Questioning the World · So it's Saturday

So it’s Saturday – Week Four 2019

As I explained on Wednesday the new arrival in the family has rather thrown me for the last few weeks both waiting for the arrival and making sure everything is settled after. But, now this week I am getting back into the swing of things and building up to the Leeds signing in March. Exciting things lay ahead…

Podcasts

This week I have been catching up on an old favourite podcast, Truth & Justice. It started out out life as a fan type podcast for Serial but has developed into a must for any true crime fan. The show does not just rehash the same welol known crimes over and over again but it focuses on miscarriages of justice nd actually helps not only free innocent people but works to find the real culprits. The down side of this is that while some people may be freed you do not always get to know what is happening on the other side of it as the process is a slow one but you do get to feel like you are doing your own armchair sleuthing by hearing and examining all the evidence. You can find out more here.

Music

I have not listened to a lot in this last couple of weeks despite my determination to start listening to more I did however have a play through of a favourite Kylie album a couple of times. FGolden took a couple of listens to grow on m, yes one or two songs of course jumped straight out as favourites but some like this grew on me slowly, definitely worth  a listen

Reading

I finished Afterlife last week but have not actually begun a new book yet, I really enjoyed the paranorla romance but feel the need for something different, I do have a couple of auto-biographies waiting to be read of maybe a comedy, I do like to switch things up as I read.

Watching – TV

Again this week I have not watched much however my watched items I have put together from the last couple of weeks, so on Tv I watched this episode of Killer in the Family on Really, so often families either claim they knew nothing or that the suspected everything so it is interesting to have programmes that look at he fall out from these crimes, I think in most cases the family suspect their family member may be guilty of something even if they do not realise the full extent of the crimes.

Watching – Film

I cannot say that this film was my choice however I actually enjoyed it, we needed a family friendly film and this was my son’s choice, it has been a long time since Iwatched the orginal film and I still remember how much I enjoyed that not just for the story and special effects but also for that philosophical statement which is so true of real life.

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Overall it is a great watch, fun nature vs nurture and the neverending questions about morals and the human right to determine the survival of other species.

Watching – Netflix

Finally this week I watched something on Netflix that is another foray into true crime…

Bundy is the poster boy for serial killers, one of he ones we know most about but hearing from him in his own words makes his actions all the more chilling especially as henever takes complete responsibility for all his crimes. Once again the question of who knew or suspected what comes to the fore with Bundy having fooled so many people.

Questioning the World

Anger and Indignation

Yesterday in the UK a man who committed heinous and terrible acts alongside his partner died.

Quite rightly people are remembering the victims, many doing so rather than mentioning the man’s name, what I want to talk about today is the ones who are commenting about the fact he should have been killed years ago, that he should never have been allowed to live this long and then I wonder how many have actually read the articles over the years and understand the complexities of the situation.

You see while I myself may personally agree in the idea of the death penalty being reinstated there is the question of the families to be considered. This man has wanted to die for decades, for him incarceration was a far worse punishment than death, but the families of the victims have been some of the most vocal in their pleas that he not be allowed to. While some have their children home to rest in peace, one remains missing, the suggestion he may one day reveal the poor boys final resting place was enough to make it worth suffering him to exist for those who had the most reason to wish him dead. Over the years various members of victims families have begged him to let the boy come home and be laid to rest with his loved ones, trips to the moors have been taken, we will never know if he was just taking the p*** or if the movement of the land meant the remains were no longer where he thought they were. Recently some guns were found belonging to the man, perhaps yet another clue, and his letters written behind bars are to be kept from the public in the hope that their may be clues hidden in those but the question is, did he only take the one secret to his grave with him?

I am a huge true crime fan, I read books, listen to podcasts, watch TV shows and films and last year I listened to an audiobook, One of Your Own: The Life and Death of Myra Hindley by Carol Ann Lee, and recently I was drawn to listen to it again after listening to a podcast, we know that there were four victims of the moors murderers but the question that keeps coming back to me is, were there more?

When Pauline Reade’s Body was found one of the officers says they had eight case files which they thought could be potential victims, the four victims were all included but it is never said what happened about the other four, you have to wonder if up there on the moors more than one body remains, the man himself has hinted at times there may have been more but never given facts. The woman, his accomplice, down played her own part in the murders and I doubt would ever have admitted more existed, but more than that we know they travelled to length of the country at numerous times over this time period, who is to say there are not other children missing across the country who may have crossed there path. The children’s murders happened 6 month apart but there was then an eight month gap to the murder which would see them arrested.

You see for me this is the thing, I have only seen one suggestion of a potential victim who got away, the four victims all had fairly well established time lines which in some ways makes it easier to put together a story for what might have happened but what if there are others not in the immediate vicinity, children who were not as well cared for who no one was sure when they disappeared or where they disappeared from? The only two people who know if they did more, are both now dead, the family of Keith Bennett may never know where he is, the families of Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, may find some measure of peace. He claimed to have killed four other people, the police say the investigated looking for the crimes he claimed to have admitted to, but he was a liar! This was a manipulative, sadistic person who enjoyed playing power games with other people, who can rule out that the number he gave could be right but the details wrong, time has passed since the crimes and generations of families passed away, but you wonder if those with missing children wondered if their child could have fallen prey to this cruel pair, because there is no evidence of other victims that does not necessarily mean they do not exist, only that the pair kept no trophy from that kill, left no paper-trail that led back to them.

In keeping this man alive so long authorities denied him the freedom of death, then denied him his wish to die and they honoured the families wishes that he be forced to live in the hope of revelations, if the death penalty had been imposed there may very well still be four bodies laying in the cold desolate moors rather than one, because with nothing gain I do not believe they would ever revealed anything. While as a society we may feel anger and hatred towards this pair and their actions, it sometimes requires a more logical and less emotional view to see the bigger picture or maybe it is the fact we personally have nothing to gain or lose that makes us simply want to rid the world of this type of evil. We would love to believe this type of evil exists only rarely but somewhere round the world even as I type this a predator is stalking their prey, while we may very well wish to rid ourselves of the rabid dogs, we owe it to their victims to discover how they became what the did, learn how they cover their tracks, where potential opportunities to stop them were missed, we should only destroy them once we can be sure there is nothing left to learn from them. History will grant them infamy, we have to ensure the names of their victims are spoken as loudly as those of the criminals and sometimes real justice and retribution come in forms that we would not automatically choose.

Inspirational Angels · Questioning the World

Give Away & Page Take Over

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Join me tonight 9pm UK time as I take over the #Leeds2018 #HourglassEvents page click the link and join in advance http://ow.ly/McOi308JscK

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Four years ago this incredibly brave little man lost his fight against cancer, he left an army of followers all heart broken by his loss and devastated for his family, I wrote Voices Across The Void to honour his memory and to raise awareness and funds for the charity set up in his name Cords4LifeUK, I said Iwould never give this book away free because of that but today and tomorrow to honour him and this family I am with the hope if you like it you will leave a review, spread the word and help make cord donation something offered to all new mums so they may help save a life or at the very least give those precious extra few months cells from a donated cord gave Charlie with his family. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Voices-Across-Void-Pa…/…/B01GZ5NFPU

 

Questioning the World

My Bowie Tribute

The last week everyone’s time lines on Facebook have been full of grief and shock at the passing of the icon David Bowie, mine included, I thought about posting yesterday but decided I wanted to reflect a little more about what I was going to write, I am putting this up today and will post the vlog over the weekend as I have a lot on my mind at the minute.

You see I realised that when someone like Bowie passes away and proves they are as mortal as the rest of us they take a little bit of us with them. When a star dies young, in an accident or from a drugs overdose, we sagely nod our heads and mourn a young life lost, but the loss of someone of Bowie’s stature is different. For most of us it is true we did not know him personally, in fact he was an intensely private person, he shared his music and creative persona’s but very little of the behind closed doors life so many share so openly these days. The fact is that when an idol dies that it was not a person who died for many of us it was part of ourselves, part of someone who made us what we are.  I heard Bowie’s music long before I have a visual image of him, there was no MTV back then and you listened to music on the radio and maybe bought Smash Hits magazine, but lets face it if I bought the magazine I was far too busy drooling over JT to look at Bowie that was until he stepped out onto my screen in those trousers and I fell in love with the Goblin King! I thought Sarah was an idiot for demanding her little brothers return and not surrendering her heart to the all singing all dancing deity, even now as an adult I still feel the same way even though I know I should question falling for a kidnapper who wants to seduce young girls, there was one scene in particular that has always stayed with me and one day I want to live this, and though I am going to a masquerade ball in a few weeks I know it will not be as magical as this one.

Even if my heart is forever trapped with an image of Bowie from the 80’s he continued to push boundaries and his final album could be argued pushes the boundaries of life and death itself. Imagine filming a video about being on your death bed as you battle a disease that is killing you? When someone you think of as immortal has the audacity to prove to be only a mere mortal and die on you it makes you question everything in ways that losing even your own family members fails to, we expect our grandparents and parents to go before us but those we adore we expect to live forever, and in one way they do because they leave a legacy and continue every time we introduce a new generation to their work, think of generations who will only ever know Judy Garland as Dorothy because that is the image we share with them, Marilyn Monroe with her dress forever blowing up over that grate despite being dead before many of us were born.

Just before I finish I need to address the other celebrity death that happened a couple of days later and was just as upsetting, that of Alan Rickman.  Both these celebs were taken by the evil that is cancer and the fact their illnesses seemed to have been kept under wraps made the deaths all the more shocking, in some ways both created characters that will live on long beyond the few years they spent on the planet so I just wanted to share a couple that come to my mind at the mention of Alan, the first less obvious than the second will be.

 

Questioning the World · Tuesday Reflections

Moving Forward.

Okay so it is the time of year where everyone gets annoyingly lovey-dovey, it is also almost a year since I joined the ranks of singledom index2though hopefully with far more grace than Ms Jones.

While I am certainly not in a rush to get back out there in the dating world I have recently started considering what I am looking for in a future partner and I have realised that I am looking for a person who certainly does not exist. In fact I think of the spell made in Practical Magic to find the true love with a person who could never exist to stop Sandra Bullock’s character from ever falling in love.

So let’s examine my impossible man…

imagesLets start with looks, and yes as I say I fully accept not only am a shallow but I am also aiming way above my own level, and yes I know I am not quite hideous but I am no supermodel either so Brad Pitt is aiming high, but I am even fussier than that as I like the young pre-Angelina Brad, you know long hair Legends Of the Fall Brad, I would also accept Thelma and Louise Brad or Interview With a Vampire Brad but not Fight Club Brad.

I like my guys tall so over six foot is a must, and as well are in fantasy land here he of course will have the perfect body, not for me that is something like this,Awesome-Body-Of-Wade-Barrett think rugby player, wrestler, preferably with the tattoos. Actually any type of sportsman with muscles will do, as long as they stop before the veins pop out, that makes me feel a little queasy.

Right so far seems fairly simple, I need to find a sporty model who doesn’t mind a girl with plenty of curves, except this is where is gets really complicated, you see what I want mentally from a partner is not something that is as easy to match up. You see in many ways the things I am looking for in terms of personality and compatibility are far harder to find.

I need a guy who gets quotes like this without me having to explain it…

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I want someone who understands this world without me needing to tell them about it…

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I want I guys that will love me as much as this man loved his Elizabeth…

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I want someone who has the brains and mental complexities of a genius…

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And on top of all this he has to understand my kids will always come first, that he will find me sat at the computer at silly o’clock because I can’t sleep and so I am writing or chatting to friends on the other side of the world.  They need to understand when I sit staring off into space that sometimes it is better not to ask what I am thinking as the answer may be disturbing and involve a gruesome death.

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Sometimes I think the only way I would ever find my perfect man is if I wrote him as a character, but then he would still not be perfect, after all perfection gets boring very quickly.

As I said at the start I am not seriously in a place right now to start a new relationship and maybe my wish list is indicative of that but should you have the phone number of a wrestling, geeky, sci-fi nerd then feel free to send it my way lol but until then I think the only men in life will be a monster and a timelord from Gallifrey and you know what I am okay with that.

Questioning the World

Raw…

I started this post a dozen times, then decided not to write it , it simply hurt too much but not writing it does not ease the pain either so instead I will talk about the raw emotion that hurts so badly it is a physical pain. I am writing this Friday night but not posting until Saturday morning, that is assuming I do not change my mind again.

If you are not an animal lover you won’t understand how losing a four legged family member hurts as much as losing a two legged one but it does, I won’t even enter into that discussion and the ocean of tears I have cried today would confirm it to the hardest of hearts.

Today was the fourth time I have sat and said goodbye to a a beloved dog.  The first time was my sisters dog, that was devastating, it was also the worst way to experience it as the vet got the dosage wrong and it took several injections before she was at peace,I was not happy and as it was at an animal charity vets it made me realise you do get what you pay for.  Ever since, even when I would have qualified for free treatments I have always found the money to pay.

The second time was Smokey, he was a rescue dog on death row, age unknown but the vet thought about eighteen months old and I was only blessed with 7 years with him before he collapsed one morning and had a fit.  He got back up after and seemed okay but a little while later had another.  I rushed him to the vets, they gave him medicine to stop the seizures and I had to leave him there for a few hours for observation. I rung at the instructed time was told he was doing well and was on my way to collect him when they rang to say he was fitting again.  They concluded that it was a brain haemorrhage nothing could be done, they had run numerous blood tests looking for any other cause for a perfectly healthy dog to keel over but nothing showed at all, I sat on the floor in the back room at the vets and held him with his head in my lap as he went to sleep, it was so peaceful and tranquil and I knew I had done everything I could.

Roll forward several years and Rat the Yorkshire Terrier, he came into our lives middle aged and from a good home that could not keep him at that time, he was around eleven and was beginning to suffer with the doggy version of dementia when he began to have kidney failure. again nothing could really be done, he stayed home until it became clear he was beginning to suffer, at that point I took him to the vets and he was put to sleep, again it was a blessing and he went peacefully to sleep.  The only guilt I felt after at his end was that he loved going to the vets because he always got a new squeak toy whenever we went but on that final trip I went home without one.

Then there was this morning.

I knew it was coming, we had known for the last week.  Unlike the other dogs there was no illness, no pain, just the inevitable finality of age.  For 16 and a half years Boris had been my shadow, I lost track of the number of times I turned round too quickly and tripped over him.  The last few days he had literally not let me out of his sight willingly, when I had to do the school run or go to work he had sat by the door and waited, you might ask how I knew but I just did, I could read that dog just like my kids, I knew him inside out.

I know he wanted to stay with me and in one way I am glad he was at home when he went but his passing was harder than all the others put together.  Partly there is the length of time I had him of course, then just the type of dog he was, he was convinced he was a lapdog and never accepted he was really too big to sit on peoples knees.  But there is another aspect that I never experienced until today and that is the fear that you are doing the wrong thing.

The clinical induced sleep you go through at the vets is different to the way it happens at home.  I was lucky my ex’s mum was with us to help hold me together and reassure me because I was scared.  Your hear about the death rattle but at the vets you don’t experience it, my ex’s mum has worked in care homes for decades and has attended deathbeds more times than she likes to think about, she helped me understand what was normal and stopped me doubting that I was doing the right thing.  And believe me the final few hours I was doubting myself, I knew he was not in pain but I did wonder if I should take him to the vets and put an end to it rather than waiting for nature to take its course. The irony is I had discussed it with my daughter earlier that morning and we decided to wait a little longer but then I texted her and said it was killing me watching him as he seemed to be fighting to stay with me, she rang the vets and was ringing me to discuss the options at the exact time he took his final breath. I believe he went as he wanted, at home with me by his side, but that is another thing that you struggle to cope with when you are home alone.

You see at the vets they are trained, they know the signs to look for, have the stethoscope to listen to the chest, but when you are sat there trying to see through the tears pouring down your cheeks your mind plays tricks on you.  You think you see breathing but the hand on the chest tells you there is none, you think you feel a pulse but then realise that it is your own pounding through your fingertips, you know they have gone but you are terrified you have got it wrong and they are still there and you should be doing something. It is the same panic that you feel when you flush a fish down the toilet, it does not make a difference it was floating belly up the second you hit flush you become convinced that you saw it swim and that you have sent it to the sewers, now times that by a hundred or so.

Then there is the pain, this is no different whether you are at home or at the vets, but you cannot explain it to someone who has not felt it, the tears that pour, stinging your eyes, you try to hold it in but then it feels like your head will explode, it is like someone has hands clamped on your temples and is squeezing slowly, increasing the pressure constantly until you allow the dams to break again.  Then the pains in your chest, when they talk of dying from a broken heart it is assumed to be metaphorical but anyone who has felt this knows the actual pain is physical, not a knife through the heart, the pain is not that sharp more like someone hitting you with a sledgehammer over and over again.

Why have I written this? In part because I am a writer, that is what I do, this is how I make sense of what I am feeling. You see the hardest part right now is that the tears are flowing down my cheeks and the one who would normally lick them away, as he has done so many times down the years is no longer here to do so.  Do I believe he is in a better place? Do I believe we will meet again? The fact is the answer to those questions is totally irrelevant at the minute because right now the pain is too raw for beliefs to even begin to numb the heartbreak…

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Me And Mine · Questioning the World

Lest We Forget

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Today at 11am I shall like thousands of others fall silent in remembrance of those who gave their lives during the two World Wars, I wear my poppy with pride but this year there have been many issues which have caused me to think about what this means to others.

Firstly the threats made to young poppy sellers in various locations that physical violence would be done to them for selling this symbol of respect for fallen soldiers, my initial response it to be outraged by this and of course the threat of violence by anyone is totally reprehensible but does it also damned questions be asked?

When One Direction wore poppies during their X-factor performances at the weekend their followers flooded Twitter completely unaware of what the ‘red flowers’ symbolised.  It leaves the question are these our own children who are ignorant of what the Poppy stands for or are the people asking the question simply from other countries and unaware of our custom?  But another news story then grabbed my attention, that of footballer James McClean who refused to wear a poppy and has received abuse despite an open letter explaining his reasons.  His reason for his refusal is simple that while he fully supports the original purpose of the poppy to show respect and support for those who fought and fell in the two world wars that he cannot support it’s attachment now to all who have fallen in conflict.

While for the majority of us that new distinction does not really matter for many others it does, James McClean grew up in Northern Ireland through the worst of the troubles for him Bloody Sunday was more than a U2 song, many recent conflicts have been controversial as far as many people are concerned but again I reiterate none of that justifies threats.  What it does justify is the right of people not to wear a poppy, infact my Great Grandad died in a field in a foreign country to ensure you have the freedom to choose whether you wear a poppy or not. poppyboxa

Some people are taking a different tack and promoting White poppies to remember the victims of war and those non combatants who died and again I have no problem with this but once again it has to be stated that tragically lives had to be lost to ensure they have the freedom to reflect on the loss of innocent lives.

I am not sure if there needs to be different colour poppies to distinguish whether you respect the fallen or the innocent or just the fallen in certain wars, surely the most important lesson we should have learnt from all those who have lost their lives in conflict regardless of when, where or how is to respect the living, to agree to disagree without resorting to threats of violence.

Personally my only regret this year is that I cannot make it to the Tower of London to see the ceramic poppy field they have created to mark the centenary of the First World War sadly it will be taken down in a few days time, I think it should stand in remembrance and honour until the centenary of the end of the war but hey who asked for my opinion lol.

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I choose to wear my poppy with pride I refuse to allow it to be hijacked by political groups and to allow them to change what it stands for to me, and at the end of the day we can only be responsible for ourselves, we cannot know another’s heart and should never judge another unless the are directly doing us harm.  If you choose not to wear one I do not judge you for I do not know your story but I expect you not to judge me for my choice to do so, and I ask also that you remember how we retained to freedom to have our differing opinions.  But if you want to know my story this is why I wear my poppy…Memorial