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Reworking a yellow rose… yet again.

Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

One thing I love about photography software, especially Lightroom, is that you can rework a photograph to give it a whole new meaning.  I first added this photo to this blog back in September 2014 and then decided to rework it using the features of Perfect Effects 9.

Today I wanted to restyle the photograph based on the same effects of a flower I posted yesterday…  I wanted the flower to appear less vibrant and I wanted it to be surround with a black background…  Here is the final result.. I hope you like it as much as I do.

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Sunset serenade

Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

For the past couple of days I have been going through our photographs that we took when we visited the New Forest back in July 2014, and one of my treasured memories of that visit, was us sitting on the hillside watching a golden sunset.

It was warm, it was cosy and by God did it make you feel glad to be alive.

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Beyond the trees

Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

As you walk back from Cooling Castle, beyond the trees and the stone wall lies St James’ Church…

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Derelict

Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

Taken on our way to Cooling today…. of course it was on the side of a country road, and when hubby pulled up, you guessed it, he pulled up next to a bloody big puddle.

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St James’ Church – Cooling

Originally posted on Ryan Photography:

We haven’t been out for ages taking photographs… what with Christmas, New Year and one thing and another, so today I decided, that it was time to wrap up warm, put on those boots and grab those cameras.

Naturally we didn’t want to go too far and we didn’t want to spend ages sitting in some traffic jam, so we picked somewhere local.  And there is nothing more local, than Cooling, which is near Rochester in Kent.

And then I remembered, when we were looking at dog kennels, we passed a quaint English church… near Cooling.  And true to fashion my Tom Tom navigational skills, were true to form.  I thought the church was just past the second lot of kennels we looked at but it wasn’t it was further on… Oh well a quick turn around and we were back on the road, heading in the right direction.

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freedom of speech

Freedom of Speech

freedom of speechVersus the Freedom to Live? In light of what has happened in Paris with the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices and now the threats of death due to the magazine using another satirical image of the Prophet Mohammed in defiance of the attacks…  I think I value my Freedom to Live more than my Freedom of Speech.  Because we don’t live in a safe world any more.  We don’t feel safe when we visit cities and use public transport.

To cave in to terrorists, I agree is the worst thing we can do, and we shouldn’t keep off of our streets or be holed up in some bunker praying that some extremist doesn’t enter our private world and kill us. BUT…. is Freedom of Speech really worth someone’s life.

What I write on the internet, I have the courage to say to a person’s face.  If any comments I make are deemed to be offensive well deal with it… but if that offensive remark is criminal or breaks a law… then I should be held accountable.

So people are screaming up and down, that the Snooper’s Charter that Governments want to bring in will invade our Freedom of Speech… but seriously how I look on it… if someone is making plans to harm another person and those plans are being are orchestrated on the internet…. then I am all for GCHQ stepping in and thwarting those plans.

Well if you want to keep things private, in the real world the only way you will keep things that private is not to tell a soul… and the same applies on the internet…  I don’t often agree with ‘Dishface’ Cameron, but on this occasion I wholeheartedly agree, with him saying that Security Agencies need to have access to encrypted data in order to stop any future terrorist attack.

Cameron said:

We shouldn’t leave a safe space in which terrorists can communicate with each other.

“There is a broad agreement that we need to have powers, in extremis, to intercept communications between terrorists. That is what America does today. It is what Britain does today.

“We face the same challenge in Britain and in America.

“We are free countries, free societies where we don’t want to interfere with the privacy and civil liberties of our citizens but, in extremis, it has always been necessary, after going through the proper processes, to make sure that if terrorists are talking to each other or communicating with each other and are about to commit an outrage, it’s always been necessary to try and intercept that and try to stop those bombs, those attacks, those murders taking place.”

Of course we want our banking details to remain safe, if we do on-line banking and we want our card details kept secure on shopping sites, and that means we need encryption. But seriously, do we need encryption on social media sites… surely if online purchases are made on social media sites that would not warrant encrypted data,  in order to keep card details secured, the site could refer you directly to your bank or card verification service to enter your card details for you to enter your card details.

I am sick of hearing that it is a violation of our democracy to stop social media sites from having encrypted data…. I can live with GCHQ reading every Twitter and Facebook message I make… in fact they would be bloody bored stiff reading my private messages on Facebook and DM’s on Twitter.

Last night in Belgium the Police intercepted a terrorist cell that were prepared to cause death and carnage on the streets of Belgium.  They had planned to kill Police Officers and their plans have been thwarted this time… how many more cells are there just like that one?  How close are they to our own shores?  Sorry but to me a small sacrifice of Freedom of Speech, by knowing full well that every thing I do on-line could be intercepted by security services, is a small price I am willing to pay, in order to keep me and my family safe.

And please don’t try to tell me it is scaremongering by our Governments to make us fear terrorists, because it is not… it is the scenes on the streets of Paris and Belgium, the barbaric acts of ISIS, the murder of hostages, the cold blooded murder of Lee Rigby by Islamic extremists… that brings the true facts of terrorism to our minds and to our doors.

No we can’t run scared but we can do all we can to prevent another person losing their life to some moron running amok on our streets with a machete or AK47 saying it is being done in the name of ‘Allah’ and this is part of a Jihad war to destroy the infidels who do not believe in the Islamic faith.

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Tory Plan To Make Public Strikes More Difficult

david_cameron_452622tThe Conservatives have promised to legislate to make striking more difficult in some core public services if they win this year’s general election.

Under the manifesto commitment, industrial action in areas such as health, transport, the fire services and schools would require at least 40% support of those eligible to vote – as well as a majority of those who have actually voted.

via Tory Plan To Make Public Strikes More Difficult.

So Dishface and his government wants to make it more difficult for public sector workers to strike? Well fair enough some might say… after all we can’t have our doctors, nurses, firemen, tube-workers, teachers etc striking because they are so appalled at the cut-backs and the way they are being treated.  We can’t have them strike because the Government decides to renege on it’s election promises of pay increases, can we?

We can’t have nurses feel that they can’t afford to work any longer in the National Health Service and decide to work abroad or in private hospitals strike can we?  We can’t put people in a position where all their concerns are not being being listened to and they feel that the only alternative left to them is to go on strike, can we?

And we can’t have our Police go on strike because of added pressure placed upon them due to cut-backs, can we?  Or them being forced to work for nothing because that force can’t meet that year’s budget?

How dare they strike?  How dare they demand that the terms they were promised be honoured?  How dare they strike because government has decided to take away their final salary pensions and replaced it with a pittance of a pension.

So the Government to deter these people have said that unless public sector workers get a majority turnout to vote of 40% and no less, then the vote will only be valid if they reach this magic figure and that 40%+ voters AND have over 50% of those that did vote, electing for strike action.

It seems fair really doesn’t it? Or does it?

Take a look at, say the European Elections, and the the percentage turnout of voters in those elections in this report.

European turnouts -european elections

Oh look, the percentage of electorate to turnout for the European Elections in all those years for UK population has NEVER been above 40%.

And if you think that is bad take a look at this report for Local Elections just back in 2012… well there are not many counties that got above the magic 40% is there.

elections turnout 2012

elections turnout 2012 (1)Well, well, looks like Liverpool Central only had 12.6% of its constituents turnout for the 2012 local elections.

So if you used the same criteria, of what Government wants unions to abide by for strike action, to local elections and the European Elections, well none of those votes would have made the criteria so those that were duly elected from constituencies with under 40% turnout would not be allowed to take their seats.

After all as the Conservatives keep telling us ‘We’re all in this together’, how about making voting a level playing field… and saying only constituencies that have a majority of 40% public turnout will have newly elected councillors or European MP’s.  Oh bugger we wouldn’t have anybody representing us in Europe :D :D Oh well, we might as well leave then.. :D :D

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Time for change…

As they say, change is as good as a rest… but I didn’t realise it was so flaming time-consuming.  What with the new year and WordPress offering us new themes on a regular basis, I thought it was time that I had a change of theme for this blog.

sela-frontpageThat is the first thing… it takes ages deciding what theme you like, because there are so many good themes to choose from… By after previewing themes for a few hours, I decided to plump for the Sela Theme, which is a one of their latest theme releases. And boy am I glad they released this theme.  From the demo of Sela you can see what a versatile theme it is.

Anwyway, after a hiccup of my custom design upgrade not working when I transferred it from another blog to this one.. things went well from then on… Of course I have to thank the very helpful Rachel (a WordPress Happiness Engineer) for sorting me out so swiftly and getting my customizer working as it should.

A change of colours, and a few CSS edits as I don’t like the featured images appearing on single blog posts… and by using one of the background pictures as the basis for my header… (which I added text to with Photoshop).. things were slowly becoming together.

I have never been one to use the Front Page feature of theme before… but as Sela is such a versatile theme … hey why not give it a go!!!

I hope you like the new layout of On My Front Porch…. and yes a change is as good as a rest.

Ched Evans

Should he shouldn’t he?

Ched Evans

“I am grateful for the support of the PFA in helping me try to return to football and continue my career.

Upon legal advice, I was told not to discuss the events in question. This silence has been misinterpreted as arrogance and I would like to state that this could not be further from the truth.

I do remain limited at present by what I can say due to the ongoing referral to the Criminal Cases Review Commission and whilst I continue to maintain my innocence, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned.

Finally, it has been claimed that those using social media in an abusive and vindictive way towards this woman are supporters of mine. I wish to make it clear that these people are not my supporters and I condemn their actions entirely and will continue to do so.”

via PFA Statement: Ched Evans – News – The PFA.

Should he be given a second chance? Or should he be sent to exile for forever and a day and never grace a football field again?

Sitting on the fence on this one as I can see both sides of this one… firstly and foremost yes he is a convicted rapist and yes and is on the sex offender’s register but according to an article on the BBC News Website, legally speaking he can return to football.. providing a club is brave enough to hire him.

The legal position in England and Wales regarding Evans’s return to professional football is clear.

He is prevented from doing particular jobs known as “regulated activity” and typically jobs such as teaching, social work or health care that would involve working with children or vulnerable adults.

Other employment opportunities, such as professional football, are available to him – as long as he can find someone to hire him.

But morally should he return to football.. especially if he progresses in his career once again starts playing for a Premier division club?  Yes he could become a role model and no I wouldn’t fancy my child having a poster of Ched Evans on their wall, but neither would I be impressed if they had a poster of Luke McCormick who has been convicted of two counts of death by reckless driving, or Lee Hughes who was convicted of death by dangerous driving.

Society says we must give people a second chance… the law says we are not allowed to harass a person who has been convicted and all prisoners must be given the chance to rehabilitate back into society. I am not trying to defend Ched Evans but the statement he made today SHOULD have been made the day he was released from prison.

Whoever gave him the PR advice and legal advice of not apologising for what happened in Rhyl that night has caused more distress not just to the victim but to Ched Evans himself. Many people have taken his silence, by not apologising, as a sign of him not showing any remorse.

And all those that are abusing both the victim and Ched Evans really do need to realise that mob rule is not how our society works and the likes of ‘Dishface’ Cameron should keep his nose out and not voice his opinion.

So should Ched Evans be given a second chance to build his career or not?

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Food Fads – My fear of green bits

Iwanted to do a blog post today… but for the life of me I couldn’t think of anything to say. For those that know me, they will be standing there saying, ‘Bloody Hell… this is a first.’ :D :D

But I wasn’t without inspiration for too long.  Have no fear of that my friends.

PiccalilliThen it came to me as I was making my sarnie… food fads. And as I stared at this brand new, unopened jar of Piccalilli sitting in the fridge, I thought, ‘it won’t be long before it is full of just the green bits’.

Now I know that the green bits are the skin of gherkins and I must be eating the gherkin because I don’t pick out the square bits, but it is just the green bits I can’t abide.  It can’t be the taste, so it must be the look that gives me this food food.

And the other other moans like hell because when he does fancy a sandwich with Piccalilli in it… all that is left in the jar is ‘green bits’.

When I start a new jar it is easy, for me, but by the time I get a third of a way down the jar, the ‘green bits’ seem to multiply… and it seems to take me like forever and a day to get the juice and not the ‘green bits’.

Why I have this fixation of never eating a ‘green bit’ I don’t know. But if someone makes me a sandwich and offers me Piccalilli then either I have to decline or ask politely if they would not put any ‘green bits’ in my sandwich.

The thought me having to eat them or fear that I have eaten a ‘green bit’ makes me retch….

And another thing… I don’t like roast dinners unless they are covered in mint sauce and Lasagne has to be covered in vinegar… what weird food fads I have.

Do you have any food fads?  Do they annoy your partners like my Piccalilli fad annoys my other half? :D :D

Silhouette of soldier

What have we created?

Silhouette of soldierTurning on the news today, just turns your stomach. The vast majority of us take satire for granted… Workers of a magazine, based in France, which attacks not just the Islamic faith, but the Catholic, Jewish and every faith going, including the Christian faith, today have become the victims of Jihadist terrorists.  Policemen, who are doing a job, are murdered in cold-blood.  And the cold stark reality of what terrorism is once again putting fear in all of us.

Yes mocking someone’s faith is not a nice thing, but the vast majority of us just ignore these magazines, we won’t allow the makers of these magazines to profit, by buying them or reading them… instead we show our disdain by leaving the copies on the shelf. Some of us see these magazines just for what they are… satire. But do these people who work for these magazines deserve to die?

Of course not… bloody terrorists have once again caused at least 12 families to mourn the death of their loved ones and many more families, colleagues and friends now having to live with the tragedy of what has happened and deal with the aftermath of this barbaric maiming and killing.

Should our freedom of speech be denied?  Of course not… terrorists have no right to kill or maim people in the name of Islam.  Even if they do find the mocking of their faith offensive.  Daily the Christian faith is mocked… daily the Pope is mocked and parody accounts on Twitter and Facebook are created.  But do we take to arms in order to voice our disgust? NO.

Today’s killings have struck a fear through newspapers up and down the land, from country to country… they stand in solidarity with the victims and journalists of the Charlie Hebdo Magazine who work in those offices, but they not showing the images that this magazine produces. And they are not showing them due to fear of reprisals.

But who are really to blame, for this distaste of Western life amongst extremists?  Is it the West’s Foreign Policy?  Is it the way that the West has armed and trained countries where terrorists are welcome with open arms? Is it the CIA for training others in weapons?  Is it because we have armed other nations so that they could do our dirty work?  Is it us for relying too much on oil?  Is it the way that policy-makers, over the decades, have used certain factions of another countries population to achieve their goals and then abandoned that population?

Have we caused so much animosity amongst Muslims, that some of them become radicalised so much that they are prepared to lay down their lives for what they believe is right?  Have we the West created the monster with our Policies and greed for oil?

And if it is just one of those things, what have we created?  Yes there is a war on terror, and you can keep cutting the head of the snake but the truth is, that for every snake you slay, two more will appear.  And yes, you can keep bombing and maiming civilians and class them as collateral damage, because you are really after the bad guys.  But in reality we are creating more people to hate what are policy makers are making our troops do.

We can’t give in to terrorism, but neither can we go on as we are…. something, somewhere has to give… and someone really does need to see how our Foreign Policy of not just now but from decades ago, is now harming us.  Extremism has to be eliminated but sometimes the bomb and the bullet will only exasperate the matter.  It will take a brave man or woman, a brave politician to tackle this head on… and I don’t think one has been born yet that is brave enough to say ‘We are partly to blame for what is happening in our world today and today is the day that we are going to put things right’… and in true Miss World fashion, work towards ‘ World Peace’.

As much as each of us wants peace on this earth, tyrants will remain and dictators will rule… the world is not a safe place any more and I personally don’t hold hope that there will be world peace in my life-time… but one day for future generations, I do hope that we can all live in harmony and be tolerant of each other and violence is a thing of the past.

But today my thoughts and prayers are sent to each and every person who today lost their life, and to all those  who have been injured in this barbaric attack on humanity.  Rest in Peace, you didn’t deserve this.

Katie Hopkins

Twitter…Hopkins and the cops..

Katie HopkinsNow I know for a fact I am going to offend some people but hey ho..here goes. But I am sick to death of a) hearing that gobshite Katie Hopkins and b) how people think they should run to the cops every time that woman opens her trap.

Yes what she says, is said to offend.. she doesn’t do it by accident… she does it too offend and to upset people and by god does she succeed… especially when people take such offence that they want her arrested and charged with trolling and god knows what else.

Trolls are a pain in the arse… they do what they do because they know people will react.  And yes the most serious trolls should be dealt with by the police… for instance if what they write is threatening and makes a person fear for their life… or the threats are to harm a person or a person’s family… But for god sakes.. just because someone says something that is classed as ‘sick’… Please think of the man hours a copper has to waste because of some twat on Twitter or Facebook.

From since I can remember, and that is a good few years… sick jokes have been going around… they’ve been said in pubs, passed on by text message or said between friends sitting at the dining table.  Some people find them funny whilst most of us, see how sick these jokes are…. mind you there are times when no matter how much we despise ourselves for it.. a smirk does come across your face at times.

But do we run to the cops if our mate shows us a sick joke?  Of course not… we tell them straight that the joke is sick and not funny and it is bloody well sick.  End of.  If they show it to someone else and they find it funny well that is up to them.  But as far as I am concerned it doesn’t warrant the Police getting involved.

What Hopkins said about the Ebola victim and the Scottish people, was said for impact … and boy did she get some impact..  What she said wasn’t funny and yes it was bloody offensive but it didn’t in my opinion warrant any Police Force getting involved.  People like her are best ignored… do you not realise that every time someone has a go at her… she is in her element?… She is back being the centre of attention.

I wrote a blog post back in September 2014 of how the Police were so under-resourced now that they were asking victims to investigate crimes committed against them.

And do you know what?

I would be bloody angry if I was robbed or had my car stolen and I had to look for it because the Police just didn’t have the manpower and what manpower they did have was now investigating a low-life like Hopkins because she said something offensive… yet again.

Please get to grips… there is a certain family on Twitter and Facebook who are harassed day in and day out… and nothing gets done… and the harassment is allowed to continue.  That is the kind of harassment that needs to be investigated and stopped by Twitter and Facebook. And should there be direct threats involved in any of these harassing posts that are written daily, then the Police should be informed… but come on… calling the cops because someone tells a sick joke…. no way… Jose… no matter how offensive some might think it is.