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!)

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?

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……..

Smoking Will Stunt Your Growth


I’m slacking on my current affairs!  Apparently, the toddler who smokes in Indonesia has given up thanks to a 30 day rehab programme. Bless, I’m glad the authorities in Indonesia help the people quit (obviously do bugger all to stop them starting in the first place)

A 2 YEAR OLD SMOKING!!!!!! I missed out on this one. Apparently, ITN broke the news back in May. How could I have missed this vital piece of journalism?! And how did they find out about this kid?

I’d like to say this was a set-up by the parents to get some well needed cash, but watching how the tubby piece of lard handles his smokes you can tell he’s obviously used to handling them. I’m a reformed smoker, but even in my day, I couldn’t flip my fag like a majorette baton like he is. Very impressive. Bet mummy and daddy are so proud of their little Chunk. For his next trick, he’ll do the “Truffle Shuffle”

But what are his parents thinking of? Surely in this day and age, even in remote villages in Indonesia, people know the health risks of smoking for adults, let alone 2 year old boys. I understand money is a desperate commodity for these people and they will do pretty much ANYTHING to get it, but can’t they see beyond that fact and look at what they are doing to their son? He’s hardly starving is he!!! Stop feeding the little porker and you might save a few rupiah people.

Will It Never Stop?!


It’s now over 4 months since my little girl came into this world. As you know from my previous posts, this has not always gone so smoothly for me and “culture shock” would be an understatement! But as times gone on, things have gotten sooooooo much better.

I’m calmer now with her. This comes from my understanding of her needs and her growing up and not being such a blob (all new born babies are, you can’t deny it).

She’s becoming such a little character. She’s laughing at things, getting annoyed by things, learning so fast and is a total joy to have in my life.

But one thing is alluding us……. That infamous night of sleep!

 

Don’t get me wrong, we put her down at 8, dream feed at 11, then she goes through to about 3.30. Then we get her off and she stirs every half hour to an hour until 8. Not too bad really, but I’m dying for a full nights sleep. I think the missus is feeling it just as much (although she’s a total champ). My eyes feel like lead balloons, attention is zero and my energy levels are desperately low (and when you play rugby and fight san da, this can be a dangerous thing).

But we’re getting there. We have a holiday booked to Sharm El Sheik, Egypt at the end of September. That gives us 4 weeks to crack this night sleeping at get two weeks of peaceful bliss.

Wish us luck!!

Sleeping on the Job


As I’m writing this, he’s snoring………….. AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Now, I’m not the sort to moan or bitch, but when work colleagues are falling asleep at their desk in front of you……… well, that’s just taking it a little too far.

He started work with us about 3 months ago. Larger gentleman (to say the least), in his 60’s and talks incessantly about himself (when he’s not catching forty winks). His sleeping started about a week into the job. The company I work for is pretty relaxed, which is one of the appeals to working here. However, he’s been constantly falling asleep for periods of up to 20 minutes a day on numerous occasions throughout the day and they’ve done nothing about it! At first, my team and I put this down to his age and the fact he hadn’t been working for a few months prior, however, it’s now 3 months later and it’s beginning to smack of insulting. As he falls asleep, he reminds me very much of a Snorlax (off of Pokemon fame)

We’ve broached the subject with our company secretary and also HR. They say an occupational health survey has been done on him, but no results have been published and no action has been taken. And he’s still sleeping. It got to the point today he went for a snooze in his car at lunch (as he always does, never socialises in the canteen), was late back for a meeting, so the company secretary went out and woke him up. AND STILL NOTHINGS BEEN SAID OR DONE!!!!!

We’ve even spoke directly to him about it. He says he is on medication for his knee. They shouldn’t make him sleepy, but he’s taking triple doses because of the pain……….. And he’s still driving!!! Surely that’s got to be illegal if these drugs have even the slightest implication of making the taker drowsy?

This is a real serious bone of contention for me. As you know, I’ve got a 3 month old girl. She’s starting to teeth and has a cold, so a nights sleep is thin on the ground in my house. So when I see this bastard snoring the day away and nothing being done about it, it rattles my cage me something chronic.

Anyone have any similar experience or know of the UK legal situation relating to this matter?