Saturday, 21 August 2021

WHY CAN'T THE ENGLISH TEACH THEIR CHILDREN HOW TO SPEAK?

 I have meant to write a blog on this subject for years, but I figured I was already hated enough, and my views on the topic might raise more than a few heckles.  Now I take on the fierce pride of the cockneys, scousers and jocks, what's wrong with speaking 'working class' they will say.  They are proud of their roots, they speak like their parents, their grandparents and all the working class generations that went before them.  I see the noble ideology behind their arguments, but let me put forward an alternative, actually I will stop pussyfooting around, let me put forward the radical thoughts of Professor Henry Higgins* together with a few of my own.  

I can see now how lucky I was to have a mother who didn't give two hoots about codes, conventions or how a mother or a woman should behave.  She was Irish, but she spoke like the Queen, her accent was the first thing she ditched when she got off the boat at Hollyhead, aged 15.  Of course, it was a different story at home, where she was more like a giggly playmate, both my brother and I were born in her teen years, but in public, out and about and on the phone, she was a loud formidable 'English' woman, no-one dared speak down to her.  As a small child, I was in awe of her powers, She had a beautiful, strong, almost melodic voice and she pronounced every word correctly. She was a huge fan of Patsy Cline and could sound just like her.  She may have been considered as mad as a box of frogs, by some, but no-one ever took her for a fool.  

My dear old mum was kind of savvy, she knew she would be treated better with an English accent than she would with an Irish accent.  Such were the times, 'no blacks, no dogs, no Irish'.  And we lived in Virginia Water, one of England's 'poshest' areas, which helpfully polished both her accent and mine.  Yes, like most daughters, I grew up sounding exactly like my mother!  I have a posh accent.  Not because I was born into millions, but by the way I was raised.  I copied my mad mum.    

Professor Higgins was right, it wasn't Eliza Doolittle's dirty face and wretched clothing that would keep her in the gutter, it was her awful strangulation of the English language.  He made a bet to turn a guttersnipe into a princess, simply by teaching her to speak properly.  Ok, the George Bernard Shaw play was set in the early 1900s, but the arguments surrounding regional and, err, uneducated dialects, still apply today.  We don't need the academic background of Professor Higgins to sum a person up, like a psychic at a fairground, we take in an awful lot with that first impression.  Where do they come from, are they rich/poor, educated/uneducated, an alpha personality or a follower, outward appearance, kempt or unkempt, happy or sad? A bit daunting to think of it like that for anyone going to an interview, but we carry so much with us that we are unaware of. 

Without a doubt, a person who speaks well, be it male or female, becomes significantly more attractive.  They have no need to tell the world they come from a long line of washer uppers.  They have worked on their voice and speech just as much as they have worked on their hair and body.  So I wonder why so many young women go to so much trouble with their appearance, yet totally neglect their voices.  It's 'Did you truly fly in from Paradise?  Nah, Luton Airport' all over again.  Where that old ad was ironic, this new trend to sound ignorant and lacking in vocabulary while dolled up to the nines, is heartfelt and done with conviction.  The few words they have they chop in half, my personal favourite is 'well gell', the result you are going for.  As in 'feck off, your eyebrows look more like caterpillars than mine, you're just well gell'.  I just don't see hedge fund managers and yacht owners lining up for a date here.  

I read an article in the Guardian many years ago, sadly I cannot remember the name of the writer, but she pointed out the importance of speaking well, especially in a face to face interview.  So many candidates fail simply by having such terrible communication skills. The point of communication is to get the message across with clarity, to everyone, not just those who speak the same dialect as yourself.    Being precious about your accent and working class roots is not a good way in which to advance, as Jane Austin might say.  I also told my sons, if you can't take her to the Ambassador's Ball, where they serve Ferrero Rocher on silver trays, think again.  Whilst it is sweet to have a limited vocabulary at 16, it is moronic past your 30's.  How to increase your vocabulary?  Read, read, read. 

Kids who go to public schools speak well from a very early age.  So even at a very early age, they have an advantage over their peers in the overcrowded State schools.  Teaching your child how to speak, how to communicate is the best gift you can ever give them.  It is lifelong, but in the early days, bad behaviour, temper tantrums, screaming and writhing on the floor, can be avoided if they can communicate exactly what it is they want.  Note.  this is not foolproof, especially in public places like supermarkets where most tots have figured out, they have their parents hostage. Their cute little faces look at you and say, 'put the bag of sweets in the cart or all hell breaks loose!  

Chatting with your kids is, I think, one of life's greatest joys, they think you are wonderful and believe everything you say.  That stops around age 11.  Try to get into them all the important things, like good manners and the advantages of being able to speak well.  It's hard with a busy life to find time just to chat.  As a young mum, I read an article that suggested quality time and I followed it to the letter.  I stopped wracking myself with guilt for working and always being busy, the designated quality time took a load off.  That aside, kids can do find other ways to torment you with guilt, it's their greatest weapon.

It saddens me to see young mums playing with their phones, while their babies are gurgling and cooing and reaching out to them for attention.  Babies think you are more wonderful than their older siblings, they never take their eyes off you, you should be singing, dancing, juggling and telling them all about the mushed up goo you are about to feed them.  Their time in the highchair is very limited, so spare them the machinations of the Labour party and the back stabbing of Jeremy Corbyn, that's better suited for your mutt, who doesn't care what you have to say, as long as it has a sausage with it.  But Boris is at least quite comical and could easily slip in alongside the telly tubbies.  Of course it matters not what you say, but how you say it and how your little bundle of cuddles has your full, undivided attention.  

I feel like I am an old voice, lost in the wilderness, when I am wincing at the dumbed down celebrities who have so much influence over the next generations.  My views probably belong in a byegone age, where speaking properly was more of a class thing along with top hats and cloth caps.  Everyone knew their place and there was an active dislike of classes outside of your own.  Speaking well was scorned and mocked unless you came from the right background. The language of the streets was territorial, no outsiders.  Ok, to tip your hat to upper classes (while despising them), but the middle classes were fair game, not far enough away from their humble births to protect them from scorn.  

There is no shame in coming from a working class background, especially if you are successful, because you got where are on your own.  Self made is more formidable than nepotism and inheritance.  But you are the result of previous generations taking steps to change their destiny, and yours.  Those who survived are those who adapted and changed, they didn't hold onto their working class roots, their hovels and backbreaking jobs.  They became educated, they ensured their children were educated, they ditched the language of the ghettos and the war zones of their neighbourhoods (unless of course they became rappers in which case they became millionaires).  I'm speaking figuratively of course, and in jest, you simply can't make a good impression on anyone, least of all an interviewer, if you tell her you are well gell of her Jimmi Choos.  

I don't demand that everyone speak in the standard English of the old BBC and 'Listen with Mother' and I don't hate (all) regional accents.  Sean Connery (Scots), Richard Burton (Welsh), Father Ted Crilly (Irish), all with voices that would make a girl swoon.  But cockney, awful, especially when exaggerated to sound like a sarf London thug or a terminally miserable actor from Eastenders.  Shudders.  Fine line between cheeky chappy and creep.  Scouser, hmmm, was mad about Paul McCartney singing, not so much when he spoke, but have never got drunk with a scouser, so will have to reserve judgment.  Elvis had me with hello.

Language I fear is disappearing, text speak, the shortening of words, the replacement of language with emojis.  Are children still being taught to write?  Have books and pens been swapped for screens and computers?  What brave new world is this?  To be fair, I don't actually fear that future generations can be dumbed down.  Each of them has on their phone, high tech computers that will give them an answer to any question they have, and within seconds.  Logic would predict they will be more enlightened than any generation that has gone before.  Ha ha, that argument sounded intelligent, until I remember the US voted for Trump and the UK voted for Boris Johnson.  

Have I turned into an old crone?  Am I out of sync with the rest of the world?  Ok, yes I am.  I want kids to speak properly, I want young girls to know how much more beautiful they would be if they fine tuned and harmonised their voices.  If they made their voices as pretty as their faces.  It is really hard not to correct the bad English of others, the old school marm in me just won't go away.  That part of me is now in the pile labelled 'beyond my control', let them speak as they wish (while quietly sobbing).  The world is full of Eliza Doolittles, beautiful young women who could increase their potential exponentially, simply by speaking properly.  And by potential, I mean, the job they want to get, the man they want to marry, the life they want to have.  

Yes, I know that does indeed sound so very last century, and I maybe watch too many historic dramas (wish bowing would come back), but I see nothing wrong with refining every part of yourself as you go through life's journey.  By refinement, I mean not just our outward appearance, but also those troubled parts of our characters (zen?) and our voices. do we sound as if we are in the middle of a mental breakdown, or totally chilled and under control.  Of course most of us learn how to manipulate our voices to get what we want during the toddler stage.  Some, sadly, keep the same tricks past 40, which is particularly creepy.  I have a pet hatred of grown women who speak with little girl voices, grr

But I have waffled on too much, I will end with a video clip, enjoy:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAYUuspQ6BY

 

Friday, 13 August 2021

WHO OFFERS THE BEST HEAVEN? After 64 you need to choose, a fun look at the options

 



Several months ago, or it even more, I can't really remember, I decided to change my philosophy of life, whatever it may have been, after sweetness and light, wink wink.  I decided to go with, arguably the greatest philosopher, thinker and music maker and Liverpudlian, Mr.  John Lennon.  As a schoolboy he stated the purpose of life was to be happy.  His teacher scolded him and told him he didn't understand the assignment, he told her, she didn't understand life.  Quite.

It really is that simple, I just wish I had known it at the start of mine, that is before being indoctrinated with the Catholic ideology of guilt.  Took a lifetime to discover we were not actually put on this earth to suffer pain and misery for some distant reward in heaven.  That is a terrible purpose/philosophy, reason for living.  But a very good philosophy for keeping peasants subdued and working ever harder. The rich man in his castle, the poor man in the field, all things bright and beautiful for sure.  There is God telling us the way things should be, it was his will, not the will of the greedy elite, nothing to do with them.  Religion preserves the status quo, the class system, the establishment.  Blair claimed not 'to do' religion, but as soon as he left office, he got baptized and hung religious icons in all his homes.  Something scared the bejesus out of him.  The thought of bumping into that shite in the next life, heavenly as it may be, does not appeal.

It is for this reason I have now decided to follow the old religion of the Norsemen!  Yeah baby, the Vikings (still obsessed with them, red faced smiley).  To be fair, I have always hedged my bets on religion, I can go from athiest, to agnostic, to screaming 'Dear God' in the Catholic sense, on any given day.  At this end of life, I'm carefully looking at the options available at the end.  

With the Catholic route, the journey to heaven is pretty much defined, live a clean life, no sinful partying, drug taking or killing your father and mother.  Ahh, but if you do, the Good Lord loves the fallen, and if you repent the weed and lines you did before stepping in front of that bus, you're still good to go to heaven.  But, I've never really liked the idea of heaven that much on the basis that it would be full of do gooders telling you how good they were in life.  They will have big long lists of all their public do gooding and abstinence.  All the while looking down on you for smoking, drinking, partying and maybe even pushing your folks off a hill, for, well, all eternity.    

Hell meanwhile, doesn't seem that bleak.  Ok, there's the excessive heat and all that, but it is going to be full of all the heroes and anti heroes you never got to hang out with in real life.  I usually compare it to pubs these days, that is all the fun people are outside shivering under an umbrella in order to have a smoke, no flames per se but maybe an outdoor heater provided by a kindly landlord.  Smokers probably spend more at the bar.  

Buddhism I have also dabbled in, if you call a Dali Lama quote each day dabbling.  I nearly got enticed into the whole you need Buddhism in your life, in a South London pub several decades ago.  Mischievously, I took my then boyfriend into a pub where I knew my old boyfriend would be.  I knew exactly what would happen, but I was still that naughty little girl who carried a mouse in my pocket for shock value.  It was pretty much like a fight scene from the old wild west, furniture and fists flying.  I was 'rescued' by a table full of buddhists who sensed I needed a bit of peace in my life.  I was 'Ooh two men fought over me' and I couldn't wait to tell my mates.  It was pure 'mean girl', my ex used to describe me as 'Aunt Sally' to his Worzel Gummidge, always looking for an opportunity to be mean to him.  To be fair, he gave as good as he got, probably why we stayed together for so long.  Now, I think, I would just go straight for the ice pick.  I jest, have you ever tried digging a patio?

Valhalla and the Norse religion offer a pretty good deal.  Drink as much as you like, eat magic mushrooms and partake of anything edible that gets you high, covet whoever or whatever you like, dress like a gladiator (yes, girls too), die fighting (with your sword in your hand) and return to Valhalla the next day to do the same all over again.  Bliss!  OK, can't say I am enamoured of the 'fighting' every day, not with my feet, but I am hoping the long white hair might qualify me as a shield maiden.

Which leads me nicely onto the hair and the above pic.  To cut or not to cut?  All the pandemic I cussed at the tragedy of not being able to go and get my hair done.  Ergo, it has grown and grown and with my frequent use of blue shampoo, is now blue.  Strangely, the boldness of the colour has given me a new lease of life.  A kind of inner 'come on old girl, it aint over yet', there is no law that states you have to get your hair cut short and permed.  And no reason to start buying granny clothes and hobbling.  To be fair, I do have an involuntary hobble (bunion) and I lean towards 'sensible' in the clothes department.  On the clothes front I did gaze longingly at a full length pink fairy dress with layers of crinoline and puffed sleeves on a market stall, but then I thought, where am I, aged 64 with a dodgy hip, going to wear a Cinderella dress?  I then had visions of Bette Davis as Baby Jane and swiftly moved on.  I can hear the shudders at the back there, ha ha.  My memory is not great either, perhaps why I momentarily thought a pink ball gown was just what I needed. I also keep losing words, which is dashed annoying, but happily the oldy worldy ones are still imbedded, probably because they were planted there in my youth, and they are a bit more profound, 'forsooth' for example, can be worked into any conversation.

For those who care, I have not been unhappy in my long absence from my blog.  This was the first time in my adult life that I haven't been obsessed with writing.  Naturally I went through all the 'tortured artiste, writer's block stuff - writers can think up all sorts of ways in which to torment themselves, I'm an A* at it.  But eventually that particular cloud lifted, I stopped caring that I couldn't write, I started to enjoy other things, binge watching especially, oh the joy of historic drama.  But also I am having lovely days out visiting castles and stately homes and ticking boxes.

I dropped the cooking and the ridiculous grocery shopping, there's only me, and M&S make spag bol and macaroni cheese just as well I do!   I feel like one of the last people in the universe to get that you don't have to stand over a hot stove every day or prepare everything from scratch in the 21st century.  Doh!  

But back to the hair, I think I have decided I am not going to get it cut, leaving as is, feels a bit rebellious and I like that.  I'm going to enjoy it, it is the hair of a Viking queen or a Tagarean - yes was also addicted to GOT*.  On the religious front, forget Catholicism, so too Buddhism, just like the Catholics, again with the misery, all recurring lives are miserable until you get it right.  The boyfight alone will bring me back as a gnat or a toad, not a Viking queen I fear. 

I think we should be able to select which heaven we want to go to, kind of like choosing life insurance or a new car.  Ok, so what do you God, or Gods, have to offer for a lifetime of worship?  I feel they should have show houses of what you are going to get for all that praying, kneeling and sacrificing?  I mean dahlink, are there swimming pools, stables maybe, banquets, diamonds, jewels, an ocean view? A slice of chocolate cake for that time when you went to church and put 50p in the collection box.  Quid per quo, what's in it for me?

And let's be fair, has anyone ever seen the fine print, all the byelaws, outlaws and inlaws, involved in having the paperwork to get past gatekeeper St. Paul (or is St. Peter) outside those pearly gates?  God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost (never understood the Trinity) have a record of every bad deed you have ever done.  That includes running over a mouse trying to cross the road.  I honestly didn't see him until it was too late and I still weep for his little mouse family waiting for him to come home.  In my defence I did once call out an emergency vet at 2.00am for my son's sick hamster.  He didn't make it, poor Conan but we were all with him at the end, not to mention he also left with a hefty vet bill.  My treatment of humans may warrant a few Xs on the naughty list, but if there is a priest around I can get forgiveness for that by repenting.  Maybe that's what I dislike about Catholicism, you can live your life as a complete b'stard and a word in a priest's ear can get you past the post.

Today I choose the Gods of the Vikings.  I want to go Valhalla and party with Odin, Thor, Freya and that naughty old Loki.  They really know how to party and fight!  One rule is that you have to die with your sword in your hand.  I don't have a sword, but I do have a very good butter knife and wonder if that will suffice?  Hopefully the Gods are a little less particular these days.  

Tonight, I say to you all, SKOL.  My kindest wishes to all those who still look in and wonder what I am up to.  I think the writing itch is gradually creeping back and hope someone, anyone, lol, will pop on and say hello.  Please no rants or nasties, I have in my head at least, moved onto a 'happy land' and what I'd like more than anything is just a chat, especially about hair, eyelashes and nails.  That's who I am now :)

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Climbing a bit further up the fence; Just musing, masks, socialists and feck Jess Phillips *unedited)

Again on social media the radical anti maskers and anti vaxxers (mostly the Far Right) are making the biggest racket about the very small inconvenience of wearing a mask and getting a vaccine.  Ok, wearing a mask is a pain, especially for we oldies as they cruelly expose all the wrinkles around the eye area and make your nose run,  but so what, science says they work.  I know science also says masks protect others from you, that is your breath and globules, but I feel they protect me too, so much so, I may just carry on wearing them forever, and wish I had had them when travelling to work on crowded trains and buses.  In those up close and personal situations, you had a constant whiff of whatever exotic meal the person breathing down your neck had the night before.  Oh garlic, I cuss you!

On the vaccine front, yeah fair dues, there is a one in a hundred zillion chance that this incompetent government led by Boris (bring back chain gangs) Johnson is trying to inject the masses with a liquid mind controlling implant developed by Bill Gates, but if you bring logic into he equation, it's just not possible.  

And on the vaccine front - think historically.  Imagine ordinary people at the height of the 1918 Spanish flu, where 50million died, being offered a free vaccine that would stop them dying?  Is it possible any of them would refuse it ?  They may have been simple people - by todays standards, but they wore masks and took precautions, ironic that they would now look on us as chimpanzees for not only refusing it but making a song and dance about it.

The pandemic in the USA, is now the pandemic of unvaccinated.  The hardest hit areas are those in 'Trump country'. That's not me being political, it's a fact that the biggest indicator of of the unvaccinated is they voted for Trump.  Traditionally, the UK follow the trends of the US, usually several years later, but more recently with our own instalment of a Trump Mini Me, Boris Johnson, as Prime Minister.  We are catching up rapidly.

But from contemporary history to present times, a very wise man, a successful double glazing salesman, I know sounds like an oxymoron, but let's just say he acquired a lot of wisdom.  'The answer to EVERY question is money' was an inspirational quote he threw out there.  I was intrigued by that statement, not sure I believed it, or if I wanted to believe it.  But time has proven, again and again, that that hardbitten DG salesman, had more of a handle on life than all the philosophers I had read.

There is no doubt, that money was/is the answer to every one of life's questions and Trump's crimes, that's how it is with greedy narcissistic people.  They need the cash and luxuries because no-one likes them.  The UK version Boris too, was spending inordinate amounts of money on takeaways, Ok, a bit of a Billy Bunter comparison, Boris was/is guilty of so much more than being a fat public schoolboy, using his obvious ineptitude as a front to cover up his slimy amassing of vast amounts of (taxpayers) cash. He, the narcissistic Boris, is soothing his fragile ego with all he stows away.  Maybe he plans a bath covered in thousand dollar notes with slaves telling him how wonderful he is - who know wtf money grabbing bastards dream about, the only constant is that history records them exactly as they were/are.

 Boris bizarrely,  is wiser (I know sounds weird) than Trump, in that he doesn't openly want to despise and blame immigrants and poor people, he gets those around him to do it for him.  He remains the kindly, jovial nation's Uncle and we all hate Priti Patel.    

Those people telling others not to wear masks and not to get vaccinated make the news for all the wrong reasons.  That maniac at last week's rally, no, can't be arsed to look her up, claiming nurses and doctors were hung following the Nuremburg Trials.  As if all those valiant NHS staff we were all applauding last year, were complicit in some sort of Dr. Evil plan.  Where tf did these people park their brains?  Or did they just toss them out when they found a new controversial leader to follow?  

I'm with Nietzsche on the whole make your own decisions, be your own self, philosophy?  Do we really need a God or a higher power? Someone 'wiser' than us to tell us how to lead our lives?  Pah, say I, that's an idea I have always scoffed at.  Probably why I had such a hard time in the convent.  I saw myself as a martyr, of the Christian variety naturally, I had very limited reading material, but for the opposite cause.  In that, what if I don't believe Jesus came back from the dead?  What if I don't believe God created the world in 7 days?  What if I believe all you holy moleys with your hands clasped in prayer and your eyes looking up to the heavens are a load of phoney shites?  Wasn't I a martyr, one who stood against the dominant ideology, and was beaten for it?  Maybe I did believe in God, maybe I thought he  (all powerful and could see the truth) would step in at any moment and protest the injustice of it all!  

The problem I have with all those 'telling us what we should do (get the vaccine ;) ) is their assumption that they know best, they know, better than we do, what is best for us, and  what direction our lives should take.  I guess if you have got that 'leadership gene' in you, it is kind of frustrating now to find a 'cause' to lead.  How do you become the new Virginia Woolf or Cristabel Pankhurst (no, not where I got my writing name from, but a virtual Nebuchadnezzar of champagne to anyone who can name the origin correctly :) )

We skoff, quite rightly, at those seeking fame at any price. but for the sake of being controversial, aren't we looking in the wrong places for heroes, heroines and role models?  It pains me, physically pains me, that we are putting the worst, the absolute worse, on pedestals as examples of how we should lead our lives.  Lack of education, lack of vocabulary is, for some fffd up reason, being celebrated and pushed to the forefront of this 'Woke' culture we are all being herded into.  

 I have long wanted to do a blog entitled 'Why can't the English teach their children how to speak'  My hesitance was down to the quote's origins?  George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, the divine Rex Harrison film version or, as it turns out Alan-Jay Lerner.  Whatever, the sentiments, I wholeheartedly agree with them.  Isn't it our duty as parents to give our children the absolute best means of communication.  Why limit their vocabulary?  Both my sons went through nursery and school relatively trauma free, due to their ability to talk their way out.  Teach your kids to fight, even to this day, is a common doctrine, tut tut tut, teach your kids to win, without being physically assaulted or physically assaulting others, those principles have longevity and, dare I say it, honour.

But returning to speech, I have to have a wee bash.  Not quite ready for a full assault on the pride of the working classes, but building myself up towards it.  Mostly because I have stood silent as 'language' as we know it, is again, being changed, unbeknown to most of us, by a malignant influence that is trying to whitewash our past and everything we learned during the enlightenment.....  Moi, who is presently really into the Renaissance, is just seeing history repeat itself over and over.  re

I love language, I love dialects, I especially love dialects that are put into a written form that we can all understand.  I hate censorship, I hate that Alex Scott was criticised for presentation.  She won her spot 'there', more fairly, some might say than  most of the tory twats who usually present the news. That's not the norm, that's not what thrust her into the spotlight.   Go her, say I.  But she has real achievements that support her success.  Sadly, and back to reality, her sisters competing in the job market and real world, need the ability to pronounce words correctly and a vast vocabulary.  I really don't get this pride in sounding as if you are mentally retarded.  See Katie Price.

This week, my Leftist, Marxist credentials are being put to the test, and I am failing expotentially, lol.  True, I don't have the energy anymore for anything radical, but I am still politically homeless.  I will love Jeremy Corbyn til the day I die, but I simply cannot support the snakes that went out of their way to make sure Jeremy Corbyn wouldn't win.  They committed the crime of the century, they enabled a government who wouldn't give a damn about a global pandemic.  How the f can I see any sort of socialist rescue of the masses, from the mememe antics of the Labour Right (yes, you Jess Phillips).  F*** the lot of you Labour 'leadership', you have betrayed oldies like me, but worse, you accursed wannabe tories, have betrayed the next generation and future generations of socialists to come.  You, yes you Jess Phillips, who agreed to doff the cap, and cuddled up with Jason Rees-Mogg. have aspired, agreed with, and embraced tory ideology to such an extent that  you actively worked against a genuine Labour (in the true sense of the word) candidate.  

Jess Phillips is the face of everything that promotes 'elevating the 'chav'.  She is so desperate to promote that her supporters are working class, that she goes out of her way to pretend she is exactly like them.  But she's not.  She went into higher education, she wrote her essays in the Queen's English, language and grammar that gave her the degree she sought.  She knows that you cannot succeed in life without being able to communicate effectively.  If she was honest, she would tell those youngsters in her constituency to speak properly and widen their vocabulary if they seek high level jobs!

OK, I can accept that Katie Price speaks like a moron to boost her followers and 'likes' presumably because it is popular, but there is something  a bit yucky about a Member of Parliament boasting they are just as thick.  Yes, Jess Phillips, I again refer to you.   

I'm psyching myself up for a 'why can't the English teach their children how to speak blog, also a feck off 'Me Too' blog and an anti 'poor me' shite blog.  Watch this space, lol.  

Sorry about the lack of pics, watch this space ha, ha.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

OVER THE GARDEN FENCE - THIS WEEK, THE HEROES, RUN HARRY, PSYCHOTIC ANTI MASKERS and VAXXERS




 
BRAVO   the heroes and heroines of the RNLI

So good to see the huge wave of support for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) this week on social media, for me it proved that the majority support compassion, humanity and bravery, not the petty spitefulness towards immigrants of Priti Patel and Nigel Farage.  I have nothing but admiration for those poor souls, so desperate, yet so determined to find a better life.  The far Right try to portray immigrants as ne'er do wells and scroungers who will somehow lower the quality of life of the indigenous English.  Coming over here, opening new business (when did a local start a new business in his/her err, locality?), with their working every hour under the sun ethics and their crazy ideas that this is a land of opportunity, how dare they!  They must be hated and blamed for, well, everything. 

Run Harry

I don't like Meghan Markle.  There I said it.  If a man had taken a woman away from his family and friends, and indeed, taken total control of her life, we would all be saying OMG what a control freak, run.  Harry is clearly not the captain of his own ship or master of his own fate, if he were, he would not have spent his first 35 years under the control of the House of Windsor. that he now claims he hated.  He wasn't actually imprisoned in any of those castles, he had a massive fortune and an indulgent Granny with the ability to grant him any title, role or job he wanted.   Of course what he was really looking for was love, in the same way as a 'Tim, nice but dim' aristo, or more like a Bertie Wooster without a Jeeves.  Enter Meghan actively looking for a wealthy English man, poor Harry never stood a chance.

Yes, I have a soft spot for Harry and William, ever since their heart breaking walk behind their mother's coffin, I think we all have.  But it is more of a tragedy that Harry is living with someone who sees that tragic moment as a continued source of income.  Having indulged in every form of navel gazing known to man (and woman), I can safely and assuredly say, ffs let it go and move on, is the best and swiftest form of recovery.  Grown men blaming their current lives and decisions on imagined slights from their childhood, are, well pathetic.  Harry the narcissist, found someone willing to listen to all his 'poor me' stories and inner thoughts, step 2 in how to make someone love you guides.  Or something you pay a counsellor 50/100 quid an hour for.    Someone who not only listened to his inane ramblings 24/7 but someone who agreed with everything he said and saw the inane ramblings of a Prince as a 4 book deal worth $20million. 

And before anyone attacks me for being an establishment tool, as if, lol, I went right off Meghan when I saw how callously she treated (and still is), her poor old dad.  A figure who was far more constant in her life (yes, I read Lady C et al books) than her mother - the only family member invited to her wedding.  Now she has cut her husband off from his family, I don't know how anyone could be comfortable with that.  Unfortunately, now Harry really doesn't have a way out.  He is more trapped in his mansion in California than he ever was with multiple castles available to him.  Ce le vie.

Over the Garden Fence

But this is not a 'hate Meghan' blog, just me in my curlers and pinny chatting to my neighbour over the garden fence.  Or a 'if you haven't got anything nice to say, come sit beside me'.  Now was that Oscar Wilde, or Dorothy Parker?  On that I am enjoying the take down of Donald Trump and his awful family.  And that's not like me.  I'm not really into retribution, it goes against my nature, when it comes to the crunch I'm more likely to say, slap on wrist and don't it again.  Maybe because all the new revelations of his crimes and the prosecutions in motion, seem distant as if he is still untouchable.  I think the reality will kick in when an actual 'Trump' is seen in handcuffs.  Oooh Err.

On Masks and Vaccines

The eejits have been out in force this week demanding their 'rights', as if this totally incompetent tory government would have the wit to use a viral pandemic to 'control us'.  Does anyone think there is an evil genius among them (the Bullingdon Boys) capable of organising virtual control of the masses? Boris was talking about chain gangs only the other day!  One is a step forward in evolution, albeit scary, one is a step back in time, which option is a hang 'em and flog 'em' tory (most of them) likely to take?

I have had both vaccinations, and very grateful I was too.  I also continue to wear a mask in indoor public places and I hope the non maskers and non vaxxers, respect my personal choices.  I have noticed in shops, some employees wear masks, some don't.  Presumably large retailers are leaving it up to individuals.  Sadly, it is the psychotic anti maskers and anti vaxxers, we need to avoid, their demand to let people know they are not robots by making a racket about it, is providing Covid-19 with new hosts.  I read a moving account by a doctor of a Covid ICU ward, where patients being intubated were begging for the vaccine, and she had to tell them it was too late.  I urge everyone to get vaccinated and to persuade others too, those heart wrenching moments in the ICU wards don't have to occur, read and listen to the scientists and the informed, remember Boris Johnson speaks with a forked tongue!





But I will finish on a happy note.  Well done all those athletes in Tokyo, we can only imagine the work they have put into their sports to achieve such magnificent performances.  I can't just cheer for the UK, who of course I cheer for, but I am touched by the spirit of every youngster who gets up on those podiums.  Each has a story, each has a dream, I am in awe.  





Monday, 19 July 2021

WHITE HAIR AND HOW I SURVIVED THE LOCKDOWN

 



It's not how much you love, but how much you are loved by others (Wizard of Oz to Tin Man) and today and whole birthday weekend actually, I have really felt the love.  I feel blessed.

As can be seen I have completely transitioned from (fake) brown to white (blue) and I'm OK with it.  Ditto hitting the grand old age The Beatles sang about.  The lockdown has left me with long blue locks and I don't hate it.  I had intended to get it all cut off as the lockdown ended, into a style more fitting of a senior citizen but I watched multiple beauty vloggers my age and above (yes, they exist) who wear their long white hair with pride - that is the cauliflower perm for over 60's is not compulsory!  Phew.  Happily, I have not had to do anything to my own hair other than wash it with blue shampoo.  (Many thanks to the reader who kindly recommended Fanola 'no more yellow' so long ago.  The blue gets darker and darker, lol, I am aiming for Weimaraner (dog playing piano) blue, but I may be over doing it, SMS (smart arsed son) thought it was Halloween!

The thing about old age is that you have no idea when you are younger, what you will be like as an old person.  I can't say I had ever thought about it, but now it's here I don't have any inclination to behave differently.  I still want to paddle in a river, drive a bumper car and order an exotic cocktail in a salsa bar.  The spirit is willing and indeed, chomping at the bit, but sadly, the body wants to find a nice place to sit down and have a cup of tea.  The week in New Orleans getting high with Jack Nicholson remains on the tick list, but tis now a distant hope, neither one is getting any younger, and it won't be the same if we have to use zimmer frames.

So what have I been up to during all this time.  Sadly not writing, this has been a case of writer's block that even Kathy Bates with a sledgehammer couldn't have dislodged.   But I have changed, I have re-evaluated my priorities, most importantly I have given much more credence to the words of the great Philosopher (and Beatle) John Lennon.  Life is about being happy.  And I have been really happy to explore  and enjoy all the other interests I have, without torturing myself for not being able to write.  

In the Catholic Faith, binge watching is frowned on, actually I just made that up but I am sure it is as it involves idleness, gluttony and a lot of coveting.  I began the Pandemic totally absorbed in the 'Walking Dead' only to be left hanging on a cliff never to know how it all ends, doh!  I moved onto Project Runway, all 17 seasons, loving the creativity and quirkiness of all the competitors and of course, the fabulous fashions.  If I hadn't already chosen Edith Piaf singing 'No Regrets' for, what I hope will be a musical send off, I would have to say I do regret not paying attention in needlework class.

I then discovered Game of Thrones, a decade after everyone else, ha ha, but I was gripped.  Another blood and guts series that made me watch the episodes back to back.  I was quite taken with the Queen of Dragons, we have the same hair colour, sadly that's where the resemblance ends.  I think 'Walking Dead' had by that time desensitized me to all the slaying and killing and opened up a whole new world, catching up on good programmes I was too much of a wuss to watch.  Game of Thrones was sublime!  The characters, the costumes, the settings, each episode felt like a blockbluster, and indeed they were.

My next viewing addiction (of note) was The Vikings!  And this is where I hope Bjorn will pop his head in.  I loved the series about Ragnar Lothbrok (and sons) and I am now totally obsessed with all things 'Viking'.  All and any 'Viking' films and documentaries have me gripped.  I never knew very much about the Viking era to be honest, other than our primary school books, where vikings wore twin horned helmets.  Totally not true as I have now discovered!  And of course, being a Viking was a profession, albeit of the 'pirate' variety, not a nationality.  I was so interested to see that the Vikings, the Norsemen, came from all over Scandinavia.  I am blown away that they took off in such basic boats, braving all the elements and reaching places like Iceland, Greenland and Canada!  Of course their boats were not that basic, they were brilliantly designed and crafted, yes I am also watching 'how to build a Viking boat' programmes!  It has torn me away from the Tudors, I am finally learning about European history, Scandinavian especially and secretly hoping that I and my heirs have a drop of  Viking blood. Quite possible, they invaded Ireland and Scotland too! 

I am currently looking for programmes about Viking 'finds', UK or anywhere, I am captivated! Also hoping Bjorn can recommend a Swedish or Icelandic, or indeed any Scandinavian made Viking films and dramas.  When I went through my Russian phase, I watched all things Russian (with subtitles), not only the dramas but documentaries, Russian vloggers and travellers to Russia.  We are so lucky in this internet age that we are able to 'visit' these places, and get a feel of what life is like in these far away cities.  On the Viking front perhaps I should take virtual tours of Swedish and Norwegian museums, I would love to know what Viking related treasures they have dug up.

But going back to age, I think I probably have changed.  I spend much, much less time thinking about things that distress me and much more time on things that make me happy.  I have mellowed, 'I accept 'it is what it is' in most situations where previously I would have been passionate.  Politically, I have never got over the Jeremy Corbyn loss, for me it was that one time in history where all the stars were aligned to bring equality and fairness to all.  He of course remains a hero, but that moment has gone.  Will it come around again, I hope so.  I have a lot of faith of in the young.

Well that turned very melancholic, but it is not a reflection of how I feel.  It is still a beautiful world and striving for happiness is an altogether agreeable past time.  I have say, on the age front, I have found I am treated differently with the white (blue) hair.  People are kinder, more respectful, they don't try to rush you, young people especially, they restore my faith in human nature.  

Now I will return to my new favourite series the Medici and seeing the sites of Florence is definitely on my tick list.  Another history and costume drama, I just can't keep away from them.  I have a feeling I have watched this series before, but thanks to the dementia I can't remember any of it, I hope this happens with the Vikings, would love to watch it anew!



Tuesday, 27 October 2020

DEFEND MY VIEWS - IF I MUST

 In response to Unknown, 21 hours ago, I didn't publish you on the previous blog, mostly because there are too many comments there now, but also because your post amused me.  So, herewith, verbatim, I had to write it out in manuscript (still can't c/p) and retype, so herewith:

'Ros, you are incapable of defending your views and that's why you bin many comments.  I never use vulgar or abusive language. Shame on you'.

Let me respond to the second part first.  Err, well done on not using vulgar or abusive language. Take a bow.  No, your modus operandi is hurt and degrade, arguably, the nastier choice for abuse.

To the first part.  I am happy to defend my views against anyone, bring it on.  Have been saying this for the past 13 years!  I think I am despised by the antis as much as the pros.  Probably because I unmasked many of them, for the phonies they were.  As for the pros, the truly psychotic ones who posted on the Myths sites, Tigerpussy or whatever his name was, I slayed the lot of them.  They were so bad at dissing me, even I couldn't be arsed to read it, and I love reading about myself! Lol, even the bad.

So here we are October 2020, in a pandemic that has gone on for 8 months and getting worse.   On the Madeleine McCann case, what views do I need to defend?  We still have free speech, I'm allowed to have any views I want.  Happily, as much as they tried, the McCanns and all their cohorts were not able to bring in legislation that would take away free speech.  They stopped books being published and newspapers from reporting facts, but they have never been able to silence social media.  I don't think it should be forgotten how hard they worked to silence journalists and put them in jail and how badly misguided the 'hacking' campaign was.  Definitely worthy of a chapter.

As for the defend yourself challenge,  I have easily slayed every creep from the Myths sites, Tigerpussy wannabe and all the rest of them.  And I would say to anyone, literally anyone, from any of the Madeleine websites, anti or pro, bring it on.  Do you think I tremble in fear of the El creepos, Bennett, Hall and Hyatt?  Or indeed, any 'renowned' journalist, ha ha ha, I would love to hear how they know so much more than me.  

Bring it on unknown from 21 or is it now 22 hours ago.  Bring forth your genius and destroy my views and opinions.  Tell me where I've gone wrong.  Talk about the case, not me on a personal level, the evidence, the statements, the truth you think I have misconstrued.  You sound fired, unknown at 22 hours ago, write something cohesive and persuasive, the floor is yours:


Tuesday, 29 September 2020

UPDATE: THE MADELEINE STORY AND ME - BY CRISTOBELL

UPDATE:  01/10/20

As expected the poison pen hate mail has returned, and no, it won't be published.  The sheer vitriol suggests someone is mightily mad that I have decided to write and publish a book about this case.  Probably because the Madeleine case has largely been put to bed and stored in the history books as an unsolved mystery.  Of the Blair era, it is just another case that doesn't stand up to scrutiny, but on a scale of transgressions, it's at the bottom of the list, with an illegal war being at the top.  It will remain shelved for the next few centuries until an enthusiastic Sherlock Holmes automaton picks it up.

So why upset the equilibrium now?  Why bring more grief to a family who lost a child?  And it does sound awful when you put it like that, but that writes off all the harm to others to support the abduction story.  The abduction story only worked by blaming others. Beginning with PDL who lost most of their tourist industry.  The Portuguese police who were vilified, the hundreds of innocent posters on social media who were targeted and abused online if they dared say they did not believe the abduction story.

And yes, I was among them, I had my name and reputation torn to shreds along with nasty reviews on Amazon every time I tried to publish a book.  Well I'm knocking on a bit now and these are dodgy times, so yes, I am going to write my story with every eye opening revelation I discovered along the way.  It is legacy time, time to explain myself, time to justify why I wouldn't keep my trap shut, every time the McCanns, the press and every 'friend of the family' (Clarence) released a phony press release.  Should I have just kept that to myself?  

There are still many people out there who want to know what happened to little Madeleine McCann and there are a huge amount of crackpot theories and weirdos who claim to have solved the case.  Most of these weirdos claimed to have solved the case even before the police files were released.  That is, they had already established a motive, some sort of sexual deviancy, and were banging square pegs into round holes to make their freaky theories fit.   These were the ones the media portrayed as non believers of the McCanns, as if we all wore dirty rainmacs and carried binoculars.  Non believers quickly changed to 'haters' and war broke out on social media.

I had been dragged into a war not of my making, and any attempts I made to get away failed.  The McCanns and their trolls followed me relentlessly for years planting false stories and lies to demean and discredit me.  Walking away was never an option.  The pursuit continued, even when I wrote a diet book ffs.  The McCanns are vengeful, they never give up.  I did for a while there, but I'm back.  I supported Goncalo Amaral when he wrote his book, because I could understand his need to tell his side of the story.  I feel the same way too, I'm not the villain in this Greek (Portuguese) tragedy, merely an onlooker who got pulled in.  A bit like a curious cat.  

_____________________________________


In response to Bjorn, from the previous blog.  

Yes, this is what I am thinking Bjorn, and I have already begun.  Having been on this case from the start, I am familiar with all the different factions, and more importantly, the agendas and ulterior motives of all the different factions.  From the characters who headed out to PDL when Madeleine disappeared, to the lunatics who imbedded themselves into the investigation via their armchairs and the internet.

I have already written quite a few thousand words already, but I am currently working on the structure.  That is probably the hardest part of putting a book together, the bit that will keep me up at night, lol, But, I am a great storyteller, it is my gift, and I intend to write the book bringing in all the various aspects of Madeleine's case that turned what was probably a sad but pretty straight forward story into a global mystery. Knowing all that I know now, I have, for myself anyway, been able to find a 'satisfying end', a conclusion, a last page.  I am in the happy position of knowing enough about the subject, to explain it simply.  And of course, that was the beauty of Goncalo Amaral's book,  he told his story with honesty and integrity.  It is the definitive book in my opinion, and I would never take that away from him.  

With mine, I have the benefit of hindsight, I could see what was going on outside of his bubble, the bigger picture - the politics he referred to that prevented this case from being solved.  Clearly, it was not just a problem for the incumbent Labour government of the time, it carried on into the next 3 tory governments.  The tories don't have the resolve to fix it either.  

I have never been about vengeance.  I have never had any interest whatsoever in the punishment side of crime.  I did once toy with the idea of applying to be a Justice, but I would have let everyone off and probably sent them on holiday.  I don't hate Gerry and Kate McCann, I find them fascinating.  They bring out those parts of my brain that wants to solve puzzles.  I can't put a label on them.  I can't say Kate is/was a subjugated wife or that Gerry is a downtrodden husband.  Kate is much stronger than she portrays herself, the leaning on Gerry is for sympathy.  Gerry, the opposite, not as strong as he portrays, but quickly knows how to go into alpha male automaton mode.  Their interactions are fascinating, there will be a whole chapter on that.

I was intrigued by the mystery of Madeleine's disappearance, as we all were, we were drawn in by the tragedy of the story and the talented professionalism of those who were selling it.  And I have to give a nod to Clarence Mitchell here, he created a reality show as big as the Osbornes. Maybe it was a joint venture with Gerry, who discovered talents he didn't know he had, but again, Clarence and err, 'keeping up with the McCanns' is also worthy of a chapter.

I will also delve into the paedophile aspect, that was created, possibly on the first night, when Gerry was discussing paedophiles gangs on the phone. I thought that was an horrific first thought to go to, but it planted that seed that there were dark, hooded, predators, climbing in bedroom windows in the resort of PDL.  Perverts using a network of computers to tip each other off, when a 'special' child was left alone, unguarded.  All bo**ox of course - bogeymen remain largely mythological,  though he is blamed of course in too many cases where young children disappear.  The sad reality is that in almost all those cases, is much closer to home.

Then there is the other paedophile aspect.  It differs from the above paedophile aspect, in that these particular paedophile hunters were/are,  accusing the parents and their friends of sexually abusing their kids.  I found those who focused on these kind of odious accusations particularly despicable.  They weren't 'thinking of the children' as is their customary battle cry, they were doing the opposite.  Hurting, in a most cruel and sadistic manner, those small children who were on that holiday, maybe for the rest of their lives, the sick, fecking bastards.  I especially hate those self proclaimed 'language' experts who can pick up perversity in a few short sentences, they bring a whole new meaning to 'shut that door'.   Sadly, I have fixated in my head a group of creepy old men in rainmacs looking for the same perverse thoughts they have in the heads of others.  TB, RH and the creepy guitar strumming bible basher.

But it wasn't just men, there are a lot of women out there too being brainwashed to believe their tiny tots are sexually attractive to perverts.  Maybe CEOP could come out with burkas for ages 1-3, to keep the nonses under control?  Yes, of course I am being sarcastic, but when, let's say, dubious people have control of the dominant ideology, we can be led to believe anything.  In 2007, we were being persuaded to set up a specialist police task force to respond to child abductions anywhere in the world as if they were happening on a weekly basis.  Truth is, they would have been sat twiddling their thumbs this past 13 years because there hasn't been another one.  

I disagree, with Jim Gamble, former head of CEOP, with every fibre of my body that paedophiles are everywhere.  I'll tell him what's everywhere - regular people who have never in their lives had such a creepy thought in their heads.    As but, as you see, although divided, the paedophile factions, eventually come together in agreement - they want us to believe perverts are all around us.   In the social media theatre of war, this put the establishment, the McCanns and every looney facebook page against me.  They all wanted to believe that some kind of sexual perversion lay at the heart of this case.  

On the outrage front, in my opinion, parents (in general) have enough fears without the government adding to them, especially where those fears were contrived and manipulated.  I hated the fear and suspicion that was spread among the public that their children were in constant danger.  It simply wasn't true.  Making paedophiles public enemy number 1 was a great distraction for a government who took us into an illegal war.  One minute terrorists, the next, paedophiles.  And dear little  Madeleine became the child we all wanted to bring home.  For a Labour government who wanted to create a national database of DNA and a legal enforcement to carry identify cards, telling the public their children were at risk was an easy sell.  'Only those with something to hide, will refuse to hand over the blood, medical records and bank details'.  See how easy it is to bring in martial law, when someone shouts 'think of the children!'.

I agree with you Bjorn, which of course I would, lol, that none of the documentaries, videos, books etc, have provided a definite account of everything that went on.  They are all so afraid of being sued by the litigious McCanns, that they daren't even point at conclusions without providing an opposite and opposing side.  I will do the same, obviously, but I'm not going to say, something's perfectly logical when it's clearly insane.  I may well have an entire chapter devoted to 'WTF?' moments, of which, there are many! 

The Madeleine case, more than any other, revealed just how much the mainstream media were deceiving us.  We had heard the words 'spin' and negative and positive propaganda, but we were seeing it in action, in plain sight.  We were not reliant on news from the British tabloids, the internet had swept in hundreds, thousands of new news sources from outside UK borders.  Most pertinently, in the Madeleine case, news was flooding in from Portugal and it was entirely different to the news that was flooding the UK tabloids.  A lot of people found that they were only one, maybe two, clicks away from discovering the truth.

I have not yet decided whether Gerry and Kate were genius publicists of themselves or whether they were victims of the media moguls, police chiefs and politicians who were using them.  I will devote an entire chapter to it.   I am hoping that the time is right, that the McCanns and the legal eagles will not be bothered by an opinion piece.  One of the great benefits I had as a published author, was my book being scrutinised by the legal team at Random House.  It was a huge learning curve, albeit it rushed, within a month, but I learned enough about libel law to steer clear of the McCann legal watchers.  I didn't even get a mention in the Summers and Swan book, for which I was quite miffed.  But truth is, I have never said anything illegal or libellous, Amazon will have no reason to ban me.  But, of course, lol, we shall see what happens.  My journey is no different to thousands of others who were gripped by this case.  That is, gripped by the puzzle solving, gripped by the gossip, gripped by the twists, turns and drama of reality TV on OMGs.

I'm not putting the blame for my obsession on the parents of Madeleine,  Since I have started accepting the blame (absolutely) for every dumbarse decision I have ever made, I have realised the absolute futility of  trying to shift that blame onto others.  I could easily have flipped that front page over onto page 3 and tits, (at that time, lol), but I wanted to know sooooo much more.  Even in May, 2007, the logical part of my brain could not make the facts I knew, as few as they were, into a story that made sense.  And I wanted to, because my dear old mum who I loved squabbling with, had taken the opposing side.  

So, so much I should save for the book, lol.  I am a great believer in fate.  I started my blog because, basically everyone hated me, ha ha, I was banned from every Madeleine site.  But I started my blog, and built up my own discussion board, uncensored and unfiltered, which worked very well for a long while.  I think I reached occasions where I was the most read Madeleine blog on the net.  I was attacked by the head cases, not surprisingly, from both the anti McCann side and the pro McCann side.  Again, I cite that point where extremes collide and find themselves in the same lane.  

I should finish with I am not the enemy.  I am not the bad guy, or gal, a terrible impression the internet has taken of me, because I simply did not believe Gerry and Kate McCann.  I am proud to have grown up in a land where I am free to have my opinion, but for a long time, I had to fight a ridiculous media war where I was labelled a 'hater', bitter twisted, psychologically unstable and regularly told to 'hurry up and die'.  Simply because I had voiced out loud that I did not believe the abduction story given by the McCanns and the establishment who seemed to be in on it.

Opposing the McCann media machine was not a good choice (again I blame myself), but I was not going to be silenced.  Who tf did they think they were?  Famous last words, lol.  Sadly, David beating Goliath was a fluke, anyone taking on media darlings and the power of the establishment, generally gets squished.  Presently peeking out from under a large mushroom that's about to be sauteed. The big question now, is am I squishworthy?  

On the non squishworthy side (saving the McCanns a fortune in legal fees here), I have no fortune they can seize in reparation for their pain.  TB had a house and a few bob put aside, Goncalo Amaral wrote a best selling book (they allowed it to sell for 12 months before suing).  And I make no allegations, nor will I.  I simply want to sell a book based on the knowledge I have and the conclusions I have reached.  A story with a beginning, a middle and an end.  

And on the non squishworthy side, I am sympathetic to Gerry and Kate, I try to understand the predicament they were in.   I don't agree with their batshit crazy form of childminding, a listening method used by Butlins, circa 1960, I do understand their desperate need for a break from kids.  As a young single mum, I literally cried when I couldn't go out.  Whatever happened in that apartment that night was not premeditated, malicious, or, and I can't believe I am having to say this, sexually perverse.   If  you are among those people who think it was, or who think, an accident happened much earlier in the week, then this book is not for you.  The tapas group were regular, normal, if a bit geeky, party of middle class professionals enjoying an early summer break.  PDL was a regular Portuguese holiday village, not a regular meeting place for  VIP paedophiles and swingers.  Such was the rubbish being sold in the early days, and such was the rubbish that continued throughout.  Textusa, some crazy old spinster who believes everyone's swinging except her.  

I must go, I have the writing bug, and that has been missing for a long time.....