Framed….

Featured Image -- 8465

Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

Unintentionally that is… as I strolled around Wakehurst Place on Saturday, I came across this beautiful little bit of garden.  I loved how the flowers stood tall and I loved how you could sit and admire such beauty.  It wasn’t until I got back home and imported my photos via Lightroom that I noticed that this perfect piece of garden was framed between these two huge tree trunks…

Taken by Bren Ryan Taken by Bren Ryan

View original

How long…

Today this world has suffered 3 terrorists attacks, one in France, one in Kuwait and now 27 people, including holiday makers from 6 different nationalists, killed whilst being on holiday in Tunisia.

Or as being reported in France, for just  being  the boss of the terrorist.

But do you know what is the most scariest thing going?

How long before non-Muslims, start looking at the local Muslim lad serving them in their local shop and start to question whether one day he will become a terrorist and start to distrust them?

How long before we start looking at the Muslim travelling on the train and sitting by us, and start to wonder if he is carrying a bomb in his backpack?

How long before we start to look differently at our Muslim neighbours?

How long before we start to alienate Muslims and refuse to be friends with them?

How long before the majority of people start to tarnish all Muslims with the same brush?

And the most scariest part is how long is it before that alienated Muslim, who we have turned against and shown distrust to, turns to the likes of ISIS?

The solution to this problem lies within the Muslim community… through education, understanding and encouraging that young Muslim to teach others that Islam is a gentle faith and for every Muslim to encourage unite his fellow Muslims and to publicly condemn ISIS and their barbaric ways. And for that young Muslim by teaching other young Muslims that look up to him… that ISIS and its kind is nothing but a disease.

A disease that needs to be eradicated.

We have to encourage and praise the young Muslim that stands up to the radical preacher on the street.  We have to encourage that young Muslim when he stops radicalisation from being carried out in his name and when he stops another person from running off to ISIS.

Guns, bombs and boots on the ground won’t do it… education will… but not education conducted by Governments, but education conducted by the young Muslim men that ISIS so wants to recruit.  We have to help the disgruntled Muslim to understand that slaughtering people is not the way to improve things… and that is not how democracy works.

And it has to be done, not tomorrow or next year, it has to be done today… before there is a big divide between non-Muslims and Muslims, Before there is them and us.  And above all, it has to be done  for humanity’s sake.

My thoughts and prayers today are with all those who have lost someone dear to them and to those that have loved ones injured, in these cold blooded killings today.

Know your car warning lights..

Love one of the comments on this….

I just put stickers over the lights when they come on…then I have glow stickers

Holiday of a lifetime – Part 3

©RyanPhotography

San Francisco (Free Day)

Today was our one and only free day in San Francisco… which is a shame really because I would have loved to have met up with some photographers who I have got to respect online, people like Laura Macky and Dan Shehan.  But unfortunately this time it wasn’t to be.

That is the thing when you read in the brochures about the holiday, you think you have more time in places than you really have.  We could have easily spent another couple of days in San Francisco, because even though we packed a lot in during our one free day, there was still more we could have done.

The two places that I wanted to visit again, was the Palace of Fine Arts and to stop this time at the Conservatory of Flowers and go in and have a look.  The other half wanted to visit the Haight District again and go down to Fisherman’s wharf.

But the one thing I wanted to do above all was to ride on a cable car… and by luck the California Street terminus was just around the corner from our hotel… so that morning after another wonderful breakfast at the New Village Cafe.. we headed to the cable car stop, after purchasing a $17 dollar daily pass to ride on all the public transport we could fit in. :D :D

That bus pass proved invaluable, because it is $6 dollars each to ride on the cable cars and we did two of them and $2.55 to get on a bus no matter where you went.

Now that was another adventure trying to find the bus stops… but we managed and finally we sussed out that the bus stops were at the corner of blocks and not in the middle like we are used to.  And one of the people on the trip told us, when we had left, that he had worked out that the bus stops had a red marking on the kerb stone.

So first stop cable car, then bus to Palace of Fine Arts (which is my favourite place I have to say), then back on the bus down to the Conservatory of Flowers, a walk through Golden Gate Park and the Pan Handle, a stroll around the Haight district and then back to Fisherman’s wharf for dinner.

San Francisco is a lovely city… my only regret is that we never saw the Golden Gate Bridge without the fog and mist surrounding it….  And it was taking me some time to get used to going into bars and tabs being set up straight away.

I bet those waitresses at times thought here we have another thick Brit… because I was there with my dollars, which I didn’t have a clue about, ready to pay as soon as I had ordered.

As we strolled around Pier 41 and Pier 39, I think it was on Pier 39 that there was some seals basking on wooden boards floating in the sea… crowds were amassing and watching the side show of one seal refusing to allow any seal on his half of the wooden board.  Every time this particular seal tried to slide on the board he would whoosh him with his flipper and that was it he had knocked him for six back into the sea.

We had to laugh though, because whilst he was preoccupied with this one seal trying to muscle in on his board, another had  sneaked in behind him… mind you when he realised what had happened was their a set to… the crowds were roaring with laughter.    To be honest I think he was playing to the crowds because when the noise from the crowds lessened he got up to some more antics…. what an attention seeker he was. :D :D :D

That evening we decided to get a light snack locally and knew that we had a very early start the very next morning…. our cases had to be outside our rooms by 5.15 am and we were on the coach at six heading for Oakland station to get the train to Merced.

Already I was missing San Francisco….. and one day I hope to return but this time I will spent far more time there… and hopefully catch up with Laura and Dan xx

Sorry Foxy…

jj

jjBut fighting ISIS is not like taking on the Nazis… I give you war is war… but war is not like the films make it out to be… all guts and glory.  In war innocent people die… and in order to fight a war you have to have men to do it… We already have a depleted Army, Navy and Air Force… what then, should these men die on the front line… call-ups… young boys sent to the front line to fight a war that will only cause more hatred to the West.

You say in your column yesterday the following:

But to go to war against IS, Boko Haram, Al Shebaab and Al Qaeda would give them exactly what they want – a crusade that would recruit more to their cause, and form the caliphate they crave.

You then go on to say, we can’t ignore it and we can’t build a wall… but what is the alternative?  Because you say

The simple truth is that doing nothing is not much of an option. We will have to fight them one day, and the sooner we start the sooner it’s done.

So how do we fight them… we can only fight them through education… teaching young Muslims that taking up arms is not the way to solve your problems…

You can’t even liken fighting the Nazis to fighting ISIS, simply because we were fighting a nation back in those wars.  We were fighting the Germans… we weren’t fighting a religion that had been taken to radicalised extremest extent.

When we fought the war in World War II we were fighting the German people and Hitler… In 1939 German nationals living in Britain were given classes and some were segregated into interment camps…  Those that were categorised as class A were put in internment camps and not allowed out… class B internees were also put in camps but had restrictions against them but they could leave the camps… class C German nationals were free to go and not deemed a risk.

In 1940 the authorities rounded up all Class B German nationals and placed them into internment camps and took away their rights to freedom.

The Daily Mail orchestrated a campaign for people to sack German nationals… German people, people who didn’t agree with Hitler, lost their jobs and their freedoms, in the end many were exported to Canada and Australia.  The same happened to Italian internees when they sided with Hitler.

The poll at the end of your article reads as of today the 80% of people think we should go to war with ISIS.

poll

Only in the news recently, we have had teenage girls runaway to Syria to marry ISIS fighters, we have seen married men crying because their wives have gone to Syria to join ISIS and taken these men’s children with them.

How many more will turn to ISIS should we decide to go to war?  How many people will try to get to Syria because they are seeing innocent Muslim women and children being killed?  How many will turn to a extremist radicalised view and make their way to Syria to fight with ISIS?

And the most frightening part is not from those that go to Syria or Iraq to fight with ISIS but those that stay behind and bring carnage to our streets.  We have seen a soldier slaughtered on our streets, should be go to war how long will it be before Sylvia is slaughtered on our streets?

Or do we do what the British Government did back in 1939, intern all Muslim people, because we don’t know which ones now will become radicalised do we? So will we have to intern them all, just to be on the safe side?

Back in the second world war, some local authorities took away council houses that were rented to German nationals… is that what we do should we go to war with ISIS?  Take away council houses from Muslim people?  What about those that have businesses and own their own home?  Do we intern these people and sell off their assets to pay for a war?

Going to war is not an option… and those 80% of people who think going to war is … really do need to think outside the box and how our lifestyle will change drastically.  What about the British Muslim that wants to fight with us and fight against ISIS, do we say ‘No’ just in case?  What about the Muslims already in our forces?  Do we intern them and remove them from our forces?

Because this war isn’t about nation against nation… is it is about an extremist group who have taken the Islamic faith and turned it into a barbaric way of life. And people who don’t abide by that way of life will die.  This war is about religion and how one religion should rule the earth. This time we are fighting a religion albeit one that has been taken totally out of context by nutters.

ISIS are tapping into the mindset of young people and ISIS know damn well that if we go to war with them… they can cause more damage here by getting the message to young Muslims who feel they don’t have a chance, that they are not needed to fight in Syria but they are needed to cause carnage in Britain. And Sylvia from Bracknell will lose her head.

This war will only be won by education… teaching young Muslims that there is an alternative to ISIS and I think this comment from one of your commentators on your Facebook page… sums it up perfectly:

I’m not very well informed on these matters, but what i think we are witnessing is not IS at war with the west but with Islam itself. Could this be the beginning of a reformation of this relatively young religion ? Islam needs to die and be reborn so it can survive in the modern age. Those that can facilitate this is the young forward thinking “moderate” muslims who can lead and educate the rest. Boots on the ground, guns, bombs etc are just a symptom of cataclysmic change. It’s now those seeds need to be planted if we are going to see the results in many generations time.

We can’t deal with ISIS overnight… it is going to take ‘moderate’ Muslims to get this message across and to teach other people that backing ISIS is turning their religion into something it is not…

Young moderate Muslims and proper border control, security services – even if it means giving up a little bit of our own privacy – is the only way to fight ISIS.

This time around troops, bullets and bombs won’t work.

And we need to face up to the fact that we created this bloody mess in the first place.  When we invaded Iraq.  Let’s be honest since we took out Saddam, the whole region has destabilised.  Yes he was brutal to his people, yes he was barbaric and no better than ISIS, but we took him and his government out and left the power vacuum there for every nutter to fight for.

Holiday of a lifetime – Part 2

©RyanPhotography

San Francisco

©RyanPhotography
©RyanPhotography

Well after a 10½ hour flight we landed safety in San Francisco.  The flight was lovely and as we flew over Greenland and Iceland out of the window I captured these lovely snowy mountains.

Some people decided to catch a few hours sleep whilst flying… me I was too excited and was just admire the view from the aircraft window.  The Airbus A380 was a beautiful plane to fly on.

Mind you there is a lot to be desired with regards to the food that is served by British Airways… aircraft food hasn’t really improved as it.  But on saying that when we eventually got talking to another couple on our holiday who flew by Virgin.. they told us what their meals were and how they got cream cakes and teas.. and how I wish we had flown Virgin.

San Francisco is normally renowned for having a slow customs procedure and it can take up to an hour standing in a queue to go through immigration.  We had luck on our side that day and there was only our plane going through immigration and the queue wasn’t bad at all.  In fact our tour guide did say this is quickest she’d been through immigration.

It wasn’t long before our suitcases arrived at the carousel and then off to find our coach that was to take us to the Holiday Inn on Van Ness, in the heart of San Francisco.

The sun was shining, and even though it was now gone two in the morning our time, I was as fresh as a daisy, all excited like a child at Christmas.

We were staying at the Holiday Inn for 3 nights, which gave us 2 full days in San Francisco, our first day was taken up with a pre arranged guide of the city and and a boat trip to Alacatraz in the afternoon.

On the night of our arrival, our tour guide Juila (a lovely lady, so friendly and helpful and a credit to Great Train Journeys) took us on a walkabout.  She had booked us all in for dinner at 9pm at the Grubstake Diner just around the corner from our hotel in Pine Street.  She only walked us around the block and showed us where New Village Cafe was if we wanted breakfast.  Where the cable car terminus was in California Street and where Walgreens was, which was a shot that sold just about everything.

©Grubstake Diner

Then it was off to the Grubstake Diner for our evening meal and for us all to get a chance to get to know each other.  For the next 15 days, we would be travelling in a group and I do have to say that our group was brilliant.

The restaurant was set inside an old train car… it was run by Portuguese people and they offered a wide range of dishes.  We settled for American Burgers and our meal was served hot and plentiful.  The service was friendly, but soon the tiredness creeped in… in our time terms it was now 4 in the morning.. (isn’t there a song there) and after the meal we headed back to the hotel.

New Village Cafe
©Google Maps

The next morning, we decided to go the the New Village Cafe for breakfast… the cafe our tour guide had recommended.  As we were meeting at 9 am for our guided tour of San Francisco… we were up and down at the New Village Cafe by 7.30 am.

Hubby had the full breakfast and I just wanted toast… The owner of the cafe was friendly and he asked what I wanted my toast make with… white bread, wheat bread, sourdough bread (a speciality of San Francisco).  I asked for white, Julia our Tour Guide was in the cafe at the same time and said try the sourdough but I stuck with the white, just to be on the safe side.

It wasn’t long before our food was served and boy did his breakfast look delicious, and again it was plentiful… oh boy they do big portions in the States… your waistline is not going to be same again… I can assure you. Within seconds of serving our breakfast the owner arrived with two slices of toasted sourdough bread free of charge for us to try.  And that is one thing I did find hard to get accustomed too, and that was them keeping filling your cup up with coffee.  Here, back in the UK, if you want more coffee you pay for it… in the States, they are forever topping your cup up.

I took one bite into this sourdough bread and I was hooked… it was lovely… and I am not one for putting jam on toast, but they do serve Welch’s Grape Jelly in portions that you can put on your toast.  It was delicious… and I do wish they sold it back here in the UK.  If anybody knows where I can buy Welch’s grape Jelly back here in the UK, please post a comment and let me know.

We then strolled back to our hotel and met up with the group and then boarded the coach for our Guide Tour of San Francisco.  Our tour guide for the trip was Steve and he was lovely… talk about laugh a minute… he had us in stitches.  On the coach we toured around the streets of San Francisco and he asked us where we wanted to be taken.  Laura Macky had told me once to visit the Palace of Fine Arts so I asked Steve if we could do a stop there… and he agreed to it.

IMG_0738-2-Edit
©RyanPhotography

One of the well known landmarks is Crooked Street and boy is it crooked and steep.  The coach dropped us off near the top of Crooked street and we took a stroll down … It was beautiful… and did it make your knees ache as you tried to stop yourself from running down…

He took us to many places, some we stopped at and others we just saw from the coach… but as we had a free day the next day, he told us where we might want to revisit.  He did take us to the Palace of Fine Arts, and we stopped for a while just to take a couple of shots and then it was back on the bus, to our next stop.  I can’t remember what ordered we visited places, but I do know we stopped at the Hamon Observation Tower and headed up to the top to take a look of downtown San Francisco.

As the coach went through the Golden Gate park he told us about the Conservatory of Flowers and Golden Gate Park is just beautiful.  We drove through Presidio, Russian Hill, the Haight District (remember the 60’s) and we even went through a part of Paciffic Heights.  He told us to steer clear of the Tenderloin area on our free day but the rest of San Francisco is fine for us to wander around in.

We also drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, but unfortunately the mist was coming in.. and it wasn’t in clear view.  San Francisco we found had very many mini climates… one minute you were in a location that was warm and hot, the next you were being blown to bits, like it was when we visited the Golden Gate Bridge. We stopped at a place just on the other side of the bridge and got a wonderful view of the Bay and the mist rolling in.

There are many sites and places in San Francisco to visit and I was taking a mental note of where I wanted to go on our free day.  Our tour ended at Pier 39 around lunch-time and we were shown where Pier 33 was, which was our meeting place to get the boat over to Alcatraz in the afternoon.

Steve even got the driver of the coach to show us where the bus stop was for the 47 bus back to Van Ness, and by luck the bus top was directly opposite our hotel.

When we left the coach we spent some time on our own for lunch and we were to meet at Pier 33 at a certain time in order to catch the boat across.  The afternoon was free… after our tour of Alcatraz… we could catch the boat back when we wished bearing in mind the last sailing time, and our tour guide was returning on the 4.15 pm boat, so we opted for that one.

I didn’t like the boat ride to Alcatraz…the waters were choppy and I am not a water person.. Getting to Alcatraz involves walking up a steep hill… if you have any disabilities they do run a buggy service to the top.  Already my hip and knees were giving me jip so I took the buggy to the top and hubby walked…

Alcatraz to me seemed cold, but one thing me and him kept doing was thinking about the film ‘The Rock’ with Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery… and comparing the film to the actual place.  My god I would have hated being a prisoner in that place…  and some of the cells have been restored to show you exactly what they were like.  We strolled around Alcatraz and then then headed back to the mainland.

We took a walk back to Pier 39 and then onto the 47 bus eventually… and back to the hotel.  It has been a long day, so in the evening we decided to find a place to eat close to the hotel and we had a walk through the streets of San Francisco.

So tonight then..

The Real Victim

If I decide to down a few bottles of booze, smoke skunk cannabis and get high on cocaine and continue on this lifestyle for a few months then decide to chop the heads off of my dogs and the old man… I will be classed as insane and not a murderer?  Because that is what has happened today Nicholas Salvador has been found NOT GUILTY of murder due to insanity.

Psychiatrists for the prosecution and defence told the jurors at the Old Bailey that Salvador had paranoid schizophrenia.  So if I too decided to do the same carnage after months of self-inflicted drug and alcohol abuse, I too should be classed as insane and suffer from paranoid schizophrenia.

One of the possible causes of schizophrenia can be Drug Abuse… The NHS Website states:

Drug abuse

Drugs do not directly cause schizophrenia, but studies have shown drug misuse increases the risk of developing schizophrenia or a similar illness.

Certain drugs, particularly cannabis, cocaine, LSD or amphetamines, may trigger symptoms of schizophrenia in people who are susceptible. Using amphetamines or cocaine can lead to psychosis and can cause a relapse in people recovering from an earlier episode.

Three major studies have shown teenagers under 15 who use cannabis regularly, especially “skunk” and other more potent forms of the drug, are up to four times more likely to develop schizophrenia by the age of 26.

Yes Salvador may be in Broadmoor hospital at the moment but in a few years maybe months when he can’t get the drugs, the skunk and the booze he will be well on the road to what experts call, recovery.   He won’t be insane, he will have proven that he is now well and no longer a danger to society.  Even though the Judge said he would be there for many years in Broadmoor, the reality is he might not be.  Then a few bloody bureaucrats sitting there will see a sane man, remorseful for what he did and decide it is time to integrate him back into society. ‘Here you go mate, take the meds, stay off of the drugs and booze and you will be OK’.  Is that the logical way of thinking about this case?

Most definitely not.

“Mental disorders are neither necessary, nor sufficient causes of violence”Source

No matter how you look at it… there is a high probability that his cause of schizophrenia was caused by his lifestyle and if that is the case then he should be held accountable for his actions and should never be put into the path of temptation again.  And that is what being free will give him.. the easy access to booze and drugs.  It was his decision to smoke ‘Skunk’, it was his decision to take cannabis and it was his decision to ply himself with booze.

Once a drug addict always a drug addict… you might become clean and not touch drugs but the urge when times get rough to head straight to the nearest drug dealer are at times uncontrollable and before  some drug users know it they are back on the drugs.  Back down that slippery road where they will do whatever they have to in order to get their next fix.

The same goes for alcoholics, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic.  One drink will lead to another and before you know it you are off of the wagon… and back to being a full-blown alcoholic.

Nobody is denying that Salvador needs treatment… and he should be sent to a psychiatric hospital like Broadmoor, but he should also have to face the consequences of his actions.

So in a few years, should Salvador ever be released and once integrate back into society and things don’t go as planned or he decides to hit the bottle, smoke skunk and do a bit of cocaine, who could his next victim be… me, you, your mother, your partner, your child?  Who?

Haven’t we learnt from the tragic death of Jonathon Zito. His killer, Clunis was a paranoid schizophrenic with a violent background, who ended up murdering in cold blood Jon Zito.

The inquiry found:

…..that hospitals and social services failed to contact his family or GP, repeatedly treated admissions as separate incidents, failed to check his false claims that he abused drugs, and discharged him from hospital when he was not ready because of pressure on beds, or to save money.

The report catalogues ‘a whole series of violent attacks’ by Clunis over four years, often involving knives or cutlery. Just eight days before he killed Mr Zito, he attacked and injured a man with a screwdriver in north London and later the same day terrified a group of adults and children by chasing them round a street brandishing a screwdriver.

Salvador, should never be set free…. but he will be, eventually.  The true victims of this horrendous crimes have been forgotten.  Our justice system stinks… and I honestly think if I was sitting on that jury I could not have found this man not guilty due to insanity.  He was bloody sane when he bought the drugs, the skunk and booze which are probably the causes of his schizophrenia.  Rest in Peace Mrs Palmira Silva.. you didn’t get the justice you deserved today.  My thoughts are with your family and friends at this sad time.

The Real Victim
The Real Victim

And before all the do-gooders start shouting about how I don’t understand mental illness, let me tell you, there are many people who struggle on a daily basis with being schizophrenic but they don’t go around harming other people.

Today’s verdict was a cop-out… and just remember, he might admit causing her death, but you can never call him a murderer or killer, because technically in the eyes of the law to do so, could be classed as libelling this gentleman… simply because he hasn’t been convicted.  Ironic isn’t it… who is the law protecting in this case… it definitely isn’t the innocent victim is it?

The Path to Nowhere

Featured Image -- 8390

Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

Taken by Bren Ryan Taken by Bren Ryan

One of the many places I love to visit is Sheffield Park Gardens in Kent… It has everything there you could imagine, lakes, woodland walks, beautiful scenery and wildlife.  The above picture was taken of one of the many winding paths that are within the grounds.  Again this photograph was processed using, textures added in Photoshop and final edits carried out in Lightroom.

View original

Holiday of a lifetime – Part 1

heathrow-terminal-5_enlarge

Pre Departure

Our holiday started in earnest back in April 2015… the previous year we came into a little bit of money, and then came the inevitable decision, do we go on holiday and cheer up our kitchen or do we have a whole new kitchen refit?

Well there was no hesitation in my mind… holiday and new cupboard doors and floor.  That is what you get when you have two golden retriever puppies, chewed doors and lino tiles ripped up.  And as the dogs were now out of the stage of mass destruction we both knew that the kitchen needed doing.  So the burning question was whole refit or just a patch up job?

For months we have seen online a holiday in America where you tour the West Coast and we both fell in love with this holiday… so decision made… kitchen patch up and holiday.

Originally we booked our holiday for this coming September, but then realised that it was my father-in-laws 80th birthday the day after we got back… so we enquired about bringing our holiday forward.  By luck the dates we had now chosen were now cheaper and the even after having to pay the administration fee for changing our holiday… the money we saved paid for our night at a London Heathrow hotel along with the car park fee.

Courtesy of Renaissance Hotel Website

Our flight was due to leave at 13.55 hrs on April 30th… so the Wednesday before we packed the puppies off to kennels… (their first time) and headed towards Heathrow.  By luck we found the hotel without any major problems and parked the car and headed towards the reception, where we checked in…

By luck our room was on the ground floor, and was very nice… we hadn’t booked a room overlooking the runway, and can say even though we were within spitting distance of the runway… the room was pretty well soundproofed.

Courtesy of Three Magpies Public House

That evening we decided to have dinner at the local pub called ‘Three Magpies’. The service was excellent and the food was good too.  It was a friendly pub and we were made to feel very welcome.

Of course this being the first time the dogs were in kennels we were a bit apprehensive but our minds were put at rest when we called Mick (the owner) at Berry Court Kennels who told us that the dogs had settled down with no problems and they were fine.

For the evening we had a quick drink in the hotel and then headed to bed as we knew that the next day was going to be hectic and we had a long flight ahead of us. We had booked our taxi, via the hotel concierge, already for the next morning as we had to be at Terminal 5 by 10.30 am to meet our tour manager, Julia, prior to checking in at at 11 am.

Could we sleep properly… no the excitement was too much.  Plus I was a little apprehensive as it was a 10 and a half hour flight and I knew damn well, sitting there for all that time would make me stiff and sore.   And the last thing I wanted was to hobble off of a plane.

We awoke the morning of our flight early, had a shower, made sure we didn’t leave anything behind, had one last check of the car to make sure it was secure and headed off to Terminal 5 in our pre-booked taxi, which arrived on time… luckily.

Mind you the taxi driver did say that earlier there had been an accident and it was taking hours to get to the terminal… Thank God I didn’t know that at the time… otherwise I would have been in a right old panic.  Flight nerves was getting to me… I am a funny sort of passenger… I love flying, and have no fear of it at all… and I love the window seat.  It is just that damn take-off and landing I hate.  Once that is over and done with I am fine.

Our holiday was booked via Great Rain Journeys and here we are waiting at Terminal 5, all checked in and roaring to go on the Las Vegas and The Golden West Tour 2015.

Mind you the only criticism many of the people who were booked on this holiday did have was that Great Rail had booked a block booking of seats  on the plane.. by luck we were seated together but many of the other couples on our flight had seats that were not next to each other.  Mind you once we boarded the plane our tour guide managed to sort every one out and those who weren’t seated together initially, were now seated with their respective partners.  Wish was luck. But honestly this should never have happened.

Surely whoever was doing the seating plan whether it be computer or person, should realise that many people with the same surname would be wanting to sit with each other.

Anyway after check-in we walked around the duty free shops and then when called went, via the monorail, to Gate C (can’t remember which one) to board the A380 to San Francisco… Finally we were on our way… Our flight was due to take off at 13.55 but after minor delays we finally taxied to the runway at 2.25 for take off….. on no that dreaded bloody take off.

Phew… we are up…. now to sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

When ‘Taking Out’ is the only real option

Watching the news yesterday afternoon reporting on the case being heard at the Old Bailey about the grandmother Palmira Silva who was tragically beheaded by Nicholas Salvador, I can’t help but wonder why this guy wasn’t just shot dead by Police.

Earlier he had been seen attacking a woman in her car and he was armed with a machete and a pole and the Police were running from house to house dragging children to safety and telling people to run for their lives.

The Daily Mail says

Armed police officers raced to the scene in Nightingale Road, Edmonton, and ran through the street shouting at people to run for their lives.

Children screamed as police used battering rams and metal batons to smash windows and doors before dragging them to safety.

Sky News Report, that in a video the jury was shown you could hear on Police Officer shout..

“He’s agitated and lethal … he needs taking out.”

It wasn’t long before he was seen by a Police Helicopter holding the severed head of Mrs Silva up towards them… surely on that helicopter should have been a police marksman who could have taken him out there and then.

The honest is truth is the Police are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Someone would have shouted Police brutality if this maniac had been killed there and then.

Forever and a day, Mrs Silva’s family will have to live with the knowledge of how someone they loved died.  How they died at the hands of this crazed man. Children will forever remember those frantic moments where they were in fear.

If this was a dog running the streets attacking people, there would be no hesitation in shooting the dog… I am sorry to say, but in my opinion this person was no better than a crazed dog at the time.

I am of the firm belief if you are armed and running amok then you should face the consequence of losing your life.  Going armed and equipped with weapons to me gives a clear indication that could do something dreadful or you are breaking the law.

In this country we do not have an arms policy.  We are NOT entitled to bear arms… we are NOT allowed to walk around the streets armed.  We know that is the law so should you ever decide to be armed then I honestly believe that you should be taken out… should you pose a threat to the public or the police.

It isn’t about being black or white, or whether you are Christian or Muslim or whether you are an immigrant… it is about abiding by the laws of our land. The police have a terrible job at times… their prime directive is to protect the public.. yet if they do protect the public by killing people who pose a threat… then they are hauled before inquiry upon inquiry having to defend why they took the action they did.  Or they are put in front of a jury charged with a crime of unlawful killing.

Of course we don’t want a Police Force that is trigger happy and there has to be safeguards.. but in a clear case where someone is on the rampage like Salvador was then they only way to minimise risk to the public is, as the Police officer said, ‘Take them out’.

Mrs Silva did NOT deserve to die…. perhaps if the Police had taken this guy out at the very beginning when he was running amok then perhaps we might have seen a different outcome.. Perhaps two children and six grandchildren might not be mourning the loss of a loved one.

It is all well and good the government forcing health trust to have cut back after cut back enforced upon them… but services like mental health are the first ones to suffer the cutbacks… And it isn’t long before the system is broken due to lack of funds.

There are not enough places for the mentally ill people to be… and the only solution is for health trusts to allow mentally ill people, people who should in their opinion be somewhere secure, free to on our streets.

Back in April 2015 the Daily Mirror reported that they had received a letter from 100  mental health workers and in that letter it notes

….that in the last five years mental health budgets have been cut by 8.25% in real terms and mental health nursing numbers cut by 6% – despite pledges by ministers for it have “parity of esteem” with physical health.

The letter also states

Cuts to the police force and local authority social care departments have further weakened the safety net that should be available to the public that we serve.

Cutbacks don’t hurt ‘Dishface’ Cameron, they don’t hurt the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, cutbacks hurt the people like Palmira Silva, the children of Edmonton.. it affects these people

Hackberry Rust Bucket

Featured Image -- 8374

Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

Taken by Ashley Ryan Taken by Ashley Ryan

After we left Las Vegas we visited the Hoover Dam and then we headed towards Williams travelling on the notorious Route 66. Unfortunately that day…  I was suffering from a blister, so it was left to him to do most of the photography.  Luckily we were travelling by coach and I just stayed on the bus at Hackberry.  The above picture was taken of an abandoned old car… sitting outside Hackberry Petrol Station.

We were told of how thriving towns turned overnight into ghost towns when they opened the Interstate 40, which bypassed many towns.  Luckily today, these places can be seen in their raw element… and Hackberry is just one of those places that should be on everyone’s list of places to visit.

Various service stations in town served U.S. Route 66 travellers after the highway came to town in 1926; all were shut down…

View original 177 more words

Memories are important

Picture: ITV
Picture: ITV
Picture: ITV

Icouldn’t agree more on that statement… but £2000 for a child’s party.. please get real.  No child needs a birthday party that costs that amount… and to be perfectly honest, all you are doing my love is creating the next spoilt brat.

What will she want next year?  A party that costs £3000… where does this stop?

You can see the makings of spoilt children especially when a mother has this to say this when questioned whether it puts unfair burden on other parents at parties that Princess may attend… ‘Her name’s Princess – so other parents will expect her to be extravagant.’ 

So if my mother had christened me Asshole, does that mean other parents should expect me to be an asshole and they should deal with it?  FFS get real. All this woman is doing is turning two innocent children into spoilt brats. Kids that other parents want their children to avoid, kids that nobody will tolerate because of their ways.

Sophie May Dixon, isn’t new to controversy is she?  Remember this is the mum that spray tans her kids at three years old.

90% of readers who bothered to vote, voted that she was spoiling her child with this two grand party… and not treating them.. Yes I am one of those who voted that the children were being spoilt.

metro poll

Sophie said on ITV,  ‘Memories are what’s important. She had a pony party but it’s only once in a year that you have to give them something little. They haven’t asked for it. There’s a big difference between a spoilt child and a treated child.’ 

Her name’s Princess – so other parents will expect her to be extravagant.’

But what she is failing to see is that giving the top brick of the chimney to her children, and probably raking up the debt, does not give them the moral compass they need in life.  As they grow older, because they were spoilt as children, they will expect it all through their adulthood.

Giving children a party for their birthday has been something that has been done for decades… I can remember having birthday parties… jelly and Ice Cream, pass the parcel and musical chairs…  I never grew up feeling deprived.  I never grew up being spoilt.  And do you know what… those parties used to be great fun. And I grew up feeling loved and wanted by my parents.

I know Princess never asked for this party and she is not to blame.  But what could happen is she could ask for something that will set her family back thousands….

Nowadays there seems to be too much of giving your kid everything they ask for. Children need to learn the word ‘No’ at times, and understand ‘No’ means ‘No’. There is nothing worse than seeing a spoilt brat of kid, screaming, sulking because they have been told ‘no’.  Especially when it is a child that is of the age that should know better.

But in this story do you know who I feel sorry for?…. The poor parents who struggle day to day and then will have to disappoint their children because they want a party like so and so… a party like what Princess had… and they can’t give it to them because they just don’t have the money.

They say the old ways are the best ways… and I have just come to the grave conclusion that I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.  They are the best ways.