Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Defence contractor BAE Systems is to formally announce later that it is cutting nearly 3,000 jobs in the UK. Brough in East Yorkshire will see 900 jobs go, Warton in Lancashire will lose 822 posts and Samlesbury, also in Lancashire, will lose 565. A further 655 jobs will also be lost at smaller sites, taking the final figure to 2,942, the BBC understands.

In another time and perhaps another place
No jobs were lost at British Aerospace
Almost 3000 lives are to come undone
Feed the anger under the autumn setting sun

Patients with terminal cancer should not be given life-extending drugs, doctors said yesterday. The treatments give false hope and are too costly for the public purse, they warned. The group of 37 cancer experts, including British specialist Karol Sikora, claimed a 'culture of excess' had led doctors to 'over treat, over diagnose and overpromise'.

The fates of time resting in hands of fools
As yet again they change our living rules
From their gilded lives flow words of concern
But moneyed self preservation all they learn

Three women have described the historic day Mahatma Gandhi visited Darwen 80 years ago today. As political leader of India, he was invited to see the effects of his country’s boycott of cotton goods on Darwen, by Percy and Kathleen Davies, owners of Greenfield Mill, in Darwen. Then aged 62, he was in London for talks about the issue when the opportunity arose to speak to the town where 10,000 were unemployed because of the action.
A famous man called Mahatma
Came to Darwen met few grandma
He saw that it was very good
Went home, said emigrate, we should
Millions shall go there for holiday
No needs for money the UK pay

When the life we have doesn’t seem enough
How do we learn to say I done all my stuff
Take our time and for what it’s worth, let go
And give all we have taken back to the earth

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dont know what was going on here ? Look at the eyes

I gauge my life toward the setting sun
Wonder how so much; can now be undone
Of the earth and wind and sea and tide
I realise too late, there was nowhere to hide
Underneath the Alps now takes to flight
A theory of old about the speed of light
From glials and neurons came out E=mc2
But it may not prove to be the last word
In covetous states for Einstein‘s mastermind
We’d better remember - benefit mankind

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday 16th Sep 11

Holidays are here - Drove down to Norfolk to a small place called Thurford (near Dereham.) It’s not a particularly long drive in miles but takes quite a long time once you hit the small roads in Norfolk. It’s a very agricultural county and consequently the roads are full of tractors; large lorries and of course tourists. It is however classic English countryside with long rolling fields that stretch to the distance in hues of gold and brown. I won’t say rolling hills because it is rather flat.  Immediately you can tell that life hasn’t probably changed very much since the Doomsday book was written. Same crops grown in the same fields for centuries and there are mediaeval churches and homes everywhere. If there weren’t’ all these clues the magnificent tall oaks of immense girth would be another pointer. Though I notice that despite the immense size of trunk oaks have surprisingly little canopy.

We arrived at the house around 4pm – it’s a converted barn (or as they say here – byre.) Very nice and the warmth from the AGA hits you immediately. There is no mobile signal so very likely we shall have a peaceful week although that means that I can’t update my blog while I am here.  Huge living room the size of well a barn! Would be fantastic with a large pair of Tannoy Westminster’s in it.

Bonus beds are also really comfortable. Perhaps that is why I seemed to be tired all week long but again that may just be my age. Photos to follow may not be in any particular order.

Saturday 17th Sep 11

Lazy day today as we were all a bit tired. We rested on the houses enormous couches, went to the supermarket in Cromer (famous for crabs) and had a chicken Caesar salad for tea. There is a huge apple tree outside the window so we’ll probably make an apple pie at some point. The lady who owns the house keeps horses and was dressing one for an event.

Sunday 18th Sep 11

 Made some bread in the AGA. Wonderful cookers but a bit temperamental.

 After a breakfast of eggs, thin, crispy rashers of bacon and sausage we went to Blickling Hall.

 Very nice and part of the Boleyn family estates. Lots of pictures of Elizabeth 1 and Anne Boleyn. Then we went to visit a Shire horse centre which turned out to be a vegetarian advertisement with rescued animals. Still nice pigs and horses. Home to a roast lamb dinner...but no pudding.

Monday 19th Sep 11

Went to ‘Wells next the sea’, ate cold Cornish pasties and then went to the Muckelburgh military museum.

Noreen cooked spaghetti Bolognese for tea

Tuesday 20th Sep 11

Made more bread...even better than yesterdays. Nick made Apple cobbler with the garden apples and I made a Bakewell tart. Went to Sheringham and took a trip on the Poppy Line Railway. Nice steam train but scenery overall and train speed not so good. Good experience overall though sitting in Harry Potter type carriages.

Wednesday 21st Sep 11

Took a trip to Wroxham for a sail along the broads (Wroxham broad to be exact) Broads are old peat pits that have since filled with water.

Thursday 22nd Sep 11

Went to see the seals off Blakeney Point – very enjoyable (pictures below) – got really close to them too.

Visited Felbrigg Hall which has a beautiful walled garden

 Friday 23rd Sep11

Out for 10am and Nick had us back in Lancashire at 4pm – little Robbie was pleased to see me though. When I look back it doesn’t seem like we did an awful lot but had a fantastic, relaxing week none the less. Good holiday. Good choice Jane.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I don’t normally do the celebrity stuff but I thought the picture of Kirstie Alley above was different.
Asthralain was not vengeful but she knew no acts of terror or violence could go unremarked or unpunished. The gyre of retribution swells and rotates fast in its anger. At best it buys an uneasy peace, but at worst fosters a revolution that before it ultimately falters has created anarchy. Despicable act begets despicable act, though ultimately it cannot flourish and the call to arms rattles in the throats of the warmongers and grows silent. For when the initial anger is set aside it can never be more than the exhale of revenge. Unlike the greater song of humanity which then comes to bear to bring a decade of atonement bred from the voices of those we have lost. This she would not permit to happen. She could not lead her world into a maelstrom of conflict if she herself did not believe the cause was just.

The campfire had burnt low to glowing embers by the time she noticed its faint flicker. Hurriedly she threw on more wood but before it could crackle into life the first attack came. Without compulsion her staff blazed into life.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Well the winds didn’t arrive yesterday...there was some wind in the trees but nothing serious. Still I thought it best to avoid walking under them; just in case some old branch fell. I’ve got to go to the dentist this morning so will have my quota of pain for the week then. Nick’s already had his. It must be national dentistry week or something.  I might just have a haircut too, but I kind of get used to this old birds nest on top of my head.

Thought for the day – don’t look after number one, it’s two, three and four which are important and if you do that right, they’ll do the same for you.
Hear now the rise and fall of wind at dusk
It rushes into the oaks and beech and limes
It becomes more than just a storm it is...
An orchestration played from the west
It tears at the fabric of the trees and a,
Shower of gold is torn from trees to descend
Down to earth to gild consecrated ground

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A human heart is born so fragile; to bear so very little
Yet we carry it all still and perhaps more than can be borne
You rebuild; but still you remember them all with reverence
All the heroes and innocents of a slowing September sun
I could not bear it as you, without a recourse to darkness
I watch the ten year remembrance, hear the names read
I think God bless America for it is the land of the brave
Ever no ground zero; only a place where each was a hero

Saturday, September 10, 2011

From the Guardian

The number of patients being referred by their GP to see a hospital specialist has dropped by almost 5% over the past year, prompting fresh concern that access to care is being rationed as a direct result of the pressure on NHS finances.

Are you sure they are just not too busy; counting the cash?

See below
Wouldn't it be nice (for once) for someone wealthy to say " I earn way too much, let me help those less well off." Hats off to Sir Stuart Rose ( the former Marks & Spencer boss ) who calls for 50p income tax rate to be retained. Unlike the politiians and greedy economists. Nests and feathering come to mind.

Former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson has added his voice to calls for the top 50p income tax rate to be ditched as soon as possible.

He said the rate was "foolish" and "very dangerous" to the UK's economic competitiveness.

This week 20 prominent economists said the tax on every pound earned over £150,000 should be axed at the earliest opportunity to boost growth.

Critics say cutting the top rate at a time of spending cuts would be unfair.

Ministers say although the 50p rate - which affects about 310,000 people - is temporary, they plan to increase the income tax threshold to £10,000 first.

Lord Lawson, who as Margaret Thatcher's chancellor cut the top tax rate from 60p to 40p in the pound in 1988, told BBC Radio 4's The Week in Westminster the 50p rate had to go.

He said: "The politics are slightly difficult but I think it should be done. It would be extremely beneficial to the economy. I don't think it would cost the exchequer any money at all.
Didn't inherit that gene from mum and dad - my version must be very long....

If you are a cheery soul whose glass always seems half full, you can thank your parents.

You will probably be pleased to learn some of us are born optimists who have inherited a 'happy gene'.

The finding may help to explain why some people are always miserable while others tend to look on the bright side.  We inherit either; two 'short' versions, a long and a short version or two 'long' versions of the gene.

Those with two short versions of the gene managed to focus on the positive images and avoid getting upset by the negative ones, according to the research published online in Biological Psychiatry.

Strangely this 'short' version of the gene is the same one which has been associated with making people feel anxious and depressed and it suggests these people have a ‘very emotional' response to their environment.

Professor Fox said: 'When times are really good, it is those with the highly reactive short genotype who really benefit.
From the Daily Mail – this is so UK 2011 so probably completely true.
NHS - Normally Honest Staff

Phantom patients net GPs millions: How dishonest doctors claim NHS cash for dead patients and non-existent treatments By Neil Sears, Eleanor Harding and Sophie Borland

Dishonest GPs are defrauding the taxpayer of millions of pounds by claiming money for ‘ghost patients’.

Some family doctors are retaining the details of patients who have died or left the country so they still receive annual NHS payments of up to £100 for every person registered with them. In a separate scam, there is evidence of surgeries inserting bogus information on genuine medical records to claim vast sums of NHS cash for check-ups that never take place.

The spotlight has been thrown on the fraud after four doctors were suspended over allegations they earned millions by claiming to treat more than a thousand people who were overseas or had died. The doctors claimed to have 8,150 patients on their books – but the General Medical Council and NHS fraud specialists have launched inquiries into claims that up to 3,000 of those were either non-existent, or genuine but with false information on their records. In addition, some patients at the practice, in South London, were falsely recorded as suffering from dementia or obesity, or as having been given drugs or flu vaccinations they had not had. By inserting these false records, the GPs would have been able to boost their income by claiming extra payments for carrying out check-ups which were incentivised under Labour’s controversial Quality and Outcome Framework.

Resigned: Doctors J & A Singh denied that more than 1,000 patients registered at their clinic were either dead or had moved overseas. The deception could have endangered lives and also affected patients’ life insurance policies. Every patient on the practice register is now being called in for a health check to ensure records are accurate. The latest scandal focuses on the Streatham Place Surgery in Streatham, South London, which was run by husband and wife GPs A &J Singh, 67, and their employees Dr V Patel and Dr N Mazhar. An NHS report into the practice, seen by the Daily Mail, said patient safety could not be guaranteed and that the system of record-keeping was ‘inherently unsafe’.

Last night Dr Singh spoke only briefly at her £1.25million detached home. She said: ‘The investigation which has been going on has not been proved. We have actually resigned our contract to run the practice.’

Asked whether more than 1,000 of her patients lived overseas, and others were dead, she said: ‘No, no, no.’

The GMC confirmed it was investigating the four doctors.

The pay of GPs has soared since the introduction by Labour in 2004 of a ‘bungled’ new contract. Many are now on salaries in excess of £250,000. The NHS pays surgeries up to £100 a year for each patient on their register, regardless of whether they ever have treatment. In 2009 Birmingham GP M Cheema was found to have more than 30 ghost patients, earning him an additional income of about £2,500 a year. Some Primary Care Trusts have sent inspectors to patients’ registered addresses to check whether they actually exist. In one case a family said they had been receiving letters from a surgery addressed to someone they didn’t know for 20 years.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Please Have a look at this:

I've just signed the petition to stop the plan to cull thousands of badgers next spring.

Cow TB is a terrible problem. It leads to the slaughter of thousands of cows, costs millions of pounds, and places terrible strain on farmers and their families.

But the government has scrapped trials of badger vaccines. They fail to compensate farmers for the full impact of the disease. Instead they're proposing to launch a badger shooting plan which their own experts say won't solve the problem.

Together, we can persuade the government to invest in a long-term, science-led approach to cow TB. We can stand up for real solutions not unscientific political gestures. And we can make sure that thousands of wild creatures aren't needlessly slaughtered in the process.

When hundreds of thousands of us signed the 38 Degrees petition against England's forests being sold off, that helped persuade the government to cancel the plans. Now we can do the same to protect badgers with a huge petition against these plans to shoot them.

Please sign the petition to stop the proposals on badger culling:

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion.

22. Over prepare, and then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28.. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything... Give time; time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45.. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Friday, September 02, 2011

She paused briefly by a large holly bush. It was old beyond years although not of tremendous height. Its silvered branches held swathes of lustrous green leaves and scarlet berries and one Robin safe among the thorns. Yet the Robin cared nothing for the sanctity of years and the greater troubles of the world. He was simply glad to be here and able to sit resplendent on the holly branch to show off his new plumage. Perhaps hope that the worms would not bury too deep to avoid the storm; but that was all. Yet for all his simplicity of spirit his gaze cut through Asthralain as keenly as the wind and shivering she drew her cloak tight about her and she thought of her father.  Now at this time more than any other she would have given anything to hear his counsel...
Autumn now comes upon us like a hungry snake wrapping up the world in a gentle killing venom that slowly tinges all of nature’s extremities to brown. It wreathes the world in dawn mists and low setting sunset fires that burn out at dusk. It places a chill on the land and makes us hunger for the warmth again. It reminds each of us that the joys of summer are fleeting and that each year must end to enable its rebirth. Yet for me now looking into September I would still have the warmth and the light and the joy of the outdoors. But the cold will win; whether I will or not. Chilled faces and crisp vistas will refresh and invigorate jaded souls. Warm hearths will invite and succour us after cold treks and the scent of herbs and almonds will fill every corner of the house. We shall grow the smaller outdoors faced with the larger winter elements of the world but indoors we shall create a cosy nest that we may inhabit till spring is here again.