I go about my business, I sometimes wonder. What do city kids do for fun? Things have changed since I was a child. Technology is now an everyday part of life. Games consoles, PC’s and laptops, smartphones and other devices, all take up our time, keep us amused, informed and often, indoors.

When I was 10 years old, I played games like Space Invaders, Pacman and Donkey Kong but they were only a small part of my day. Near where I lived, there was a corner shop. A few others and myself would gather at the door, each morning and await the owner to open up. We would gather round the arcade machine and watch as one of us played, eager for them to fail. Sometimes I got a go and I would do my best to get a high score.

We were a dedicated bunch of kids, all at the same school, all making the last minute dash at 5 to 9, it was only mile and we covered the distance easily and that was gaming 34 years ago. I spent much more time out and about, usually with other kids from my neighbourhood. We had a gang, consisting of every kid that was allowed out. Our patch was our estate, Barnmeadow Road.

As gangs go, we were the biggest, toughest and most reported in the local newspaper. We lowered the values of our parents properties by 15% in a two year period, such was our mischief. We never damaged property, deliberately but accidents happen. Our games were simple, hide and seek, fox and hounds, knock and run. We made gocarts from prams and raced them all over the place.

One summer, we made ‘The Limo!’ It would seat 6 kids! We had days of fun racing the other kids in their carts. Some big lads from a neighbouring gang seized our limo and try to destroy it. They climbed a tree, dragging it up with them and hurling it from the top. My heart sank as I watched it fall. It hit the ground, just as some big lads from our gang arrived. I watched as the front wheels flew off but the rest remained intact.

I screamed at my friends to attack these other lads and watched as the ran in fear from my friends. The Limo was fixed with a couple of 6 inch nails and we were racing it down my street again. The thought of watching helplessly as someone tried to destroy something of mine, stayed with me all day. I wanted to be bigger, to be able to stop them, if it happened again. I was as small as an average 6 year old and no match for my peers.

I was lucky to have 2 older brothers, otherwise, I would have been bullied at school and just about anywhere else I went. Size was important and I was a burden to my gang. I made up for this by being chirpy and a bit of a clown. I felt inadequate when it came to climbing trees, often needing help to get up into them. My brothers came up with a neat solution…… Nails!

There were and I hope, still are, some massive trees in our neighbourhood and surrounding countryside. It was a glorious summer and racing carts had become boring. Treehouses were our next passion. We scoured the streets and gardens for wood, big or small, it could be put to use somewhere. For me to get up a tree, my brothers would climb it first and nail bits of wood, if we had them or just leave the nails sticking out for me to gain purchase.

I would scramble up after them and stay close to the center of the tree, a bit scared of falling. I used a technique that mountain climbers use, keeping three limbs in contact and finding purchase with the fourth before moving up, sideways or down. I was slow, methodical and never once fell. Other lads, my brothers included, would jump or drop from branch to branch and amazingly, they never fell. (well a couple of times but nothing serious)

We had 3 treehouses in the space of a month and then we found an abandoned pigsty. This became our base for several years, during which time we added extra entrances. It was a hotly contested pigsty, with gangs from all over town, paying us visits, trying to claim it as their own. Many fights took place in that area. I was left in charge one day and given a catapult and stones, incase our enemies came.

Come they did! I lined them up, stone in sling and pulled back as far as I could. I yelled at them to “go away” not that politely but you can figure that bit. They saw me aiming and split in all directions. I focused on the closest and let him have it, the stone landed at my feet. I tried again but I wasn’t strong enough to use a catapult. I waited for them to get into the pigsty and used an emergency exit to escape.

Although small, I could run quite fast, when I thought my life was in danger and I covered the 2 fields in less than a minute, I raced up my street, got backup and we went and reclaimed our den. I was never left to guard it alone again.

I had many escapades as a child, I’m sure I’ll jot more down at some point. I wonder how much freedom kids have today. Many parents fear letting their kids run free, scared by what they’ve seen on tv or read in a paper. Not realising the damage they are doing. It saddens me, when I hear that a child thinks that milk comes from a supermarket and not a cow.  There is so much to discover, as a child……..

Chess, the game of love?

25 May

Since I found love, I have a new perspective on things. I am a natural chess player and have loved playing since I was 7yrs old. By the age 12, I had beaten everybody I knew, including the teacher at the school’s chess club. Sadly my talent was neglected by those who should have been nurturing and encouraging my talents. Being in love has opened my eyes, everything has a new dimension now.

What follows is a basic guide about the three stages of a chess game. Using the language of love with a bit of chess terminology thrown in. Going from the opening to the checkmate and the battle for control, known as the mid game.

The opening is when 2 lovers meet and embrace eachother with pawns, this part of the game is very fluid, much like the kissing and cuddling. You get closer and more intimate as your pieces spread over the board.

Then comes the mid game. This is akin to removing your lovers clothes and exposing their vulnerabilities. How you do this is upto you, maybe you peel a layer and give the exposed part your undivided attention or like rapid play, you just strip them as rapidly as possible. Whichever you choose, by the end of the mid game, it is usually clear if one of you has an advantage and this will decide the outcome of the end game.

The end game is the act of making love. Your lovers plans laid bare before you, their weaknesses exposed, their pieces vulnerable. They are naked, in every sense of the word. Your last few moves to trap the king are like bump and grind of making love with the checkmate being your orgasm….. I’m not sure what a stalemate would signify! I hope you enjoy a game soon. (^_^)

My first time!

11 Dec

At making stew that is! 😉 I used diced stewing steak, baby potatoes, garden peas, carrots and a large white onion. For seasoning i used a large pinch of salt, some black pepper and a hefty helping of garlic granules and beef stock.

I have no idea how you’re supposed to make a stew. I prepared the carrots by scraping and chopping them into large chunks. I chopped the baby potatoes into two or three large chunks.

I popped the meat in first, as it seared i added the garlic granules and black pepper. Let that cook for a minute. Then i added the chopped carrots, peas, (peas were tinned) potatoes with water and salt. Then i chopped the onion.

Ainsley Harriot (not sure of spelling, he’s a TV chef) once showed me how to chop an onion tear free. Chop off the top and bottom, then cut almost all the way through on the horizontal and again vertically back to front, then vertically side to side. One diced onion and no tears.

I added diced onion and gave a quick stir. Then i added 2 cubes of beef stock, stirred them in and left it to simmer for 30 minutes. Stirred again and left for another 30 minutes.

Finally i added loose granules of beef stock to thicken remaining water. This part is to your own preference. For me 2 tablespoons was enough you might like more. I have to be honest.

I do not like food, i prefer chocolate and would only eat chocolate if i could. So when i say this stew is tasty, i mean it!

Bah humbug!

7 Dec

Christmas is not a family time! I have done no research into this, it based on my common knowledge, nothing more.

What makes you think Christmas is for families? I’ll tell you, society. It’s as simple as that, the same with Christmas cards but that’s another blog.

Ok let me explain, Christmas is a holiday for everybody! That’s how it was for decades. Everything stopped for Christmas day, atleast. Everywhere was closed, so people stayed at home.

Now think of generations growing up, taking this as the norm, Christmas is soon associated with family and for better or worse, they get together. Ohh the joy of Christmas with family.

Let’s be honest, family life can be tough, the thought of being trapped in a building with family would put some people under a train or drive them to harm others!

Others would jump at the chance to be home with their beloved family! Nothing could keep them away, except the deranged nutters from previous paragraph.

These days we have options but to choose solitude is seen as unchristmassy, selfish, tight and many other negative terms.

Scrooge was seen as the worst a person could be at Christmas. If he had spent his time praying, (for a generous disposition maybe) he would have been the perfect example of what Christmas is about!

No money wasted on tinsel or a tree, just him and God, there are the bare bones of Christmas, nothing else matters, no gifts no trimmings nothing.

The giving of gifts has taken over much of Christmas, because of the three wise men, the real gift was Christ! Let’s put him back at the heart of it, when you write on the tag To: Bob instead of from you put from Jesus. If it wasn’t for him none of this would exist! (~_^)