Letters to my sons.

Trying to explain the world to two very small children.

Gordon Brown goes!!

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Dear boys,

we still don’t have a new government but things are really hotting up today. The Lib Dems and the Conservative spent all day in talks and it seemed that a deal was possible between the two parties. But things were afoot between the Lib Dems and the Labour Party. The funny thing about this election is that nobody won it and at the same time nobody lost it as the result was a hung parliament. Some have said that because Labour didn’t retain power they must have lost but this is false for two reasons:

  1. No other party won an outright majority.
  2. Just on the percentage of votes cast, combined with the Lib Dems, the two would have over 50% of the votes.

The idea, put about by the Tories, that they “won” the election is laughable. They got 306 seats out of 650, 47% but only received 36.1% of the popular vote. According to the Tories everyone else should just stand aside and allow the Tories to rule for 5 years – meaning that 63.9% of the popular votes cast should be ignored. Claiming that ignoring 63.9% of the population is “the democratic voice of the people” is utter rubbish.

Gorden Brown’s decision to resign today is a master stroke of timing. He had to go at some point but the timing was exquisite – the Murdoch Press was trumpeting that Cameron and the Tories were due to take power via Sky News, that the deal was done and that a new Tory era was due to begin. But, unbeknown to them and behind the scenes, the Lib Dems and Labour were meeting at the highest level – Nick Clegg leader of the Lib Dems met with Gordon Brown. Clegg told him that he could enter a coalition but Brown would have to go. Senior Labour figures had also told Brown he had to go, but when? After a day where the Lib-Con pact looked promising the announcement of his resignation was like a bomb going off.

Brown hates the Tories. If voting reform can be achieved it would mean the end of the Tory party ever having exclusive power again. Brown would have achieved much more by resigning and helping the forming of a Rainbow Alliance than staying on in power and looking desperate to retain his position.

I’m not a fan of the Labour Party and Moron Brown but today he completely out manoeuvred the Tory party and with any luck he has manoeuvred them out of power for the foreseeable future.

Written by Administrator

May 10th, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Politics

Hung parliament update.

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Dear boys,

still no new government formed so Labour remain in charge of the country. Today the Lib Dems and the Conservatives are meeting to see if they can come to an agreement and from a coalition. I still think that the Lib Dems will go into a coalition with Labour, the SNP and Plaid Cymru and push through voting reform. The Lib Dems want voting reform, it is the only way they can ever be relevant on the national stage in the short to medium term. How many Labour MP’s want electoral reform, how many will accept it to stay in power and how many will reject it is not really known at the moment. So even if a grand anti-Conservative coalition is created, voting reform and an elected upper house is not by any means guaranteed.

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May 9th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Posted in Politics

A hung parliament

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Dear boys,

yesterday we had a General Election and for the first time since 1977 there is no overall winner and we have a hung parliament.

A Tory spokesman this morning was claiming that Labour and the Liberal Democrats had lost the election and that the Tories should be allowed to form a government. In essence he is saying that the votes for Labour and and the Lib Dems should be ignored because the Tories got the most votes and the most seats.

Labour have been sucking up to the Lib Dems all night and promised Electoral Reform – something the Lib Dems want. The only problem is, as it stands right now – 09:10 – Labour and the Lib Dems don’t have enough seats to guarantee a majority. That might change when the other 41 seats have been revealed. So today is quite an exciting day and if things pan out the way I would like, when you two come to vote you will be doing so in a more democratic way.

If the Tories do manage to get a majority they have pledged to cut the number of MP’s by 65 and redraw the electoral map, keep the present system of first past the post. The Tories would draw the map in their favour making it almost impossible for other parties to come to the fore and kick them out.

I’ll update this when things become clear.

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May 7th, 2010 at 8:13 am

Posted in Politics

Pushing off.

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Dear Boys,

well today William you finally learnt to ride your bike on two wheels without any help from me. You were already riding happily without stabilisers but you needed help getting started. But today you learnt how to push off all by yourself.

You needed a little coaxing to try pushing off but your learnt it really quickly. Well done son.

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May 3rd, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Misc

On two wheels

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Dear boys,

Today, William, you rode your bike without stabilisers for the first time. I took them off yesterday and you had a few rides up and down the garden with me holding the back of your bike. Yesterday after a few rides up and down the garden you started crying because you couldn’t ride your bike without my help. I understood your frustration at not being able to do something that looks so simple. I asked you if you were able to do sums a few weeks ago and you said “no”. I then explained that you had been taught how to do sums at school and now were very good at it. I also told you that I was not able to ride a bike without stabilisers the first time I tried either and that it took me a few weeks before I was able to do it. At this point you stopped crying, got back on the bike and tried again.

Today I was certain that I could let you go and you would continue without falling off – which you did. I’m not sure when we will get the chance to go to the park so that you can have a proper go at riding on two wheels as tomorrow we are at football all day then on Saturday there is a kids party and then you are going for a sleepover. Maybe we will go on Sunday.

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April 15th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Posted in Misc

Back in the Premiership.

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Dear Boys,

So after one single season in the 2nd tier of English football, Newcastle return to the top. William and I went to the game at Peterborough last Saturday and it was a cracking game. Newcastle going behind early on, playing badly for all of the first half before scoring in added on time. The second half was completely different – the Toon scored 2 quick goals and took control of the game before Peterborough came back and got a goal back. Newcastle almost went to sleep at this point and if Peterborough’s strikers had been a little more accurate then they would have taken all three points. But they weren’t – which is why Peterborough have been relegated.

The singing during the whole match was constant and unbelievably loud. Fantastic support from start to finish.

The problem now though is putting together a team that can stay in the Premiership. The team that has won the Championship is not good enough to stay up as the gulf between the first and second tier is huge and gets bigger every year. If Newcastle are not to become a yo-yo team then money needs to be spent.

Having said all that I am chuffed with the way the season has gone. While walking around Sainsbury’s today I just wanted to shout “We’re Newcastle and we’re gonna win the league!” over and over.

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April 6th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A long time since my last posts.

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Dear Boys,

It has been a while since my last post. Sorry for that. Loads of stuff has happened and I have invested in some technology that will enable me write more posts more often.

We have a general election coming up and I have some adult themes that I want to share with you. You are too young to understand these posts but by the time you are hopefully they will be old history and not relevant.

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March 30th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Posted in About,Misc

Newcastle United relegated.

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Dear Sons,

Today Newcastle United were relegated from the Premiership. 

I’ll write up fully where things went wrong but here are the main points:

  1. Money has continually been taken out of the club instead of being reinvested.
  2. Five managers in one football season.
  3. Denis Wise.

 

Mike Ashley didn’t know what he was doing when he took control, by the time he started to have a clue, it was too late.

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May 24th, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Posted in Football

Tagged with

Getting the mental side right!

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Dear Sons,

yesterday I removed the suspended wooden ceiling in the kitchen in preparation for the new kitchen being fitted. It was quite a job and took some inner resolve from me on a lot of levels.

First of all every part of my brain was screaming at me not to do the work and do something else instead. Lots of different negative thoughts were coming to the fore – your knee hurts, you have had a cold and need to rest, there is too much to be done by one person …. I was able to silence the thoughts by simply thinking of Sir Ranulph Fiennes having a heart attack on Everest in 2005 and returning 4 years later to summit.

The job was not that big but it was going to be a long day with lots of steps. First I had to load the dishwasher, put away the stuff already in the dishwasher and then put away the stuff on the draining board. This seemed to be the hardest job as my sub-conscience seemed to object to it most. The rails that the top draw of the dishwasher run on keep coming out and I had to mess around to get the draw out and then back in again. The vocal saboteur in the sub-conscience had a field day with this; why are you having to fart on with the dishwasher just to get the ceiling done? Well he over played his hand because we are getting a new dishwasher with the new kitchen – the sooner the ceiling is done, the sooner the new kitchen is fitted and the sooner the new dishwasher takes pride of place.

I packed the stuff that wouldn’t fit in the dishwasher up in a box and stored it out side and then moved the chairs and everything else that could be moved outside, outside. It didn’t take me long to have 95% of the wooden suspended ceiling down. The final 5% took far too long and was getting frustrating. My neck was aching from looking up. Also the guys who fitted the ceiling must have run out of screws because a few of the boards were nailed to the ceiling. I was able to smash the wood around the nails – I’ll grind them off tomorrow.

As I removed the wood I was throwing it out of the back door. When I looked out I saw a huge pile of wood that needed breaking up so it would fit in the back of car so I could take it to the tip. My first thought was “I’ll do this tomorrow”. The only problem being that the tip is closed on Sunday’s and I would only get the opportunity to dump the wood a week later. I didn’t want the back garden out of use for today and the rest of the week so I put my mental defeatism to one side and started breaking up the wood. After what had felt like an age I looked at the pile waiting to be broken up and it hadn’t gone down. Defeatism came back in swathes but I fought it again and this time indulged in some day dreaming; I was walking up to the Tete Rousse and looking forward to an omelette when I reached the top. Before my day dream was over the wood was broken up and in the back of the car.

Now all I had to do was clean up the kitchen. This I did and waited for Heather to come home with my lunch. It took another supreme mental effort to get myself geared up, sweep the floor and get the bits, handful by handful, into the bin.

The lessons from yesterday were clear – I am only constrained by my mental application. If I want to finish something then I need to get my head sorted first, then a make a list of what needs doing and then, most importantly, do it!

If I can apply the lessons I learnt yesterday to my Mont Blanc preparation then I’ll have no problems.

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May 24th, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Family

Plans for 2010 and 2011

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Dear Sons,

I read about Sir Ranulph Fiennes climbing Mount Evest at the age of 65. This has spurned me on because I have harboured a desire to climb both Mont Blanc and The Matterhorn.

I attempted Mont Blanc in 2000 and I intend to attempt it next Summer but failed because I wasn’t fit enough. Some of the group went straight from Chamonix to the summit of Mont Blanc and then back to the Goutier Hut. I wasn’t one of them and got stuck in a hut when the weather came down and missed the opportunity to summit. This time I will not be missing out due to fitness. Although I trained hard last time it was the wrong type of training and I didn’t do enough hill walking before the attempt. Also the altitude didn’t do me any favours.

So this time I’m going to use my Power Breathe – bought many years ago but hardly used – twice every day. This should increase my lung capacity and help with the altitude. A few weeks ago I bought some dumb bells and a training book; I’m going to use these to build physical strength and muscle. By watching what I eat I’m going to loose some weight and haul 3 to 5kg’s less up the mountain. I’m also going to visit Chamonix and have a couple of walks up to the Tête Rousse hut over the course of two days and some weekends to the Lake District for some 10 hour mainly up hill walks.

On the nights when I’m not weight training I’ll be using a yet to be purchased elliptical glider. I’m thinking of getting some voice recognition software so I can still be creative while I’m spending two hours marching to no where. Or I could catch up on the documentaries that I have recorded and not watched or listen to an audio book or two.

The Matterhorn will be harder but I have longer to train. I want to climb this in 2011 as it will be 100 years since the death of Edward Whymper, the man who led the first successful summit of said mountain, a controversial event as 4 of the party dies on the way down. Whymper is buried in the grave yard in Chamonix and I have put flowers on his grave.

There is an amount of danger involved in both climbs but with the correct preparation and by keeping a cool head I will be okay. The main danger is on the way down as the exhilaration of getting to the top can leave the physical tank empty mixed with the joy of sumitting can lead to slopiness.

I’ll be updating on my progress.

Written by Administrator

May 22nd, 2009 at 9:32 pm