Frack Off!!!!

Yep …’s becoming more and more evident that this is what the current British Goverment think about the majority of its people …..PARTICULARLY those in the far reaches of this ridiculously small island ….otherwise known as ‘The North’ ( you would think it was too small a land mass to divvy up like that wouldn’t you?)

ANYWAY ….Theresa May et al have bypassed local decision ….( that’s general public …local and county councils  who had already refused this company to conduct its business in the area) ….and have given the go ahead  to start  (the controversial, environmentally unfriendly …and frankly backward in terms of extracting fossil fuels deep from the earth) process of ‘fracking’ in Lancashire ….there’s uproar!!!

Oh …and yes …I do have an alternative suggestion ….I’m well aware that we and the rest of the world need ‘fuel’ …….eco fuel tho ….ECO FUEL!!!

There are SO many options ….it COULD be and SHOULD be freely available to all ….as should water …I once did a little series on  a very interesting matter we can extract eco fuel from and I think I might do it again for my blog

The matter I am thinking of is something we are ALL full of ….not least our current Tory Goverment …..can you guess what it is yet?

C’mon you’re a bit slow on the uptake


I am thinking of  ……….


a substance not to be sniffed at in more ways than one!!!:D:D:D

Series to follow:D:D:D 😉

ANOTHER shining star!!!

Now … you know I ( along with many others) was gutted at the violent premature ending of a life that had given so much already and had the potential to give SO much more …not just locally but nationally and internationally …..I referred to her as a TRUE shining star ….Jo Cox MP 20 June 1974-16 June 2016

And to be honest I ( and others ) have been reeling from it ever since …..I guess I took solace from the words of her husband …left to bring up their 2 children single handedly ….thought

‘Pull yourself together woman …if HE is coping so admirably, what the HELL is wrong with you …..get a GRIP!!!’

So I did ….thinking  we’ve got the reforendum on Europe coming up …maybe things might start to make sense a bit then


And living and working in this community I honestly believed the majority of people were getting beyond petty prejudices, fear of each other and bitterness ….but BHAM!!!   It’s felt like the rug has been pulled asunder … all really does feel fractured at the moment …a rise in hate crime and feelings of paranoia between the different elements which make up the community ….I think I hit depression but have kept on going on automatic pilot really like a hamster on a wheel …JUST functioning …getting thro but not watching the news or taking notice of what was going to happen ….filling Jo’s shoes just seemed like it was going to be an impossibility …..exhaustion and DESPAIR!!!

I even missed the labour leadership vote but knew JC had won….which didn’t suprise me really …folk are DESPERATE for a different way …and Corbyn seems to offer that ….it’s just that folk who struggle to think outside the box think we need same old, same old, to be taken seriously …..and who knows? ….old man that he is, he might be ahead of his time with his collaborative style politics …both the press and politicians can’t get their heads around it , they’re SO used to sound-bites and a lack of integrity maybe it IS all going to fall flat on its arse …..that’s how I was thinking

But THEN …I got this email from the Labour Party on Thursday ….a rallying the troups kind of e’mail

I was a bit cynical at first ….just a pretty bad picture of the candidate replacing Jo and asking for help with the by-election campaign 20 October ….all the major parties are stepping aside as a mark of respect for Jo ( which is a wonderful gesture and respect for democracy you have to admit)…BUT there are NINE crazy fringe groups standing …the biggest being the BNP ……SCARY

SO …even tho I thought my picketing, protesting, campaigning days were over ( too knackered and has got me no’where)   I have been out today leafleting ( Matt has been with his girlfriend and Sam out with friends playing Pokermon Go …but will be recruiting them next time)

I’ve walked miles …got bruised knuckles from letterboxes …had some interesting doorstep conversations and ONE hairy moment with a couple of blokes who I suspect were BNP supporters but didn’t have the guts to just say so and agree to disagree ..FULL of venom with racist language I haven’t heard since I was a little kid but hey ho

So WHY am I doing this? ….well I live and work here don’t I ….so have got a vested interest I guess …plus the democratic process is important …but if we all sit at home doing nothing …not getting involved we’ve only ourselves to blame …I COULDN’T sit by and watch the BNP sweep in …I remember them from when I was little …a really scary far right party that was then called the National Front.

AND …I have to say I think our new candidate has a LOT of potential …maybe not a future global politician like Jo …. but CERTAINLY locally and nationally ….and yes I was right she IS an actress ( I thought she looked familiar on the bad email pic) …she is a screenwriter too …BUT she has been a campaigner and activist for 30 years INCLUDING helping with Jo’s election campaign …AND …like Jo …she WAS born and brought up in this area …went to the one grammar school ( like Jo ….and ok despite what I said about selective schools they’re forgiven:D:D)  she has sound ideas about the priorities in the area too …so I reckon …like Jo …she will be able to walk the walk as well as talk the talk

Yep ….ANOTHER honest and charismatic woman that has returned to her home area …..

I reckon she CAN do it:):):):)

And LOOK at her:D:D:D

Her name is TRACY BRABIN

Something tells me the days of plastic men in suits might be over ….. I reckon we could have sassy women in red dresses being de’rigour ALLOVER the place by next spring :D:D;)

Could class ever go away?

I’m sure you’ll find the link to the guardian article previously posted interesting and a pretty good analysis of ‘class’ in British society today

It’s making me reflect on my own situation ….I guess you would say I’m from ‘working class stock’ ….most of my elders worked in the textile industry which was common in West Yorkshire at the time ….there was a LITTLE shuffling about tho ….my maternal great grandparents were from Ireland …great grandfather being killed in an industrial accident ( he worked as a delver in the stone quarries) leaving a widow and 2 daughters who were kind of hidden by relatives who worked ‘in service’ untill they got on their feet …the Mum running a haberdashery market stall and the 2 girls working in a small family run mill ….one of them running the offices when the owner was put in jail:D:D ( He was a conciensous objector to war) ….and the younger girl later going off to marry an offshore fisherman on the east coast of whom I have very fond memories of staying with in the holidays 

Ooooh where did YOU go for your holidays as a kid?


Oh and Staithes too ….and as we got older Dad got a little more adventurous …taking us hiking all over Scotland and holidays being holidays with Dad ..ALWAYS going out in boats ( think he was a fisherman at heart …..or a climber …quite a character my Dad …but I digress)

Oh and HIS Dad ( My Greatgrandfather) was ‘the mystery man’ ….it’s funny what you find out about folk after they pass on isn’t it …grandad was just grandad at the time …but after he died there were no papers ….and when we thought about it …it was a bit odd …as HE had always worked in the mills but my paternal grandmother had been a schoolteacher?…it just doesn’t add up does it?   And YES my brother has tried to find out more …he’s into family trees and the like …I think hoping to find some royal blood or somthing ….alas his searches have come to nothing on both fronts:D:D:D

The mystery man:D:D:D

So where am I going with this?

I don’t know but am rolling with it 

But anyway …yes …some RIGHT characters in my family ( I’ve said before will blog more on this subject at some point)

And yes I agree with a lot of what the guardian article is saying ….one thing for sure was there was a lot of humour around …with the older generation in particular ….was that about fear? ….Hmmmmm ……I don’t know about fear ….but if life is pretty hard you either develop a sense of humour or go under …and if folk take themselves TOO seriously WELL that’s just a joke in itself isn’t it?

Yes …Humour …maybe it’s a ‘cultural’ thing …and one the other classes could do with taking on too:D:D

And yes ….maybe there’s a point in terms of ‘education’ too …but you’ve got to think a little more creatively about ‘education’ ….education for who and for what ….it’s all very well talking about academia …but what if no’one knew how to build a house or farm the land say ….what if all your taps are leaking at home ….you’re not going to call in a University professor or a Banker are you?:D:D:D …..yes we probably need all …learn …keep an open mind … critical …keep the spirit of 3 as I call it …the wonder and why …if it adds up …keep it to build on ….if it doesn’t measure up to scrutiny ….drop it and move on

There’s room for all….it’s about value and inclusion …one is no better or worse than the other …society looks down with scorn at the ‘working class’ STILL ….expects us to be ‘aspirational’ …..but aspiring to what exactly?

There’s material wealth and greed

There’s power and control

But what else …what makes for a successful life

Life is about continual growth and learning whatever class or background you are from …it’s not ALL about the ‘working class’ making the changes …it cuts both ways;)

And that is why I do not like Theresa Mays proposal re the reintroduction of the selective grammar school system. We are in the 21st century and should be aiming for a dynamic, creative and YES academic but YES practical skills too education for all …a broad base education from 5 to 16 THEN specialise in the chosen route depending on aptitude and interest:)

Just adding my twopenneth ….take it or leave it …comments welcome:)

Oh …and if you want my PERSONAL view of ‘identity’ …YES I’m shaped by my upbringing ..but I’ve had a lot of experiences and broadening of horizons as an adult ( I kept being drawn back to West Yorkshire to support my Dad in later years but that’s another story)

Anyway yes …my current ‘identity’ is that on my ‘Halcyon’ site ….I just am …and so are you ….lets cut the crap:D:D:D;)

An authentic character ….

So …..this weekend I spent in the company of ….fellow blogger/writer …take by the ‘virtual’ shoulders and shaker ….Dermott Hayes …….and it’s been great

Dermott is encouraging me to ‘write’ ….( or trying to :D:D) …take my lifelong journal writing and 1/2 arsed attempt at blogging in a different ….or mor focussed direction ….coming up with ideas and writing in a way I’ve wanted to but maybe not had the confidence really …so I thank him for that

And meeting  in person did not disappoint ….yep here is a guy who has certainly lived a life ….a bit of an old rogue:D:D:D ….yep ….he came to meet me after having been the sole male at a table of 11 glamorous women at a charity lunch:D:D:D

If you’ve seen and read anything of Dermotts …to meet him in person you get EXACTLY what it says on the tin

Annoying tho I found him at first ( and no doubt will again) …he is actually very thoughtful …a gentleman ….an obviously loving father and grandfather …( he HAS to be the coolest grandad around with HIS music collection) …and COOK!!!?? ….my GOD!!! ….Dermott has a cookery blog called ‘Last night I boiled an Egg’ the title of which is misleading in the EXTREME :D:D:D  I urge anyone who likes food to take a look at this blog

So …all in all I have felt spoiled rotten

Meeting on O’Connell Bridge …a quick trip to the pub:D:D:D

Visiting one of Dublins organic food markets ….(feeling a bit of an idiot as it was raining and had to borrow Dermotts Parker …the hood making me feel like Kenny from South Park)…a friend of Dermotts and greengrocer who sliced us up some pear to eat as he told us some daft tale about this woman and her husband in a way only an Irishman could :D:D:D ( Sorry if that sounds like stereotyping but it’s true and meant in a good way)

Food …..Food ….and more food

Spicey scrambled egg and advocado

Stir fried fresh king prawns and Greek salad with some kind of chilli and garlic dressing

Fresh hunks of Hake with green beans and new potatoes ….cooked to perfection AGAIN with JUST the right oil and herb mix …I think this time it was garlic, mint and something else ….GOD!!! ….I HAD to mop up the juices with a thick slice cut from the home baked whole meal loaf ….I don’t think I’ve ever eaten as well in my LIFE:D:D:D ….we’re talking 5 star restaurant status here …..actually …..better than …..SERIOUSLY

I can honestly say it’s been LOVELY visiting Dermott in his little artists Garrett …. because that’s what it is …a peaceful little haven amongst the madness of inner city Dublin with its little roof garden overlooking the churchyard … his writing desk in the corner and his music:):):):)

And I’ve come away with books …goodies …a Bjork boxed set thingy ( in pristine condition …I think D maybe had one listen and thought ‘for fucks sake’!!!:D:D:D) ….and a download which now gives me no excuse not to crack on with my ‘homework’  as it has proper editing features etc

ANYWAY ….thankyou Dermott ….an alternate weekend with a difference …you’re an absolute star 🙂

Ether to Blog On….Ether to Blog On….Do you read me …. Over

Erm …..what? …..I mean hello? …..who’s that? …..does this mean I’m connected? …..are you going to stop messing about now ether? ….am getting a bit fed up of this sticking, blocking …things disappearing and total crashes you hear me?


Sorry ….heh herm ( coughs, sits up straight and adopts serious tone) blog on to ether yes I read you …..I think …..I mean over

Ether to blog on you now have full connection over

HURRAH!!! …about bloody time!!! …( holds nose) count down to connection ….fastening seat belt for lift off ….five …..four ……three ……t..

What are you DOING???

Counting down …you know li..

Yes …Yes …I know …STOP being ridiculous and just be happy you now have wifi and can post to your blog

Well I should bloody well think so after what I’ve been thro

Are you NEVER satisfied? …you now have top speed fibre optic broadband so there should be no more trouble and the boys can happily use all your tech to your hearts content

And thank god for THAT ….I’ve only had to sell my soul to the devil to get it

What do you mean?

I’ve only had to get sky ….putting my money in the pocket of the corrupt media moguls Murdoch …

Oh dear

Yep ……am paying with both hard earned spondoolah AND concience ….feel like I’ve sold out
C’mon …you’ve got fibre optic broadband …ALL your kit connected …and what’s all this about ‘concience’ …who gives a shit ?

I do!

Well nobody else does

Thanks ….you’re not making this feel any better

Didn’t intend to ….

Oh ..not you as WELL ether …..I thought you were bigger and better than that

I am

Well what are you talking like that for?

I just feed back based on the messages I receive …put out based on what comes in

Well maybe you need to try ‘recieving’ different messages then

Hey ….don’t blame me …it’s not top down management here …it’s a collaborative …reciprocal carry on …I keep dropping hints but if they ain’t being picked up on

Oh ….I’ve had enough of this …I’m off ….where’s my cushion?

Oh that’s right … running off again to feel sorry for yourself and lol about on your cushion

YES! ….over and OUT!!!


Hmmmmm being a bit melodramatic aren’t we?

Blog on to ether …I said OVER and OUT …and I like this version better than Jon’s original because she sounds as tho  HER energy is completely sapped and her voice is out of sinc …

And hmmmmmmm is she smoking or is that a chip on her shoulder?:D:D:D

Let’s do yoga with Mr Modi!!!

I don’t care what ANYONE says ……this is the man for me ……well not literally:D:D:D

BUT anyone who practices Yoga can be trusted …..Mr Modi ( Indian Prime Minister) is reclaiming Yoga ….it is NOT a commodity ….it is an ancient all encompassing practice … can be ANY religion or NONE  ….you can be fat ….thin ….old …..young ….black …white ….yellow …you might already have health problems ….it’s NOT about being a supermodel dressed in designer ‘Yoga Gear’ tying yourself in knots ….it costs 0 …..the benefits are now being proven by scientific research …..all you need is maybe a mat …enough space to lie flat with your arms outstretched and an ability to breath …and yes these guys are sitting in the lotus position …but if you can’t it doesn’t matter …us westerners having spent years sat in chairs often struggle with it …just sit cross legged or however is comfortable to meditate ……

Let’s join the ‘Yoga Revolution’ …….Ommmmmmmm:D:D:D

Oh and the link was sent to me by my buddy Rahul ….it’s cheered me up no end :D:D:D

Still want to read those ‘Panama Papers’ tho …..go knocking on a few doors taking some teabags a la Satish Kumar …saying

‘ Hello my names Fijay …I’ve brought you some teabags …how about popping the kettle on so we can have a nice cuppa and a chat’:D:D:D


No I’m not sneezing OR swearing …although ACTUALLY it could be swearing …let me think a mo how the word could be used …..Ahhhh yes ….how about your in a situation …say your at a buffet …your one of the last to the table …you have one or 2 crisps on your plate THATS IT …there’s just a tiny bit of salad left …a lettuce leaf and a cherry tomatoe say …oh and a lone chicken drumstick for that essential protein …you hobble to the table ( you walk with 2 sticks that’s why you are a little slower than the rest of the party guests) JUST as you are about to reach out someone whips in and snatches it away almost knocking you off your crutches.

Excuse me ….you say …and are about to add that you haven’t eaten yet …but the other person as he is briskly marching off with the party leftovers just shouts  ‘ATOS’ over his shoulder

THERE that’s a fairly accurate use of the word ….’Blog On’ has hereby invented a new swear word …


Or you’ve been ‘ATOSed’ ….a bit like ‘Shafted’ ‘Ripped Off’ or ‘Screwed’

Perhaps I should explain further …

ATOS is a private company the British government commissioned to assess people for disability benefit as it had apparantly come to light that some people were making fraudulent claims …although how they were doing this God knows as there has always been a requirement for medical reports etc not to mention completing EXTREMELY lengthy and convoluted forms most people require assistance to complete ….ANYWAY  the company ATOS were brought in a few years ago now along with getting rid of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and changing its name to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) ……a rather nice and more appropriate use of terminology (there’s lots of clever use of terminology these days but as we all know …its actions that speak louder than words but hey ho)

SO to cut a very long story short …it’s caused a lot of upheaval as folk have been struck off their benefit left right and centre and declared fit for work ………….now in principle I’m not against this ….I’m all for people with disabilities having equal rights as citizens ……I mean look at the Paraolympics for goodness sake ….HOWEVER I’m sure even the paraolympians would say they need their PIP to pay for additional support they may need …including things like assistance with personal care and aids and adaptations to enable independence.  Also ….when it comes to mental health …it is largely an invisible disability as folk tend to lock themselves away ….YES there is proactive work to assist folk to maximise their potential INCLUDING going back to work …but there are STILL many MANY employers who will not even look at someone if they say they have experienced mental ill health …there is STILL incredible stigma despite it being a case of ‘there but for the grace of God go us all’ …..yep no’one is immune and indeed the numbers are rising ….I wonder why? …..but I digress

I guess I am talking about this now as I have had a lot of dealings with this company the last couple of months as folk in receipt of this benefit are ‘reviewed’ ……again …..nothing wrong with that say I …..BUT it’s the WAY it is being done ….folk getting letters instructing them to attend appointments at short notice at various obscure locations ALLOVER the north of England …we have had folks being asked to go to Durham, Liverpool and York ….working with people who experience ‘psychosis’ many cannot drive and even struggle to use public transport around the immediate area never mind contemplate going somewhere unfamiliar ….the STRESS all this causes is unbelievable …..many live in a muddle …struggle with correspondence …you are struck off immediately if you do not attend and are allowed to rearrange the appointment once.

I must admit …where possible I have assisted folk to request a home visit and attended also so these ‘Assessors’ can see EXACTLY how it is ….I am CONVINCED that all this will be costing the government a FORTUNE ….WAY above what DLA used to even WITH the odd fraudulent claim …..not to mention the added feelings of guilt and shame to already vulnerable people who tend NOT to engage or trust anyone ANYWAY!!!

One person HAD been struck off and another appointment made more locally which I attended with him today ..well the next city …this is a person reluctant to let ANYONE in his home and really only goes to his local corner shop on his own where they know him well…he suffers paranoia and is a voice hearer …the voices becoming more pronounced, louder in volume and negative in nature when feeling under duress ( as with most voice hearers)…so you can imagine the journey to the appointment ….I actually sang …YES SANG to try to divert from the tension and cocophany going on in his head …it probably sounds ridiculous but it seems to work with this particular guy on car journeys  …ANYWAY

Aaaaaaaaagh the unnecessary frustration


SEE ….sugar and spice it is NOT always …but it’s the weekend and I’m letting it all go …so


….a nice little track pertinent for the mood today

YEP …….good ole Marvin ….1972 …..that’s a LONG time ago BUT  the US has just had a Black President in the White House which was unimaginable back then so it goes to show change for the better CAN happen ……we’re just having a blip ….a hiccup hopefully ….Hmmmmmmm maybe we are on the cusp of  some kind of next level wave ….there’s always a bit of turbulence before things settle down:)