Thursday, 28 March 2013

I found what made me happy again!

Something has laid dead in me for a long time, a side that even i had thought had been lost in me forever, yet yesterday, there is was for me to enjoy!

For some time now i've hated shopping, either by myself or with other people and for whatever we were there for. Food shopping has been a drag, clothes shopping? forget it, i'd rather be stood by the door wanting to go home or to a bar. All that changed yesterday and i don't know if it was just for the day, but i fear it might just be for a small bit of time.

Did anything happen to bring around this change? Yes!

See, regular readers may have noticed that i'm not the most well-to-do person when it comes to money, infact how i can afford to pay the bills is past some people, but i manage it somehow. On tuesday morning i woke up to a tax rebate! Not loads of money, but a nice little boost. I'm not over-due on bills and my finances look set to improve in the near future too, so i was happy with this.

On the wednesday, i badly needed my hair cut and i needed to put this cheque into the bank. I jumped on the bus and went off to the local town where my nearest branch of the bank is and where the best hair dressers is too! I was planning on meeting up with a friend of mine and then we'd be having a "pamper night", which was basically face-masks, films and chatter.

He met me in the hair dressers and after my hair was done, we decided that we'd go into some of the shops and have a little look at what was out there for when my cheque cleared.... THIS is where the difference in me took hold.

I was actually enjoying myself for once while looking at clothes, i was enjoying myself looking around shops that i'd have normally sat outside of!

We spent a good hour or two having a look around these shops, going into place's we'd never been before and place's we already knew of. We got our face masks and made our way back to mine (via the local supermarket to get something to eat).

Long story short here, we ended up making a video giving "Make up tips" to people and i must admit, i've not had such a giggle in a while when making a video, it was brilliant....

I woke up today actually really happy with myself. I'd only come home with aftershave and my haircut, but it'd been a really good day... so why do i think my mindset has changed?

Basically, i think it's down to the fact that for once, i was going to be able to pay for things myself, that if i liked something, i didn't have to ask for it, i could just buy it! ... Well, once the cheque clears i'd be able to anyway.

I like this mindset, i really do! I love my money and it always burns a hole in my pocket, but it makes me happy, THAT is what i've been missing.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


I don't normally make posts giving praise to people whom i've never met before, feeling the way i do, but i can't really begin to explain how proud i am of a little guy called Daniel Leffew.

Regular readers of this blog may well recognise the Leffew name, because it's the family who i'm always ranting and raving over, about their contiued work to change minds and let people see what life is like for A) a married gay couple, who are with others, fighting for marriage equality and B) showing how adopted children can thrive by just being in a loving family, regardless of the sexuality of the parents, this has taken a weird change over the past few weeks for them all and has literally sent the Gay Family Values "brand" into a certain degree of fame that it's never been exposed to before.

If you subscribe to the video version of Life With Bev on youtube, then you'll remember that last year, i worked on a project which ended up with a film about the family being screened over in the UK. The film "The right to love : An american family" was a documentry film based around their lives and their struggle with gay rights and of course other area's of the gay community, like the teen suicide problem currently being delt with. If you've still not seen the film, click here to buy your own copy of the DVD.

After the film screenings died down and the film was made available on DVD for everyone, the family went back to their youtube channel and were posting the usual sort of video's that they do, which are filled with their views and opinions, with regular updates of what was going on in their lives, like Selina's birthday, Daniel's fencing battles and the video i most love, the "husband tag", which is where you get to see Jay and Bryan sat talking about when they met, what food jay likes / doesn't like etc.

That then changed with one special video.

As some of you may well be aware, the time has come around for prop 8 to be battled in the supreme court. While i don't know the inn's and out's of it all, i do know that this is a tense time for Jay and Bryan, along with other married gay couples and of course, those same sex couples who want to get married and have the same rights as their straight counter parts. Over the course of a week or so, Jay had said about how people should join them in the marches and posted a video with some details on of what people could do.

Then came Daniel's video.

Daniel, who's aged 12 don't forget, had written a letter to one of these judges after learning that he too had adopted a boy and a girl, like Daniel and Selina. The letter itself, could have just been sent to Justice Roberts (irony that he shares the same sirname as me right?) and nothing more been said about it, but of course the Gay Family Values way is to share with the viewers and readers these little things that happen.

Here's the video....

Kinda simple right?

Touched by Daniel's words?

You're not alone if you where. The view count for the video is off the chart at the moment, because the video is going viral as we speak. While per video, they're used to a few thousand views over time, this video spoke to alot of people and attracted alot of attention, but not just from the social media community. I have seen first hand how this video is changing peoples minds on a range of topics that this video doesn't even show.

There's also been interest from the media too, newspapers (and not just the gay community one's either) have written stories on the video and letter and of course... news channels have been calling too.

Check this out....

And how did Daniel's speech go infront of thousands of people?

For those with a trained eye like mine, you might be able to tell that Daniel isn't a roving expert at public speaches... but he's actually got it down almost to a T. Remembering to pause when the crowd cheer at something, smiling and of course, speaking with confidence (and lots of it when dealing with a crowed that big).

But why am i so happy over all this?

For years now, me and many others have come along this journey with the family, as they've opend the doors into their lives and minds. We've seen the high times and the low's, so in my mind and i know other's too, we're happy to see them being put a little more into the spotlight and getting some recognition for their work.

Daniel's letter is written brilliantly (I'm sure Bryan will agree with my thought that it's Bryan who's passed that on :P ) and speaks from Daniel's heart. The listener or reader can relate to what is said in different parts and i presume are left with the understanding of this boys hope of marriage equality being brought in.

When i was 12, i was either unhappy, because i was being forced to do homework (never wanted to do it and have still to date, never found the ability to want to do it either) or i was out playing on my bike seeing where it'd take me. I don't think i'd have had the ability to write a letter like Daniel has, i didn't know at that age who these political type figures where or what they did... what laws were even, yet having Jay and Bryan as parents, they don't hold much back from Daniel and Selina, so they've the perfect learning ground for understanding that letter's, phone calls etc, can all make abit of a difference in the world of politics and law.

Earlier today, i posted the video of Daniel's live speech on a gay website i use, it's a dating website, but has the forums, which are filled with anything from dating adverts to general interest. The video itself on the forums recieved some good comments off people, who were impressed that a 12 year old boy had more "balls" than them, for getting up and doing what he did.

Then i recieved an inbox message off someone, which took me a little by suprise.

This man is in a relationship with his partner and they have been talking about adopting for some time. I'd posted the video of what Daniel had done at the rally and it'd brought them both to tears. Over several messages, he explained to me that they could only imagine how proud Jay and Bryan must be and that they want to be able to feel that proud, so the video had given them a little nudge in the right direction and now they're going to look into adoption.

I was lucky enough to catch Jay on facebook the other night, so i sent him a message explaining how happy i was for them that not only was the video doing well, but that it was helping to change peoples minds. Then, i don't think either of us thought that within a week or so, Daniel would be stood on a stage, reading his letter out to 3,000 people... yet it happend.

As i put on facebook a few hours ago, you don't have to do loads in the world for your effect to be felt and i think that's true about this incident.

It's a letter. It's a letter that has pulled at the heart-strings of so many and let's just hope that the letter brings people to the gay family values youtube and lets them see what a gay family is. Let's hope that Daniel's heartfelt letter has been recieved and makes Justice Roberts think a little more about who might be affected by his decision.

So, if Daniel is reading....

Well done and thank you :)

Saturday, 23 March 2013

It's snow joke about the british weather!

Ok, who else can taste the cheese of the title?

Yeah... so... moving onto the topic....

The UK is once again, largely coverd in snow and temp's back down to being in the minus? I'm i shocked? NO.

The UK itself seems to be situated on this plannet in an area where weather can be a very odd things at times. I can't tell you how many times we've had the back-lash off some american storm, or how many times a low pressure system has gotten stuck over us.... or the same for high pressure.

I will state at this point, i like my sunshine and i like some heat.

Last year, some of you may remember, i went off to Toronto in Canada for just under 3 weeks. While there, let me explain to you the weather....

First night, once i'd landed, done battle with the border force and had gotten back to my aunt and uncle's place where i was staying, the sky opend and it rained.... and hard!

The next day, it was like the rain had never existed, it was sunny and warm, actually hot for me, considering where i'm from. Over the next week or so, the sun was out all day, every day. I LOVED it! Sitting out by the pool having a beer or two and working on my tan (well i had to take something home). The only time the weather took a change for the worse (and admittedly, i shat my pants) was on the day of the family BBQ. My aunt and uncle had worked hard at getting as many people together as they could, so i could meet some more of my canadian family. It was to be a BBQ, a few beers and just a good giggle. I remember i'd gone to bed the night before, it'd been a lovely warm day and i was partly expecting the same again the day after, only i should have known my luck, in that when something gets planned like that, the bad weather comes to get us....

I woke up in the morning, quite early... not knowing what time it was or knowing if anyone was up, i flicked on the tv to one of the news channels, that were reporting thunder storms, but that it'd still be a hot day, but maybe with some rain thrown in. The next minute, it sounded like a bomb had gone off, the windows and door rattled and the power went off to the whole neighbourhood. I remember laying in bed thinking "OMG, WTF just happend, have they bombed the area?". I presume Canada has either the fastest repair team known man, or the thunder had just tripped something out... either way, after a few minutes, and another rumble, the power came back on. Over the next hour or so, i remember it rained on and off... then within a few minutes of the rain stopping, the clouds moved on and it was sunny and warm again.

Talk about bi-polar weather!

The rest of the time in Canada, they were having heatwaves and of course warning people to drink lots of water and stay out of the sun during it's strongest hours (Usually between 12 and 3 in the afternoon i believe).

I came home to a country that itself had had thunderstorms... and near enough none stop rain. Of course that didn't change because i was home.

Since then, the UK went quickly into winter type weather and doesn't really seem to have come out of it. We had "The beast from the east" storm, which was where an area of low pressure from nothern europe came over the UK and stayed here for a few days, moving slowly over us all, before going south and back to the east if i remember rightly.

After that, the weather started to go ok again, the temp was picking up in line with what were used to.... that was until 2 nights ago. It's started to go colder and yes, the snow is back. As were no longer in winter, people are wondering why we have this weather and what will happen in the future.

This, in my eyes, is mother nature's way of telling us to look after her abit more. Global warming might not be happening as people expect, but climate change IS. If current trends continue, the weather looks set to get even more strange... literally going from one extreme onto the next. Forecasters in America have warned of this, saying that while it might not snow as much in future, when it does snow, it will be harder and more of a challange to deal with. When it gets colder, it will be extreme and obv when it gets hot... you won't like it.

So, question...

Are you doing ALL you can to be more eco-friendly? Do a little google search on it now and see if theres improvements you can make in your life... if we all make the effort, we all recieve the benefits.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Has the friendship sailed?

I climb into bed, fluff up my pillows and tonight, feel completely disheartend. I take a big gulp while typing this out because i fear a sense of dread and some pretty awkward converations, yet for my sanity this has to be typed, becuase either way i don't see this going my way.

Tonight, in a way, i've been forced to hold my hands up and bring out the white flag and admit, I surrender. Surrender to what exactly?

I surrender to what i can only see as motives by someone, who, may not have meant them intentionatly, yet as i explain my situation i hope you'll be able to make up your mind on this whole situation and come to your own conclusion. Before you think of asking, I have, as yet, not spoken to my friend about this and i hope i never have to. Not through a fear of wanting to have the awkward conversation's that this will cause, but through a fear of not wanting to admit that a friendship i hold so close to my heart may have been slipping from my grasp and there's nothing i could do by it all.

Let me be the first to admit that from my part, this friendship hasn't been it's usual self for some time now, i feel excluded from it by another person, who appears to be the updated model of me and that i don't like the future as to where things are going, despite having explained my opinion on certain sides of this, let me explain....

Firstly, this all started when my friend was working at a fast food, chicken based resturant. I won't name names, but you'll know which is the most popular one in the uk.

She'd been working there for some time and this is when i came onto the scene, over the course of a few weeks, we began to talk and get on. We went on a night out, had a few drinks and this is where i class our friendship from having started.

I like to think that over the years i looked out for my friend, i like to think that in situations where she might have been at danger, i was there to protect her. That when she needed a shoulder to cry on, i was there as much as i could be and that when she needed an escape route, i provided one.

But this is where the trouble begins....

Not too long ago, she left this chicken based resturant to presue a new career and take on uni work too. The job role sounded so good, that even i applied for it once i knew she was in there. The job role is working in a childrens play centre, doing basically children's parties, odd jobs and covering reception as and when needed, otherwise, helping the children to entertain themselves either by using the equipment provided by the company or doing activities with the children, like face pating or playing with play-dough.

Not long after my friend had started there, she took me and her sisters in for an afternoon, to allow them to play in the centre and i think to allow me to see what it was like where she worked. I enjoyed my time in there to be honest, i didn't know that such an area existed in our town and i could see her being happy in this role.

Upon leaving the centre i saw a guy behind the counter, not bad looking, but you know when "gay" screams out of someone, yeah, it screamed out of him, to the point i told my friend. Normally, i don't do this despite belief. My friend called me up within a week or so to tell me that i was right, well, maybe not to tell me that, it may just have slipped out during our chat, but either way, i was right at that point.

A few days later and she was planning, with me, her birthday party. The big 21, what were we to do? Id helped as much as i could and for the obv reasons, wanted to include her new work-mates as much as possible. She'd already proven to me at this point that she didn't want a private hire room for all of her friends and family, but trust me, that's for a different story if i ever get around to telling it, but lets just say, all that i'd planned, didn't go down well.

Anywho, just before a works night out on her birthday, i'd added as a friend on facebook this guy that i'd seen in her work place, not knowing who he was, only hearing abit about him from my friend as to what he was like and the fact that he was the only guy working there, surrounded by girls and that yes, he was gay. Me thinking, "He's gay, he'll be able to invite others that she likes in work and others that she's getting to know" i added him and started messaging him. We'd all aranged to go out on the saturaday night, VIP booth at the club and... yeah, nothing happend. People gatherd at mine instead and while yes we had a few to drink, we didn't enjoy it as much as we would have done had we have gone out.

She found out and of course, true to our friendship she didn't like it, so we didn't speak much. During this time while we were getting back in touch, her friend from work posted on facebook that he'd broken up with his other half. I do understand that times like this can be tough for people and that sometimes, talking things out with new people, letting it all get off you chest can be just what you need, so i sent him a message. We talked for a little bit on facebook about things and i let him explain his situation.

Over the coming days and weeks, we did send quite a few messages and that was fine... until the thoughts, for whatever reason, enterd my head that yes he's single, yes he's good looking and he's messaging me. One night i put my heart on my sleave and explained that while yes, i thought he was good looking and a really nice guy, i knew that he wasn't long out of a relationship and so of course any feelings i had, were put to one side and we would just continue as friends.

I did that because i like people to know fully where they stand with me and i hate thinking things about people without them knowing.

I should also mention that my application for this place of work, had come and gone. I'd attended an interview and an audition and while i'd not been given a job, they had asked me to come along and join in their "disco night" on the friday to see if having a live dj/entertainer would work and maybe, it'd give me some sort of work there and maybe, lead to a job there in the end. I was over the moon with this, as anyone would be and of course my friend and this guy were too, or atleast so i thought.

By this point my friend and me, had been in a close frienship for about 2/3 years by this point, we were very close and i thought, we could tell each other anything, or atleast thats what i thought.

I explained my position on the thursday to this guy fully and the "disco" was due to take place on the friday. Friday came and i'll always remember walking in with the first bit of equipment. I'll never forget how while carrying some light's, i looked over at the counter while he buzzed us in. He couldn't look at me, say hello... nothing. I eventually got around to setting up, just under an hour later. Over an hour later and my "disco" time had started. Some staff had been over and introduced themselves, while from this guy, still nothing.

During the whole "disco" time, he must have spoken to me twice, once only to ask if he could borrow the mic to announce that the children for his kids party were due into the area where he was hosting the party and another time to tell me to play gangnam style for the party he was hosting, that was it.

After i'd packed all the stuff away, taken it back to the storage area and was on the way home, my mother suggested going to the local chippy and getting a take away. As we were going in, him and another friend he worked with were coming out. Since he'd not spoken to me the whole time without having to, i didn't want to say hello for fear of an awkward situation. I let is pass, but what happend next, pushed me to the limit.

See, all through the whole time me and him had been talking, i was aware that him and my friend too would have been talking. The one night he accepted an invite of me to come and chat to him in person / make pancakes at his, he invited my friend, with neither of them saying to me "oh i've invited so'n so" etc, it was just while on the phone to my friend she said "oh, i'm coming up to his while you're going around". A clear sign to me that things were not right.

On the friday at "disco night" while i had some spare time i was in the office of this work place typing up an invoice and was talking to one of the centre's managers, i explained that i knew this guy and my friend out of work and how when we had met up we had spoken about what it was like to work in the place and how i might not like some people. We'd both laughed because it was a typical remark.... it turns out, i didn't dislike anyone there.

It also turns out that on the saturday, while they were both in work, my friend had gone in to see the manager about a work-related issue and he'd been called in because of his lateness. While both in the office at seperate times, they'd been told off about talking to me about working conditions and the way they spoke about other staff.

For abit of time, i'd been asked several times if i'd wanted to go to the local gay village with them both on a kind of "Get over my ex" / works night out night out, which i knew i couldnt afford and tbh, with finding this guy attractive, his offer of "i want to get off with as many guys as possible and be really slutty" didn't sound great, because i knew i stood no chance with him, so i'd always make excuses but never give a definate no to it.

As far as i knew, it was a case of, my friend would call me on the day and try to talk me into going... but how wrong can presumptions be?

The saturday day came, they'd both been spoken to about me by the manager. I had gone over to my mothers to spend the day with her and my nana, i was home by about half 6 / 7 ish and what i saw next turned my tummy inside out.

You see, my friend hadn't botherd to call me at all, no text, facebook message, tweet, DM, email... nothing.

Yet when i got home on facebook, within abit of time, there was pictures, tagging and status updates of how they were all on their way to the gay village. My best friend. I sent a text and said something along the lines of "I hope you enjoy your night" to which i got a very awkward reply, but the whole reason that text was sent was a code of "I know exactly what youre upto".

Later on, after a few drinks, my friend began to text me, the usual stuff like "it's such a good night, wish you could be here" etc, which just kind of rubbed my face in the fact that they'd clearly not given a shite wether i went or not, they were just out to have good time. She called me at the end of their night out and on their way home explained to me that something had happend. I tried as best i could to put a brave face on, even though it was only a phone call, i wanted my friend have enjoyed her night out.

The next day, we didn't speak.

The sunday, we spoke. I expressed how hurt i was as best i could. Saying i was hurt that somewhere along the line, they must have spoken about wether they wanted me to be there or not, yet not one of them had the balls to call me, or text me and say "we don't want you to come" for whatever reason. I also learned that this guy had been sort of broken into and of course was shocked about it.

On the monday night, i sent him a message and he was online. We spoke for a little bit about how he was, how his night out was etc, but nothing got said. I should explain that as soon as my friend told me that they'd both been dragged into the office over me, i apologised to both of them. I sent a message to this other guy, that i know he read on the sunday morning, yet recieved no reply.

On the tuesday night / wednesday morning, a number of my friends had noticed i wasn't myself on facebook (how they can tell is past me, but i could no longer deny it). I broke down in a status, an explination and my opinion of what had happend to me that weekend. Along with the status update i also sent an email to this place of work an explained that i would no longer be attending on a friday for their "disco night" for reasons out of my control, aswel as a few other reason which were easily believeable.

Of course, wednesday morning, my friend wakes up and reads this status. Upset, but doesn't say anything... but this other guy apparently reads it and isn't happy. He feels it's a personal attack against him and tries in the comment to put me in my place and tries to put the whole blame on me, explaining that he got completely told off in work because of what i'd said and basically explaining that i was in the wrong for putting that status up.

I replied to it and thats when i recieved an inbox message off my friend, to the both of us. Calling for an end to any arguing and wanting to draw an end to it all. I was pissed off, so i left the group chat and deleted both of them as friends on facebook, i sent a private message to my friend explaining that i was deeply hurt and needed time to myself.

About a week later and me and my friend spoke about it. By this point i'd re-assesed where i wanted her in my life, thinking that behind my back with other people she knew i was no longer welcome on a night out, yet didn't tell me, took part in this planning.... did i really need a friend like that in my life? No.

Since we'd been messaging, this guy had explained about how he wasn't trying to split me and my friend up at all, which struck me as odd, and still does, as to why he would say such a thing, when nobody else would at such random times. I tried to ignore it, but visions of him typing it and me seeing it in messages kept flicking through my mind all the time.

As per the norm, me and my friend made up, only i wasnt completely back into the friendship. I think we managed a night out before she told me that her, this guy and another girl were looking into getting a house together.

I laughed it off and still do, because i know exactly why this offer has come around, why it'll have been accepted and why it won't work, but thats what expireance teaches you and lessons sometimes have to be learned by some the hard way, which is fine.

Since this whole incident, my friend has tried talking about this guy and i completely want nothing to do with him, even hear his name.

We managed a concert and a sleep over in a hotel together after not seeing each other for abit of time and haven't seen each other since (it's been over a week of next to no contact and this is really not like us).

So what's happend to change my mind?

Since the first incident and the announcement about them moving in together, i think i've held it together well, despite wanting, with all my heart, to tell my friend exactly what i think of the situation and how much it stinks.

This afternoon, i recieved a text off another friend of mine, trouble at home had lead her to ask if she could spend the night at mine, and that's fine, i have a spare bed and it'd be nice to have her company for a night.

I recieved a call off my friend this afternoon (the one who i've made it this far without naming) who sounded very happy and in a mood which i know as the "I'm happy, lets go and do something" mood. I explained that my friend was coming to stay with me, but i didn't know why. My other friend arrived at mine and i made my excuses and got off the phone, all was fine until later on that evening.

Another friend of mine had arrived at where i live, we'd all been down to the local supermarket and just gotten back into mine when my phone began to ring. It was a call from my friend, sounding just as merry, who explained that she'd been refused entry to a gay bar in the local gay village. She then followed with the line "I'm with ____" who's the guy. My heart sank.

After i quickly got off the phone call, which ended with my friend saying "You don't sound very happy" my other friends which were sat by me and had heard the whole call, were stunned.

They both knew about what'd happend, all of it, and now had heard the latest.

Both of them, through the evening have said, at one point or another, but not at the same time... "Why would she say that" or "why would she do that", the answer to both of which is... i don't know.

Here's the thing. I do not want her friendship to be exclusive to me, i want her to have other friends whom she can spend time with doing whatever and i want to be happy for her that she's doing other things.

And this is where it gets hard to type because this is raw emotion.

I want my friend to have the best of everything i really do, she has a very special place in my heart still, despite us not having been as close as we used to be, for the past month or so. I honestly wish she could see things from my point of view with this whole situation, yet it doesn't seem to be possible.

I want her to enjoy her time, with any other guy she wants, but i have doubts over this guy for several reasons, reasons to which i think i'll never know the answer to. Like why would he say he didn't want me to go on a night out with my friend, and not tell me? Why would she not tell me, was it a secret pact that nobody is admitting to?

Why would he claim, over and over again that he didn't want to come between us, yet still make plans for nights out, or days out, moving in together, again, not caring how i felt about it? Why, if he felt so angry towards me about him getting spoken to about me in work, would he not say anything to me, other than to angrily have a go at me and place the blame on me, rather than talk normally to me or find out why i felt the way i did? Why would he say he wouldnt come between me and my friend in the first place, NOBODY says that without reason behind it.

So look, here's the thing.

In a few moments, i'll be pressing publish and allowing the world into this dark side of my life i've kept hidden from everybody for such a long time, to the point that none of my friends knew half of what i've typed in here. It'll be posted on my facebook and on my twitter. I will of course hear from my friend, because this post shows cracks in our friendship that she will want to work out. I may hear from the other guy, no doubt angry that this incident has been spoken about, even though at this point, the reader still had no idea who it is i'm reffering to, unless they know the situation.

But what do i want from all of this?

It's too much to ask my friend to make better friends, who i can get along with and not have a problem with in future, there be no question in my mind about some sort of secret motive behind any actions and whom i could enjoy the company of, if our path's crossed in the future. That, will not be happening any time soon.

For several weeks now, i've only been able to see the end of this friendship, really i have. I have a lump in my throat when i type this because i simply do not want it to be true, but i cannot hide how i feel anymore. Like all good things, i can only see this coming to an end and this post may well have something to do with it.

I would normally work at a friendship to save it, but it's too messed up and complex to even begin to save now. Instead, i can only see us going our seperate ways, at first, not keeping in touch, then down the line in our futures, well, who knows.

All's i can say is, if i do lose my friend, then i'm sorry the friendship hasn't lasted as long as either of us would have wanted, i will try to repay you everything i owe at some point when i have it.

To the other guy?

No need to longer worry that you've come between me and my friend.

For now, dearest reader...

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Always blame David Cameron

I do actually feel sorry for the man first and formost, the guy is the face of a government, forced to share power with another party, whom together face the challange of fixing a broken britan.

Long gone are the days of being able to say that we live in "Great Britan" because the great has been lost. It seems that very few people have an understanding of the current situation faced by the government and how they are going about tackling these issues. Sure, i don't agree with all the changes that they have made, or these new laws that have been brought in, but let's face it, the alternative is the Labour party or UKIP and who wants them in power? Labour got us into this mess (which they have admitted) and UKIP are a party plagued by bad press and not the strongest at campaigning for change. So what are some of the good things and bad things that this government have done.

The gay blood ban.
Not too long after getting into power, this government tried to tackle a VERY sensitive topic, without really having an understanding of what the public felt, or indeed feel about it.

The orig status of the ban, was a lifetime ban on people who identified themselves as being gay. This law came in, back when admittedly, the LGBT community had a huge problem with HIV / AIDS. To try and keep these out of the blood supply system, governments world over signed in laws designed to stop gay people from donating blood, since this was the way at the time of keeping blood clean.

Over the recent years, tests and surveys have all confirmed that people who identify as straight actually are now more at risk of having HIV / AIDS, which is why it's uber important that we all take abit of extra care of ourselves, have protected sex and get tested on a regular basis to know your status. Anyway....

This government set about trying to create change with this law, understanding that the gay community wanted change because it's not longer fair to say to us that because we are open about our sexuality, we are thus banned from donating blood, when we are no longer in the "at risk" catagory.

The law was changed from a lifetime ban to a simple year of abstinance. How do you prove that you've not had sex for a year?

I explained how i felt in a video at the time....

The Economy.
You may well be correct in the thinking that THIS is the topic which the government have the most battle about, which people feel most passionate about and where the most arguments are caused, when people speak about the current government, either for or against them.

Let's look at where the economy had gone wrong.

Labour signed in new laws to do with how much bank's could lend to customers, the law went as far as to allow banks and lenders to lend upto 5 times the income of a person, that, added with interest on top meant that the re-payments were too high for alot of people once they got into the re-payment of the money, this, lead the banks to start to wobble.

Labour also increased how much the government was borrowing to spend on services, like NHS, the police, fire crews and ambulance staff. When the banks started to wobble here of course, we all saw the colapse of banks in different parts of the world (the most famous being in america, where the bank literally fell to the floor overnight). When this happend, the UK banking industry in effect, followed through and had no change of underware. They began to go from a wobble, to major cracks showing and some were at the tipping point of falling out of control.

Labour decided to give them money in return for shares in the bank, some, to this day years on, are still something like 40% owned by the tax payer of the UK. This is when the UK started to slide (quite fast) into what's called a "Credit Crunch".

Years on and it's time for this government to start to pay back some of the lending and bring about the much needed change in the banking system, in order for them to bring in money once again as profit, then the shares will be worth something, the government can then sell them on and eventually, the country can start to stand on its own two feet again.... but why is it taking so long?

The whole lending industry has been operating wrongly for too long, bank owners taking home millions of pounds per year in their own wage and bonus payments. We saw they were lending too much to people where the clear sign's were there to say "this person, cannot pay back that amount of money" yet the transactions still went through. They had huge over-heads to pay through the system and eventually, the profits would drop and trimming the fat would become a regular thing.

To bring about these changes does require time in itself. It's never going to be an easy thing to tell banks how to operate, yet this is what the government seems to be trying to do.

They themselves need to look at government, how much it is costing and trim back some money where it can be, without shutting it down and starting again.

The way the government is handleing it's money at the moment is exactly the way people handle it at home. If you want something, but you don't have enough money for it on a regular basis, you A) look at things that you're paying for, ask yourself "well, do i really nee that" followed by it being cut if you find you can do without, for however long. B) look at gaining an extra income, take on a 2nd job or do some self employed work to bring in an extra income, for however long. This is what the government is doing in it's only way, by cutting expenditure where it can and raising taxes. To me, it makes complete sense to do this, but, here's the little thing nobody likes to admit.... The UK tax payer LOVES to think that they're owed something for nothing. Notice the amount of people who complain that they "pay into the pot, but cannot take out"? Because during times where the government needs alot of an income, they cannot afford to pay things to people who simply put, can do without the money.

There's ALOT to this economy and i really could be here all day typing, but we shall have to move on. All's i can say is, next time you're arguing about the economy, quickly google the latest defecit amount and then work out how you would pay that back, keeping in mind the amount you already have to pay out on things like the NHS, benefit system and such. You may then see exactly how hard it is to get this money paid back.

Last minute changes.
This government seems to be FULL of them. Some i think are done genuinly for some good press, like if the amount of petrol tax increases had gone through that they threaten every few months, the country would be at a stand-still, because nobody could afford it.

Marriage equality was another topic that threw the government into debate, sometimes quite heated too, but i'll show you a brilliant example of when this government has actually worked hard at a last minute thing, yet recieved next to no thanks for it.

In August of 2011, a police incident took place which shouldn't have happend. They had been following a male who they believed to be connected to a drug dealing gang who also delt in getting guns into the UK and of course using them too. On this one particular day, plane clothed officers, armed, pulled over a taxi that the male was in. They found him to be armed and when they thought he was going to shoot at them, they got in there first and shot him, with one of the shots fired, killing him.

The week after this incident, a peaceful protest took place outside the local police station. The only demand of the crowed was for an update on the investigation into this incident. To find out WHO was carrying out the investigation and to of course know what was going to be happening over the course of this time. The police station was locked from the inside and nobody made an appearance. It's said that about 3/4pm of this day, the crowed of people began to grow in numbers and trouble started to happen. Skip forward a few hours and this area of london was thrown into looking like a warzone, but something was different about this riot.

While you saw the typical buses on fire and windows being smashed, these rioters also targeted the news reporters themselves, the BBC who had reporters out came under attack and even had one of their van's set alight.

We skip forward another night and more of london finds itself in scene's like this, with clearly the police un-able to contain the situation.

Skip forward another 2 nights and London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and other major cities all report scene's like this as the whole country saw that the police couldn't cope. This all happening during a time that the UK's parliament was on a break, where MPs basically have two weeks off work.

After a 6th night of trouble, David Cameron returns to the UK early off his holiday and calls all MP's to a "Code Cobra" meeting. A cobra meeting is basically government slang for "The shit has hit the fan, get into work and sort this out". The meetings established at first what had happend before moving onto what futher action could be taken, finished up by what the government are going to be doing once the trouble has started.

So what did they do?

The violence stopped after a 7th night of trouble, on a night which most of the UK was under a cloud letting out alot of rain (Rioters hate the rain apparently). Insurace companies were told to pay out as usual and that the government would help with these costs should insurance companies struggle to find the funds. Large retailers were told to simply pay for the damage out of profits until an agreement could be made.

The government also orderd the late night opening of court's, extra resorces was given to police to help bring in as many people as possible and of course (my fave bit of this) tougher punishments for ANYBODY found involved.

I was happy with this news, but less happy that the army hadn't been called in or used (Yes, the UK still had an army at home, despite being in a warzone else where in the world).

But this is what i mean when i say that the government has reacted to stuff last minute and have done pretty well at handeling these sorts of situations.

All in all, i think alot of people are unfair when they speak down of the government, but who's name keeps coming up time and time again?

David Cameron.

See, people know their MP's that well, that everytime they think a bad decision has been made, they think it was personally made by david cameron himself, that everytime something good happens it's "oh well, david cameron was only doing that for abit of good press".

To finish off i'd like to say this.

If you're going to have a political rant to me about british politics, then know who the MP responseable is. David Cameron is the face of the government, not the cheif decision maker, there's a whole government of people behind him who day in and day out make these decisions wether they're popular or not. Understand how the politics system works abit more and then we can talk, until then, if you're just going to blame david cameron for you feeling hard-done by, then i really won't be having much of a chat with you, other than to tell you that simple message.

Monday, 11 March 2013

A reply to me being in the news!

What a joy!

For a small while, nobody had said anything to me about me being in the news, while i had enjoyed being in the newspaper (the story for which, you can read by clicking here) i had kind of thought that the issue had been laid to rest and nothing was going to be done about it, only yesterday, i was proved wrong.

During a chat about it, my mother happend to mention to me that in the following weeks newspaper, my name had been in the paper again. Turn's out another local resident feels the same way.

We've been hit over the past few years with rent hikes. They try to justify it by saying that the national adverage of rent has gone up and the size of where we are living, yet the forget to mention at this point that we still have single glazed windows and on energy effiency, these appartments are rated just above the worst that you could possibly get. Like, it's almost pointless them having walls.

Yet again last week, i recieved a letter off the council telling me that the rent was going up and that i had no choice in this. The amount we pay for the halls to be cleared has gone up to over £5 a week, which let me explain what happens every TWO weeks. A man comes out, they brush the hallway and by brush i mean, they bang a stick with a few brissles against every wall while going up and down the stairs, then come in with a mop and literally, flood the hallway, with no notice of a wet floor and the floors having no grip at the best of times, it's an accident waiting to happen. So we still have to pay now over £10 every two weeks for that to happen, it's awful.

Not only that, but as this other resident pointed out, we have still been blanked by the council, we are still not getting ANY work carried out on where we live. These single glazed, often drafty windows, look set to stay in. These storage heaters look even more certain to be staying in, since none of these buildings have a gas supply. The missing tiles in the hallway remain missing and broken items in the hallway (Windows and lights) remain broken.

This IS beyond a joke now, West lancashire council NEED to get a grip on this situation and now is their time to react.

Their reply to my story was that they were planning in the next financial year wether to carry work out on these places or to leave them. The reply to this other resident? "The council listen when residents raise issues".

I call BULLSHIT on this.

So while it's snowing yet again here (and it is snowing as i type this), i'm sat here freezing cold and with no other alternative than to pay through the nose for useless heating and wrap up in extra layers at night for when the storage heaters are spent.

I'll be keeping this updated and we'll see where this goes.

I do want to make one point very clear on this though.

Allowing the news to go public about my contact with the council and this situation hasn't been an easy decision. I do not regret the decision as only positive can come from it, but when you are left fighting against a brick wall, it's time to look at other ways to win the battle.

As the photographer said to me "The council listen more when a story is in the news, they don't like bad press and tend to do more when a story goes public". While it is only 1 way to get through to them, it's not the only option. Should the council still refuse to do anything, i'm prepaired to take other options.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A miracle for HIV?

In short, no.


Ok so HIV has been making news recently and it looks to be pretty good news too, but it's really not what people are thinking.

Since HIV medacines were first made available, of course the aim has been to find a cure for it, but infact, all drugs available for HIV to this date, only prevent the symptoms and stop it from re-occouring in the body. No known cure has been found yet, although science is only around the corner from it!!!

HIV itself is a complex desease, described on wikipedia as...

"Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a lentivirus (slowly-replicating retrovirus) that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive. Infection with HIV occurs by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells.
HIV infects vital cells in the human immune system such as helper T cells (specifically CD4+ T cells), macrophages, and dendritic cells. HIV infection leads to low levels of CD4+ T cells through a number of mechanisms including: apoptosis of uninfected bystander cells,[4] direct viral killing of infected cells, and killing of infected CD4+ T cells by CD8 cytotoxic lymphocytes that recognize infected cells.[5] When CD4+ T cell numbers decline below a critical level, cell-mediated immunity is lost, and the body becomes progressively more susceptible to opportunistic infections."

Basically, it's not currently cureable but is manageable with a lifetime of drugs and other forms of medacine.

Any myth's around HIV?

Where to begin really?

  • HIV and AIDS are the same thing, just different names. - WRONG, HIV and AIDS are different attacks on the human body and do require different sets of medication and check-ups.
  • HIV is mainly in the gay community - WRONG. Study's over the past few years have shown that people who identify as straight are more likely to catch the desease. In either case, a persons sexual activity shouldn't be brought into this debate.
  • HIV can only be caught through sexual activity - WRONG. Any way that it can get through the skin and into the body, it can and will use. So yes, penatrtive sex is a main way, but cuts etc can also be a way into the body for HIV.
  • You can't lead a normal life once you have HIV / AIDS - WRONG. I personally know several people who have either HIV or AIDS and they lead perfectly normal lives. Sure they have to be abit more careful and clean, but it is perfectly possible to lead a normal life once you are infected with HIV or AIDS.
  • A cure for HIV is coming - CORRECT. Sure it's been in the making for some time and probably won't be available for some time either, some sciency people do claim to be close to cracking a cure for HIV at the moment, so within our lifetime, it is possible.
  • HIV cannot be cured in 3rd world contries like africa - WRONG. These drugs and detection ways all cost money and as we can all see, for whatever reason, some regions in Africa simply don't have the money to detect let alone give medication to those suffering, which is why donations to charities that help with this sort of thing are always welcome and needed!

So why do i think that it's bad there's been a cure for HIV?

While this child in the news seems to have been cured of HIV, it was done by medication which is given to people who already have HIV, there's nothing different about this medication other than, it being given to a baby. Medication like this HAS been given to babies before when it has been needed and it doesn't seem to have worked before, wether something is different about this child's immune system, we just don't know yet.

So why is it bad news?

ALOT of people are reading this story and thinking that a break through has been found and that HIV is now cureable when in simple terms, it's not and this is still a threat to people. We need to follow this case for some more time while futher tests are carried out on this child, because if the child has gotten rid of HIV, then this will be of course very interesting to people who not only have HIV but for those who like to be informed of HIV and whats happening in the med's world!

So, how to prevent HIV and AIDS from getting to you?

We all know the old thing of, if you don't know your sexual partner, use protection. Protective sex isn't just to stop someone from getting pregnant, it's also to prevent stuff like this from happening to you. Most importantly, KNOW YOUR STATUS!!!! I really can't stress to you how fed up i am of seeing people too afraid to talk about HIV/AIDS/STI's and STD's with their doctor or nurse. The longer people are afraid to talk about this and use contraception, the longer this problem goes on.

Getting to know your status is easy and results can be back with you within minutes in some places these days. It's quick, easy and sometimes free too!!! It's NOT painful and let put it simple, would you rather wap out your cock or fanny to a doctor, or have to explain to all of your friends and family that you've caught something and face a life of being on medication and your life being at risk if it's not taken?

That's really how simple it is.

So don't be afraid, contact your doctor and ask about getting tested, it could just be the best thing you do today.