“Depression is an inability to construct a future.” – I don’t know the original source of the quote, could be clinical literature or somebody like Freud. Usually someone comes along on the comments and lets me know, or it’s an original quote from the movie. Dunno.
The quote made me look back at tough times in my life – and I think it’s an explanation or partial explanation (of course there’s other factors that make us depressed). We tend to predict the future based on what happened in the past. We tend to feel happier with a “secure” future, and less happy without. Uncertainty feeds into this. With the caveat, that the future doesn’t really exist, it’s a mental construction (ie we don’t know for sure what the future will be, it’s just degrees of certainty or uncertainty.) Continue reading Depression Is An Inability To Construct A Future
I can’t remember if I blogged about this before, I first heard about it in the movie “The Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, who’s characters were both terminally ill with cancer, and they eventually made friends and had some adventures together. It’s a nice film, well worth a watch. In the movie, they talk about the 5 stages of grief which I think originated with Elizabeth Kubler Ross Continue reading Stages Of Grief (And Loss)
VE or Victory in Europe day, was the day the Nazi’s in Germany unconditionally surrendered to the allied forces back in 1945, 8-May-1945. It’s celebrated in the UK, and I am proud of our countries, and my ancestors, for the … Continue reading Happy VE Day (Victory In Europe)
I logged in yesterday to see my posts getting syndicated, and noticed “Notifications”, where I discovered many people have been sharing my posts. So a big thankyou – I followed everyone I could find, thanks for the follows back. Continue reading I’m A Twitter Idiot
Jordan Peterson’s book “12 Rules For Life” is said to have been based on an original list of 40 rules which Jordan posted on Quora in answer to “What are the most valuable things everyone should know ?” originally in 2012.
I had a conversation with Robert from “NOT IN MY WORLD” recently. He’s a lovely man, and a long time follower of the blog, and he says it’s difficult to get support for his cause. So, what can I do ? – I can help raise awareness, and help him get support. Help these kids who’re being abused.
I’ve held my tongue long enough on this topic which I’ve known about for some time, and haven’t said anything. But after speaking to Robert and seeing the STAGGERING statistics of millions of children continuing to be abused in the USA – I feel it’s my duty to raise awareness, of the 19000 English girls in multiple cities across the UK, as young as 12, who are being sexually abused, drugged, murdered, raped and gang raped by gangs of older men RIGHT NOW in the UK. This has been going on for decades, and covered up (even assisted) by the police, social services, local councils, the media and now at the top level, the civil service and home office.
I used to look up to the man. But since he bought my mortgage company after the 2008/Lehman Brothers crisis, they have set their interest rate at an extreme profit margin, all whilst interest rates have been historically low (like close to zero). For more than 12 years now I’ve been paying a huge premium over the Bank Of England’s base rate, straight into Richard Branson’s pocket. It’s one of the reasons I’ve personally struggled financially ever since 2008 – whilst Richard has his fingers in a number of pies, including his own island. Bouncing around in his private jets and floating around in Bentleys, living the life of Riley. Continue reading Strip Richard Branson Of His Knighthood – Change.org
I just found it’s St. George’s day today, an important traditional day for English (and some Spanish and Portuguese) and Christian people.
So wishing you a Happy St. George’s Day.
I’ve also added the Portuguese flag to my sidebar – so hello and welcome to all my Portuguese followers (4097 page views as of today).
Saint George’s Day, also known as the Feast of Saint George, is the feast day of Saint George as celebrated by various Christian Churches and by the several nations, kingdoms, countries and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint including England, and regions of Portugal and Spain. – Wikipedia
And, in Don Charisma style – here’s a “little risque” St. George and the Dragon painting that I posted back in 2014, as a bonus.
Painting by (c) Petar Meseldzjia – Originally posted here (with permission) :-
That’s what I’m doing right here. Exercising my right to speak freely as what I currently see as truth.
I may look stupid to you. I may write stupid stuff sometimes. I may not be a great artist, or a great writer, or a great photographer, or that great at anything. I may not be in the same tribe as you, or idolize the same gods. I may not be the cookie cutter blog you’d prefer me to be. I may not be as intelligent as you.
In fact I’m pretty average and ordinary by all accounts, nothing special. I just do my best, and hope for the best, most of the time.
I have done my research on passive-aggression. I know what your motives are and what your narrative is. I know that you deserve my pity more than my respect. I know the counter measures and moves – I have been doing this for a while, 57000 comments on this blog at last count, so I’m not exactly short-in-the-tooth by now.
So please kindly stop leaving passive-aggressive comments, or trying passive-aggressive schemes on me – You’re wasting your time, and making yourself look pathetic in the process.
It’s transparent to me by now – someone broke the rules of fight club and showed me “the matrix”, might have even been me that did it.
The silver lining – I never end up short of something to blog about, so thanks for that at least. Also makes me laugh, so double whammy.
But – Why oh why, would you prefer to argue when we could have been friends – I’m perplexed at the lengths people will go spread their misery onto others – it beggars belief, the lengths their ego will go to ensure they feel they’re right, holier than thou, ideologically superior or have “won” the argument, even if it means completely deluding themselves, and destroying a potential friendship in the process.
“Stupid is as stupid does” – Forrest Gump
If I have the time, and the skill, I try and help other people who’re honourable and respectful. I’ve lost count of the number of reblogs, guest bloggers and shares I’ve done over the years – bloggers helping bloggers, helping each other – you know solidarity. Not to mention that at least half of the 57000 comments are my replies to others.
At the end of the day – if you have no respect for me, you’re not worthy of my time.
Which reminds me of a quote I saw the other day, I’ll post that later.
Hi, it’s Danny posting on Don’s blog from the UK. I felt that this was important to share this, to raise awareness.
I don’t as yet have anything other than word of mouth, of initial reports coming in via FaceBook. But friends have sadly reported to me a number of Thai men and women have committed suicide in Thailand due to basically running out of money. With curfews and lockdowns, little to no government help, no tourist income (a large part of Thai GDP), many Thai’s operating small/micro-businesses, a drought in Thailand, already an economic downturn and with little or no savings – people who are poor are basically living hand to mouth and have become desperate.
I really don’t know what else to say, other than I’m deeply saddened to hear these reports. Losing a life through suicide is heartbreaking, and needless. My deepest condolences to those who’ve lost loved ones.
If this isn’t resolved swiftly, I’m worried things will descend into civil unrest, which would obviously lead to violence and more deaths.
I don’t know how this can be achieved – But it’s time we got the world economy going again, so more lives aren’t lost, and we don’t have more tragedy on top of the tragedy we’ve already suffered.
Hope you are safe and stays that way.
If you’re affected by this, then it’s possible to contact the Samaritans :
“Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you.” – The Samaritans UK
Judging by the number of comments, seems like I was missed yesterday. As a general rule, I think one should rest of Saturdays and Sundays. I do try and put at least one quote out per day – sometimes the simplest things are the best. In these times of struggle it might be the only positive/interesting thing that person saw that day.
Yesterday best described as “jaded”, one of my commenters apparently felt the same, so I wasn’t the only one in that boat. We are, like it or not interdependent, it’s how the world still spins. Without spending countless hours, or having any qualifications, this is roughly what I said :
Sometimes life doesn’t feel full of possibilities, it’s the same for most people. “Charisma” seems to take a day off, for various reasons.
Ultimately, short version – In the end up, it’s up to you to pull yourself back to a motivated and positive state – external forces sometimes are there to help, sometimes we have to do it on our own.
Sometimes reaching out and telling a friend how you feel can bring one back to positive mental attitude. Other’s rely on their faith.
Do something you enjoy doing today, or do something for someone else, that they’d enjoy. Write or speak to someone you miss, or haven’t written in a long time. Do you’re own mini-thanksgiving – think of all the things in your life you are grateful for.
“When the going get’s tough, the tough get going”
I’m fairly sure by now that the 38000 of you subscribed to my blog are smarter than me, so what would you have said ?
Well, there are a few subscribers straight off of this page –
This update from Jeff Taylor from about 1 hours ago @ 15-Apr-2020 19:23 UK time.
I came across Jeff Taylor’s channel whilst researching Brexit. Jeff provides news updates on (mostly UK) current affairs and politics. I found him well spoken, his previous work informative and accurate, and someone who cares about reporting factually, you know, real journalism. If I had to guess on his political lean, I’d say centrist/center-right (but I’m no expert, or journalist, or know him personally, so don’t take my word for it.)
Thankfully Boris made it through, in-spite of the slew of DISGUSTING obviously partisan comments, on social media, even on my own blog. I debated outing the “troll”, but that’s probably what they wanted, attention via any means. I can’t imagine there was any rational argument or reason for wishing a sick person to die – so I just put it down to probable mental health issues. I’m no expert in that field, so I’ll leave it at that.
Anyway – Boris Johnson, seemingly in good spirits, from about 1 hour ago @ 12-Apr-2020 17:30 UK time.
A friend who lives in the states sent me this, it’s from a few days ago. It’s counter to the current mainstream narrative, so, was an interesting watch for me – as I like to get the story from more than one perspective.
I’m not “on the ground” in US, don’t know Cuomo personally. etc, etc. – So, as for the truth, either way, I don’t know. As per my disclaimer, that’s for you to decide.
How did we get to this dire point; not all at once, I suppose, but bit by bit, being too busy with life; drunk with regrets of the past and manipulated into worrying about the future. I don’t know what stand to take today. I tried writing this post so many times, stopped, and started, and stopped, and then back to the keyboard – and all I accomplished was to exhaust myself; you’d think it were a love letter, where I struggle to find the perfect words to make it work; while hiding the gore of bodies piling up without end as we speak –
Going back to the beginning of this virus, I started gathering information, believing it would help me and my loved ones. I watched and read everything about this novel virus. I even had an opinion about how governments of countries are handling it, and responding to it, and soon enough it began to take me hostage; it had become an addiction; collecting all the news this virus was creating. The stories I came across were endless; the mistakes and delays of the world health organization, the secret agendas of governments, Bill Gates and the Rockefellers involved in promoting it, conspiracy theories, a novel supposedly written in 1981 predicting it; and then I put my two-cents in too… what if just maybe, E.M. Forster predicted our restricted lives due to this virus, in his short story, The Machine Stops, (1909), and just maybe, the Titanic had also been predicted in Morgan Robertson’s novella The Wreck of the Titan (1898). And was it the iceberg that took 1500 lives, or was it the delayed response, and ignorance to the iceberg? But, does any of this solve the problem?
I listened to people complaining about having to stay home. Could they not see the devastating alternative; images around the world of hospitals in chaos, doctors forced to decide who lives and who dies. Dead bodies in New York, stacked up in 18 wheeler-truck-fridges. A nurse in Italy, calling it the lonely flu; people dying all over the world without any hope for recovery; isolated without their loved ones to hold their hand in their final moment; to be reminded that THEY WERE LOVED! This virus has exposed the weaknesses in our system, our weakness to prepare, our weakness to prevent and to prevail – I think about our response to this virus; our delayed actions, and ignorance; the crack in our health system due to the governments we voted for; or didn’t even bother voting; too busy that day; giving away our greatest power of voice.
I listened to President Trump telling the American people that it was going to go away like a miracle, I heard Boris Johnson claiming that there was no need for restrictions; business as usual; we’d eventually become immune to it; Turkmenistan’s government claiming it doesn’t exist and, making it illegal to utter the word “coronavirus” or you’ll be arrested. The world health organization not only took too long to declare it a Pandemic, but they also informed us that there was no true evidence of human to human transmission, on January 14th – And China kept too quiet about the information that would have saved lives.
But I will not search for more to blame. I closed my door to the fear this virus has been spreading; the kind of fear that makes us weaker. I began to feel the stillness I was forced to bear and noticed the voice inside my head; words not mine, but nevertheless, coming from me; regurgitations of the outside world telling me, all the things I should believe and should be doing and should be wanting. And I stopped! I was not going to waste any more time –
These stay-at-home restrictions haven’t been taking time away from us; they’ve been giving it back to us. Having to live hour-to-hour, I realize that all I have in this world is that hour; that moment to moment that flows through me, and what I choose to do with that moment, determines everything. . . “God give me the wisdom to know the difference.” –
So, I wonder about the universal values of today – how do we make choices; on the basis of what? Yes, 95% of the information out there is a lie, so what is the truth? The truth might be that it will go away and that we will continue our lives regardless of how it has affected each and every one of us. We will gather the data and analyze the outcome – and there will be much talk and more blame but the crime will never be solved; and then soon after, we may forget.
Or we can decide to wrap our arms around the only thing that truly belongs to us – the present moment in time – not the past – not the future – only that precious moment; the one thing no one can take away from us; the most precious commodity we give away, in exchange for a deception; a promise for a “better” future waiting to be obtained. Aren’t the past and the future merely labels to define illusions; an anchor holding us back and, a promise of a holy grail at the end of the tunnel, in exchange for our lives?
Having to give up my freedom for a brief moment in time ended up saving me from an empty life filled with goals but no essence. This stillness made me aware of how numb I had become, and how I completely took my existence for granted; using myself to make ends meet, instead of experiencing life as a means to an end. So do I want to go back to that life, when the restrictions have been lifted; do we go back to the life this virus momentarily took away from us, or, when this is all over, do we make it better?
The Nature of Time by (c) Maria Fokas April 5/2020 (Thankyou Maria)
Artwork – “Ceidefields” by (c) Barrie Maguire, (published with permission of the Artist, Thankyou Barrie)
Maria has also written a poem, which is kind of a “companion” to this writing, you can find it here –
Promoting a blog or website is a continuous process, provided that is you actually want people to visit your site. For most individuals/businesses/charities/artists/writers we want people to visit our site, that was the whole point of setting up a website in the first place.
There are many facets and opportunities in promoting, forum SEO just one of many.
Forum SEO has garnered a recently “retired” WordPress.com support volunteer over 8 MILLION hits on their relatively mediocre site. So, it’s a strategy that IS very VERY powerful.
I don’t know why exactly, but I do really love blogging, and even more so creating things. I think art is mean’t to be shared (otherwise what’s the point in doing it ?), and a blog allows that combination of creation and sharing.
I’ve been doing my best to try and warn people about the Coronavirus pandemic as it transpired. And, I don’t make any money from blogging. Today, I feel like I’ve been sitting at my computer for weeks now, and fed up with dealing with stupid people I have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.
And, no I probably don’t mean you, I do mostly get many lovely commenters, who are supportive and positive, good well meaning people. No, it’s a tiny minority who are complete assholes. “Haters gonna hate” I think is the collective wisdom on this. And “The biggest fool is the fool that argues with a fool” or there or there about.
A fellow blogger once advised me – “just put them in the spam folder, and you’ll never hear from them again”. Not sure that’s very ethical solution, or recommended, just passing on what he told me.
So today, as I have all the ingredients, I’m baking some bread, which I haven’t done for a while. Not quite sure what kind of bread it will be, I have a selection of flours, and a sourdough culture living in my fridge.
Sometimes I use my breadmaking machine just to make dough, and then cut up into balls, wrap in clingfilm and freeze (like the photo above). Then with pizza sauce and mozzarella, I can make my own pizzas, as and when I want.
As I don’t have an oven, I cook the pizza base, like the “Fry bread” which I watched native Americans make. Basically I roll the Pizza base out into a round shape, leave in the the frying pan (with lid) to rise. Then nuke it on highest setting the hob will do, the steam generated by the lid being on helps to cook the pizza base. You have to be careful, because the time difference between “cooked” and “burnt” is literally around 30 seconds. So timing is everything with that one. Oh, and it does need turning once the bottom is cooked, to cook the top for a short time.
Other times I can let the machine complete it’s cycle and bake a loaf. I pause the cycle after it’s mixed, so I can remove the stirrer from the dough, so loaf doesn’t have a hole in it where the stirrer was, when baked.
Anyway, hope you are safe and it stays that way for you and your loved ones.
(Original post removed at “Chef’s” request (sharing isn’t caring it seems.) ) So here’s nice some soup photos instead. Personally – I never found it that difficult, or skillful, soup making that is. Continue reading Soup Making The Easy Way
He’s a doctor from Madrid, and a nurse speaking from Spain. It’s quite intense and distressing, so be forewarned before watching. They don’t have enough respirators and are being forced turning them off for people over 65. Family can’t be present, so these people are dying sedated ALONE.
They need your help to get this message out, *URGENTLY* so please reblog, share etc wherever you can, however you can. No need to give credit to me, just share the video, by whatever means you can.
As you can see above – YouTube deleted the video, it can still be watched at :
Just a short blog, saying a massive thanks to “Ursula” at British Airways, for allowing me to change my flight dates, waiving normal change fees, “bending” the rules for me. I think there will only be a small fare change fee, if any. Very polite and helpful on the phone today, and she want the extra mile for me – I’m grateful.
This is the second time (recently) I’ve had helpful customer service from British Airways and they’ve bent over backwards to help me. The other time was during the crew strike last year, and they were able to get me an alternative flight with Qatar airways, and very helpful on the phone.
99% of the time BA have treated me exceptionally well, over the years, and I’m happy to fly with them. I was even once, many many years ago, upgraded (for free) from club to first, by a very kind woman at JFK New York. It’s the first time I’d been in first, and will probably be the last, as no way I can afford to fly first or even club these days.
As a relatively frequent flyer (in economy) – My only (critical) suggestions for BA are :
Be a little more lenient on slightly overweight bags – most of us don’t have professionally calibrated scales at home, and do our best to follow the rules (like weighing bags at home as best we can). Occasionally we may be a kilo or two overweight. In the scheme of things this shouldn’t cause the flight a problem, as other passengers after often underweight. It’s pretty off to have a fare paying passenger on their hands and knees at check-in desk repacking suitcases, and having to throw things away – that should be an absolute last resort.
Do something about the rude, and unhelpful staff at check-in at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, and this relates to 1. above. I hasten to add that most of the check-in staff in Bangkok have usually been very polite and helpful, but there are definitely some bad eggs.
Get rid of the ghastly check-in machines at terminal 5 (London Heathrow), and put some real people back on check-in desks. It’s quite the disappointment to arrive at the airport, and not speak to a real human being, I do feel robbed of something valuable. Aside from after having a million things to organise, to then have to work out how to put a luggage label on a bag, and work out an unfamiliar computer system – especially for older people. Automating and mechanising things isn’t always progress, especially for those check-in ladies and gents who will have lost their jobs.
I make these criticisms with a positive intent, as I think it would improve BA’s service, to a higher standard – these small things make the difference between loyal customers, and customers who eventually will fly with someone else.
Sincerely I wish BA the very best of luck financially, over the coming weeks and months, as this will be a very challenging time for them because of the pandemic. Qatar airways have a 25% shareholding in BA, so might be they may be able to help.
Thank you once again BA, and Ursula who works for BA customer services.