Counsellor cuts ... Quinn
Image from www.thesun.ie
children with problems in schools should talk to the cleaners instead of counsellors, I had to say “Fair play to ye, Ruairi, it’s time someone spoke a bit of common sense.”
And I am not alone in my opinions. Steve Biddolph, an Australian child psychologist, has recently written a book called Raising Girls. Believe it or not the book is a follow on from a previous volume called Raising Boys.
Biddolph brings up several very interesting points in his book, but the basic conclusion is that bringing up girls is a matter of common sense. All this reminds me of a £24 million study done by an English university on the subject of sleep. Their findings: people need roughly eight hours sleep a night, with some slight variation for individuals.
Did you ever wonder how society functioned before the advent of the “expert?” My mother reared eight of us without the help of a book. I don’t think she did too bad a job. I don’t ever remember her saying, “Turlough, hold on ‘til I see what the book says about whether or not you need to go to school today.” That’s not what parenting is.
Living at home
Image from www.familycourtservices.org
Flying the coup?
But there is hope on the horizon; and this hope comes from the economic downturn. In Ireland over 20% of all 25-34 year olds have not left home. In Portugal the figure is 46%, Greece 51%, Spain and Italy, 37% and 48% respectively.
What is wrong with young people living at home? In Ireland we have always had the tradition of someone staying in the family home and inheriting the house. This was before the days when elderly parents were seen as an inconvenience.
Come to think to it, when did parents become an inconvenience and children a burden?
Our parents rear us, look after us and care for us. In return we dump them. Nowadays some chic people “divorce” their parents. Children are God’s greatest gift to a couple, unless the child interferes with mum’s profession. God gave us plenty; all the money we wanted, the big houses and the big cars.
What did we do with it?
We dumped our parents, stopped having children and now we are broke. And guess what, we’re all going to have to turn to our neighbour for help.
We couldn’t handle it. No wonder God took it all back.
One question, what was wrong with the extended family? It worked alright for thousands of years. Take a serious think to yourself and come up with one good reason why we destroyed the extended family.
When did looking after ourselves become more important than looking after our family?
The last surviving, and youngest
member, of the Andrews Sisters,
the vocal harmony group that
entertained World War Two forces,
has died aged 94.
Last of the Sisters
On the subject of families, the last of the Andrews Sisters died last week. There were three of them, LaVerne, Maxene and Patty.
LaVerne Andrews died of cancer in 1967 and Maxene Andrews died in 1995 after suffering a heart attack. Patty died last week.
The sisters specialised in swing and played with some of the top band leaders of the era, including Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.
They also appeared in 16 films, alongside Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Buck Privates and with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in Road to Rio. In my very early childhood they were the tops. Time is moving on.
The trains are “moving on” as well. HS2 is coming to England. HS2 is not some new kind of H₂O, but a super-dupper high speed train that is going to run from London to Manchester. HS2 will travel at speeds of up to 250mph and get you to Manchester an hour quicker.
Wow! Manchester an hour quicker; isn’t that great. And all it is going to cost is £32billion. (Probably a lot more by the time it’s finished).
Isn’t it wonderful what we consider important these days; high speed trains, faster roads, dumping parents and having no children. Oh, and our weight. We must not forget our weight. People are making millions on our obsession with our weight.
It’s not politically correct to be overweight these days. Political correctness is even reaching inside the prison service.
Cue The Riots! 'Traces of pork'
found in prison Halal pies and pasties
Pork halal Et Al
“The Ministry of Justice is to suspend a firm supplying meat to prisons after tests found that it may have provided pies and pasties described as halal - but with traces of pork DNA.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the local authority involved was investigating, while the Ministry of Justice said the products have been withdrawn.
Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said the incident was ‘absolutely unacceptable’ ”
Pork, as we all know is the meat of a pig. And Muslims and Jews don’t eat pork. What they could do is open special prisons, something like Long Kesh, and have all the food “halal.” Then there would be no problem. They could even have H Blocks and “wings” in case the Jews and the Muslims want to carry their Middle East dispute to England.
Pigs are not all that popular in Texas either. Well, not wee pigs anyway. A pig, the smallest of three bronze statues of “The Three Pigs” was stolen in Oak Creek, Texas. My theory is that this “wee piggy went to market, and could not find its way home.”
“The pig shall be put back after the criminal investigation is completed,” said the very serious looking sheriff.
You have to hand it to the British that in spite of all their faults, and Lord, we know they are many, they do try to be reasonably fair.
April Casburn, a former police detective whose job it was to try and track the flow of terrorist money, has been sent to choky for 15 months for trying to sell a bit of info to the News of the World.
In one of those lines of a news item that just wants to make you laugh but at which you really want to shout, Mr Justice Fulford said: "Activity of this kind is deeply damaging to the administration of criminal justice in this country. It corrodes the public's faith in the police force; it can lead to the acquittal or the failure by the authorities to prosecute individuals who have committed offences whether they are serious or otherwise."
Mind you, internment, shoot to kill, the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four did a lot to establish the integrity of British justice in Ireland.
If you don’t remember Lord Denning’s statement about the “appalling vista” then you should go and look it up and read what was thought of justice when it might interfere with the establishment.
Then we read that a “Plebgate” police officer has been arrested for telling “porky’s” at the time poor old Andrew Mitchell lost his job as Chief Whip. The most recent theory is that the police on the day used the incident to discredit Mitchell because the government wanted to force through changes in the police pension arrangements.
You don’t mess with a civil servants pension!
The wonders of modern technology may have come to the aid of Mr Mitchell because CCTV footage has cast doubt on the original police accounts of the row, which has come to be known as “plebgate.”
Can you imagine a policeman going to jail here in the north or the Free State for anything? Who do we trust when we can’t even trust the local Bobby?
When I go to prison I don’t want to be called a “Fenian” a “Taig” or a “Paddy.” And I don’t want meat on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday … or any Friday come to think of it.
And I want a Holy Water font inside my cell door, a statue of Our Lady and the Easter Proclamation (Gold Frame). These are my rights! And I’m holding on to my jewellery; no one is taking that off me. Oh and I want Brussels sprouts for dinner.
You know, during the glory days of the Celtic Tiger, a diamond had to be as big as a Brussel sprout to be considered a diamond. When John McCabe, one of Ireland’s premier developers wanted to buy his wife a present of a diamond ring he wanted one with a diamond as big as a Brussel sprout.
His beloved wife Mary sported this elegant ring when things were going better. Now with €20m of judgements against her personally, Nama wanted the €150,000 ring to go towards her debt. God love her, she might even have to move in with her parents again.
Isabel on the left with mum
and twin sister Alexandra.
Wonders of medicine
While we are comparing things inorganic with the vegetable world there was a beautiful story came out of Sheffield, England, last week.
“A baby girl has been born in Sheffield with a huge tumour that accounted for a sixth of her body weight.
The orange-sized growth was so large it was crushing Isabel Roberts's throat, leaving her unable to breathe naturally.
Doctors needed to rapidly fit a tube to help her breathing before she stopped getting oxygen from her mother.
The tumour has since been removed and doctors expect Isabel to make a full recovery.”
The baby weighed 3lb 9oz and 9oz of that was the tumour. Doctors have started the baby on chemotherapy and so far the wee soul is doing well: the wonders of modern medicine.
This might not be the most pleasant of subjects that I am about to mention so if you have a weak stomach please stop now.
French dealer has reportedly
offered Wilman $68,000 for the
lump of ambergris.
It concerns a man called Hen Wilman who happened to be out walking his dog on Morecombe beach. He found a lump of “ambergris” which had a value of £120,000. Now I have never heard of ambergris before nor do I think I would want too, although with a price tag of £120,000 per lump I might be convinced to go looking for some.
"It smelled horrible. I left it, came back home and looked it up on the Internet," Mr Wilman said. "When I saw how much it could be worth, I went back and grabbed it. It is like walking on the beach and finding a bag of £50,000 in cash."
Have you any idea what the lucky Mr Wilman found? Well, for those of you landlubbers who do not know these things, I shall tell you. Ambergris is nothing other than “whale vomit.” I have no idea why it should be so valuable.
The Royal Bank of Scotland shall soon be bringing up some ambergris if things don’t go their way in the United States. RBS was caught cheating on the interest rates in the Libor scandal and now George Osborne, the Conservative Chancellor in England, says that the taxpayer will not be paying the fines for the bankers.
Read these beautiful lines from an English paper last week:
“Senior sources at the Treasury said the chancellor had made it clear that the financial penalty imposed by American regulators must be covered by deductions from the bonuses of bankers at RBS.
These would be either clawed back from previous years or deducted from future bonus awards.”
Would almost, but not quite, make you proud to be British. Mind you, the Americans don’t like cheats, either in banks or their universities.
Ivy League standards downgraded
It turns out that students at an Ivy League university in the States have been cheating in their exams. Ivy League universities are the US equivalent of Oxford and Cambridge, and students in these hallowed halls of academia are expected to behave with a certain amount of decorum and probity.
Alas, in an exam in Harvard, many of the answers turned out to be exactly the same. More than half of 125 students under investigation were asked to leave for a period of time; others face probation, said the New York Times.
Tina Turner is having none of it. Tina, who used to strut her stuff across the stage in days gone by, has taken Swiss citizenship.
Tina did not say why she is renouncing her American citizenship but my guess is that it has something to do with the “rivers being deep and the mountains being high” in her new home. Perhaps she is huffed because they will not let her inside the “Natbush City Limits.”
Tina, “you are the best, you’re better than all the rest,” you can be my “Private Dancer” and we will not mention “Proud Mary” ever again.
If the notion takes her, Tina could come and live in the UK. I read this fascinating piece of information in the Financial Times: the value of all the houses in the 10 most expensive boroughs of London are worth more than the total value of houses in Scotland, Wales and the wee North put together.
And this is supposed to be a “United” Kingdom—but some are more united than others.
“Our God is a great God.”
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published in Observer Newspaper group, N.I.
7th Feb '13