Night From Hell


So I think I had an evening that qualifies as one of the really bad ones last night.

I get home from rugby covered from head to toe in mud. I only live across the road, so rather than shower, I was looking forward to a nice hot bath loving run by my wife. I put my kit in the washing machine, went upstairs, put my toe in to test the temperature and nearly jumped out of my skin………. Freezing bloody cold! For some reason, our boiler had broken down. Now exactly the same thing happened last year. Christmas eve it breaks and we spend the next few days huddled under blankets and around oil heaters for warmth. So we were smart and took out the manufacturers insurance package. They’re coming out tomorrow. Still a pain, but luckily not the depths of winter just yet.

I end up boiling a few kettles of water and washing in the sink. As I’m doing this, I hear my 18 month old girl wake up by coughing like a sea-lion! Normally, we’re not the panicking type of parents, but my father-in-law was diagnosed with pneumonia on Monday and she had been around him on the weekend. 10.45 we find ourselves at the front door to the work in centre (thought it better than clogging up A&E) only to be told they’re closed…….. So off we go to A&E.

We were ushered through to the children’s ward very quickly, but there the good luck stopped. 3 hours later, after I’ve been surrounded by brats whose parents couldn’t control them and refused to cover their mouths when they coughed or sneezed, a moody doctor decided to look at my little ‘un. She has a nasty chest, throat and ear infection, got the drugs and was told to go home.

So we get home, get to bed about 3.30am. 5 am my daughter wakes up screaming. She wouldn’t calm down. In the end, my wife took her downstairs to play. I tried to follow, but my wife insisted I stay in bed as I had work and she didn’t.

So now I’m sat at work, with match sticks holding open my eyes, drowning myself in thick black coffee and praying my little girl feels better.

I guess it could have been worse, it could have happened tonight and ruined my birthday tomorrow (yes, I know it’s  a shameless plug, but who cares!)

What Have I Let Myself In For?!


I’ve been training mma for about 2 months now. Nothing serious, just 1 or 2 sessions a week. Before this, as my regulars will know, I trained san shou. So my background is mainly stand-up fighting. However I felt I needed to broaden my view on fighting and competing, so mma was the next logical step.

I’ve just agreed to take part in an interclub fight in December. Now, interclub fights are NOT big news. Shouldn’t be anything major, but I’m having serious doubts about my abilities. Am I really THAT good to step into the ring? I know I can handle a stand up fight, even if I lose, I’ll be able to walk out without too bad a beating. But my ground work is atrocious and I’m very worried about being on the bad end of the dreaded “ground and pound“.

I’m sure the organisers of this event will match each person with an opponent of similar weight and (more importantly I think) similar experience, so I shouldn’t be facing anyone who has 25 fights under their belt. But then there is no guarantee of that. It’s all too easy to say “this is my first fight” while trying to hide your UFC championship belt.

I’m sure some people will say not to fight if I have any doubts, and they’d probably be right. But I also REALLY REALLY REALLY want to compete. I’m not in it for the fighting or beating down on someone. I’m in it for the competition, to see if I’m good enough. And the only way I can do that, is to fight.

So I’m in a quandary. I guess I have 8-9 weeks in which to make my mind up (to give time to cancel I mean) and in the mean time, I guess I train as much as I can, cover the bare basics, get my cardio up and not let my doubts control me.

Wish me luck!

A Sporting Dilemma


As my regular readers will be aware, I have played rugby all of my life. I love the game and it has given me so much, including very good friends.

I was on Facebook the other day when I saw something quite disturbing. A friend of mine (one of the “old boys” from the rugby club) had put a very disturbing status up:

so any 1 wonder why (name removed) is in hospital , infection frm pinnin in his grion , thiven junkie low life c..t , stole frm his MUM’s , stole frm his sister who put him up when noone wanted him , then stole frm his auntie who also put hm up after stealin frm his sisters , role n die u low life c..t lol xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Now this is some pretty harsh words. I have played rugby with the gentleman in question and this brings me to my dilemma. If he is indeed a junkie (can’t believe everything you read online, but the guy who posted this is related in some way to the person in question), can I ever play rugby with him again?

Before you judge me, let me make my case. It is a known fact the drug users are not exactly fussed about using clean, sterile needles every hit and, as a consequence of this, can and do contract certain infections and diseases from the dirty needles (such as HIV, hepatitis etc.). These infections and diseases can be passed from one person to another in various methods, including blood.

Now for the uneducated, rugby is a very physical game and cuts and bleeding are par for the course of a normal game (this weekend is a prime example where a team-mate of mine needed stitches in the top of his head after being kicked, by accident). Because of these types of diseases, we are no longer allowed such things as a bucket of water and sponge to clean cuts as infections can be spread in this manner. I know every time I walk on to the pitch, I run the risk of receiving an infection (ridiculously small risk, but still present), but I never think of it and it never really concerns me. However, I’m not so sure I can say the same thing now.

So the questions are:

  1. Can I happily play a contact game where bleeding can/does occur with a “known” drug user is also playing, let alone share a shower with him after the game?
  2. Should I mention this to my captain, as I’m not sure he would have seen the Facebook soap-opera?

The World’s Penis Size Revealed


I came across one of the most random sites I’ve ever seen. It is a global map of the average penis size by country.

So let’s digest this a little.

We can see the old myth of Asian men being “smaller” than the average man is being confirmed by the SUPER scientific map and that African men are still “the big boys” on the block.

For me, the surprise runner in all this are the South America crew. Check out those bad boys!! 3 countries in the top 5 are South American with only 2 being African. Here is the list with biggest first:

Territory Name Value
Congo 17.93
Ecuador 17.77
Ghana 17.31
Venezuela 17.03
Colombia 17.03
Lebanon 16.82
Cameroon 16.67
Bolivia 16.51
Hungary 16.51
Sudan 16.47
Jamaica 16.3
Panama 16.27
Benin 16.2
Brazil 16.1
Peru 16.03
Haiti 16.01
Puerto Rico 16.01
France 16.01
Dominican Republic 15.99
Senegal 15.89
Burkina Faso 15.89
Czech Republic 15.89
The Gambia 15.88
Cuba 15.87
Netherlands 15.87
Belgium 15.85
Zambia 15.78
Belize 15.75
Italy 15.74
Angola 15.73
Egypt 15.69
Zimbabwe 15.68
Guatemala 15.67
Georgia 15.61
Paraguay 15.53
Nigeria 15.5
Chad 15.39
Central African Republic 15.33
South Africa 15.29
Denmark 15.29
Nicaragua 15.26
Cote d’Ivoire 15.22
Slovakia 15.21
Uruguay 15.14
Slovenia 15.13
Mexico 15.1
Gaza Strip 15.06
Morocco 15.03
Bulgaria 15.02
Tunisia 15.01
Costa Rica 15.01
Honduras 15
El Salvador 14.88
Argentina 14.88
Serbia 14.87
Sweden 14.8
Croatia 14.77
Albania 14.73
Greece 14.73
Suriname 14.67
Belarus 14.63
Chile 14.59
Iceland 14.56
Iran 14.55
Iraq 14.5
Germany 14.48
Eritrea 14.39
Israel 14.38
Switzerland 14.35
Norway 14.34
Poland 14.29
Somalia 14.2
Algeria 14.19
Austria 14.16
Turkey 14.11
Cape Verde 14.05
New Zealand 13.99
Macedonia 13.98
Ukraine 13.97
United Kingdom 13.97
Canada 13.92
Greenland 13.87
Spain 13.85
Estonia 13.78
Finland 13.77
Libya 13.74
Azerbaijan 13.72
Afghanistan 13.69
Turkmenistan 13.48
Ethiopia 13.39
Australia 13.31
Armenia 13.22
Russia 13.21
United States 12.9
Ireland 12.78
Mongolia 12.77
Romania 12.73
Yemen 12.72
Pakistan 12.2
Indonesia 11.67
Singapore 11.53
Malaysia 11.49
Vietnam 11.47
Bangladesh 11.2
Hong Kong 11.19
Japan 10.92
China 10.89
Sri Lanka 10.89
Philippines 10.85
Taiwan 10.78
Burma 10.7
India 10.24
Thailand 10.16
Cambodia 10.04
South Korea 9.66

Ok, I know, this isn’t exactly scientific! 39 of the countries figures appear to come from universities or other such establishments, but the years are a little off. The top 6 countries figures come from uni’s, but the 8 after that don’t tell us where the info comes from.

Either way, lets use this map for what it’s meant to be used for……….. bragging that British sausage is bigger than Irish, American, Australian and Russian

Money Worries


I’m really worried.

My wife started a new job two weeks ago after leaving her last job after over 9 years. This was due to the company being totally unreasonable in relation to her going back to work part-time after having our daughter (there were other issues relating to the decision to leave, but I won’t post about them just yet, you’ll find out why later). The new job is perfect as it’s working for a children’s soft play company (my wife loves children), it’s part-time hours and she can take my little girl with her to work one of the three days. Money isn’t fantastic, but it’s enough when put with mine to live on.

The problem is my wife came down with this stomach bug Monday and had to call in sick today. This worries me very much! I have no problem with her being sick, but what worries me is she’s only been there a week and I don’t want her current company thinking she a bad employee. In her old job, she had less than a week off sick in nearly 10 years!

I’m terrified that she will lose this job and leave us with no way to pay our bills. I did get an e-mail from my previous boss last week asking if I wanted my old job back. I was tempted purely on the money basis as they’d pay a lot more, but I turned it down when I remembered how they treated me. Wondering if I made the right decision now.

I’m not blaming my wife at all. She is amazing and works so hard at being a mum, this new job and also trying to get her photography business off the ground, but as the man of the family, it’s my job to provide and I’m terrified I won’t be able to do this.

Now my little girls nursery has just called and said she’s got the same stomach bug (poor little angel). It never rains but it pours!

Britain’s Fattest Man


I was watching the tv last night and on channel 4 was a programme called “Britain’s Fattest Man“. The wife usually likes these sort of programmes, so I put it on and start watching. Here is the link for the trailer.

Now I’m sure you’re all thinking the same as I was at the beginning: No sympathy as you’ve gotten yourself in that state. And this is true, no one force-fed him food. We don’t have pity for drug addicts of alcoholics or smokers, so why should he be different? So with this in mind, I began to listen to his story:

He starts off by saying how depressed he gets etc. and hates himself. Well, no sympathy so far. Then you hear the narrator saying how he looked after his poorly mother and was her main carer. This gave him a great deal of stress and his only outlay was food. (ok, I’m feeling a little for him now then, reasons and all that). But he fell out with his sisters as, due to having no money, he persuade his ailing mother to re-mortgage her home to the sum of £10,000! Then they show his room, which has a brand new Windows 7 laptop and a load of other gadgets, which I’m sure cost a pretty penny. This totally removes the sympathy I had started building because there is no way in hell he could earn any money, therefore the tax payer is stumping up the cash for him.

And that was my feeling all the way through to be honest. Probably the accountant coming out in me, but I wondered how much money he has sucked out of the country purely cause he had 4 sausages, a pack of bacon, 4 eggs, hash browns and fried bread for breakfast for Christ knows how long! According to the programme (all endorsed by him, so pretty close to fact I’d say) he was averaging around 20,000 calories a day at the height of his eating:

“Fry up every morning, four sausages, a whole packet of bacon, four eggs, two pieces of fried bread, hash browns,” he said.

“At half ten I’d have sausage rolls, pastries. Lunch would be fish and chips, kebab, and then in the evening time it would be another takeaway.

“In a day I would eat 30-40 chocolate bars, three-four multipacks of 24 crisps.”

The surgeon who took the man’s case was Mr Somers (a consultant bariatric surgeon). In an interview for the BBC News Website, he supported the public funding of the operation, which would cost in the region of £20,000, by claiming the cost of letting him live in this state on government benefits would greatly outweigh the cost of the op. He has a point, but why should we be forced to pay for this man to live purely because he ate the amount he did?

In the programme, it showed Paul after the operation. He was on the phone to his social worked who informed him that his funding had been cut from £750 a week to a mere £300 a week! That’s more than I earn in a week and he broke down in tears saying he wished he’d died on the operating table. I started feeling sorry for him as he broke down in tears at this prospect, but again I couldn’t shake the fact that we’re going through a terrible economic situation in this country at the moment, where education funding is being slashed, public spending is being slashed and then this man is draining £300 a week (£750 prior to filming for god knows how long) from the public’s piggy bank, £20k for his 1 op and the £x.xx amount for his follow-up plastic surgery operations. My wife and I have worked all our lives, have a new child and we’re only just making ends meet.

The end of the programme showed him take ownership of his new, specially made motorized wheelchair. I’m pleased he can get about now, but again, how much did it cost and who paid? I work for a training provider who teaches and helps teenagers get apprenticeships and NVQ‘s and we’ve had our funding cut this year by our new coalition government. How many young people’s education was sacrificed for this selfish man’s new wheels?

Every drop of sympathy I had left me.  Harsh? Yes. Heartless? Possibly. Honest and real? DEFINITELY

In closing, I found these comments on the Channel 4 preview website:

Jax on 05 January 2011 at 20:27What you fail to realise this is a disease. Most people who get this way never feel full, the brain does not communicate properly to their bodies as it would to you or I ,so they have no control over the amount they eat. And you don’t need to be rich to buy food, its cheaper than booze and drugs. Sadly Obesity comes on faster than drug or booze addiction, and takes longer to lose weight then coming of drugs and booze. Even if you limit his diet he will indeed starve to death, as his body is used to certain number of calories, so his weight loss will need to be slowly monitored. Seems we are a nation of people who are far too materialistic, with low morals and little empathy towards our fellow-man,going by some of these comments.I feel good that some of my taxes goes to help people with genuine needs, rather than pay for an MP to have luxuries that most of the nation can’t afford. 

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trixie on 05 January 2011 at 20:16THIS IS A LETTER TO PAUL; Dear Paul, i hope your operation goes well! :)its 50% Hopefully all your family are supporting you every step of the way. May god look down on you and will hold your hand through bad times and good times, remember you can always count on him, what ever the time he’ll be their day and night, may he bless you always 🙂 Britian is behind you x 

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Terry on 05 January 2011 at 19:11I absolutely agree with Frank. This society is democratic for everyone except the tax payer! I’d like someone to ask me what I’d like to spend my hard earned tax money on for a change! As it is I have to cut down on my own food bill to manage my budget; Why? so that I can help this man eat more!!!!! A diabolical state of affairs indeed. 

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FRANK on 05 January 2011 at 18:13It’s disgraceful that the tax payer has to fund this. Where does he get his money from to eat that much anyway, who’s getting and preparing all the food for him. This is not the same as drug addiction or alcoholism, he will not suffer if he is prevented from eating too much, he just will not like it.Stop all his ‘help’ and get real.

I agree with all of this points if truth be known. Frank and Terry are echoing my own sentiments (apart from Frank’s impression that it would be easy and simple for him to lose weight by not eating, anyone who diets will tell you that just ain’t true) and I also agree with Jax on a few points. It is true that food and more importantly, junk food is so cheap and readily available compared to drugs or drink, that obesity is a very real threat. And if I had the choice, I’d rather my tax money go to people who have a problem and need help than a fat-cat politician for his duck house.

As I’m sure you can tell, I have conflicting feelings here. The accountant in me says people like him are leeches and sucking this country dry of valuable resources better spent elsewhere. Then the human being in me says that he has a problem and needs help. We all know the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, but is there really that much done to advertise the dangers and addictions of obesity? Perhaps this is a prime case where our public money would be better spent on prevention. It is better than cure, you know……..