Change, change, change

Age changes us all, physically, emotionally and mentally. One of the biggest changes in me in the last few years has been my attitude towards money, power and influence. 

As a young man I used to desire wealth. Having been brought up in a very poor household I wanted to be rich so that I could have all those things that were denied me by my humble birth. I wanted power so that I could feel important and relevant. I craved influence in order to gain respect and praise.

I still want money power and influence. But now I would like to be rich so that I can give other people the things that they truly need, rather than just to get things I think I want. I would like the power to change lives for the better. And I would like to have the influence to encourage others to help create a better world for everyone. 

I have no wealth, I’m just about scraping by and have little to give to others apart from my time. I have no power, I have had to rely on other peoples help in order to change my own life and I’m powerless to make a positive change in the lives of others. My sphere of influence is tiny, changing enough hearts and minds to make any real difference is beyond me.

So in order to be any kind of force for good I must start small, very small. I want to help a good woman in a bad situation. Her name is Deborah and she is around 4000 miles away from her terminally ill mother. She lost her father last year and it would be devastating for her to not be by her mothers side when she is taken. 

I don’t have the money to help her but if you have a little spare then please consider donating. I don’t have the power to change her life but if you can help in any way  I know that she would appreciate it. I don’t have the influence to make people see this but if you can share it on any social media platforms it could make a difference. 

I can’t reunite Deborah with her mother. Maybe together WE can. Please check out the link below.


An opportunity to help

Last week we had a new tenant move in to replace the awful one that left. I’m pleased to say that she is a delightful lady, her name is Deborah, she is in her sixties and is of West Indian descent. The other two housemates here are both young men, one a refugee from Somalia and the other a nice quiet young man from Pakistan. Since Deborah moved in she has been rushing round trying to take care of everyone despite her own medical problems and the boys have been trying to be as well behaved as possible so that she can relax and get better. They could probably make a pretty bad sitcom out of our current living situation.

Unfortunately after getting to know Deborah better I’ve found that despite her sunny, friendly nature she has some real serious problems. I’m not going into detail about everything that she has confided in me as that is not my place but I am going to ask for help.

Deborahs’ mother lives in Atlanta and is suffering from cancer. She already lost her father last year and now there is a strong chance that she will lose her mother too. I have helped her set up a fundraising page to try and help her raise the airfare to go and spend some time with her mum and I’d really like it if you could all share the page details as much as possible. I’m going to put the link here and I’ll also be tweeting it out a few times a day. 

She is a sweet woman who has spent her entire life looking after others and who now lives in a shared house with three strange men. I can’t change her life but I’d like to be able to give her the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to her mother. Any help would be appreciated.


Maybe I’m just ignorant about financial matters but I’ve never been able to see the positives in privatising public services. I fail to see how transferring ownership from a government which only needs to break even on a service to the private sector which will need to make a profit can benefit the users of that service. Surely the need for profit will mean that the service will be lessened in some way to maximise the return for private investors. 

Let’s use a theoretical example, assume that the country needs 1000 snowmobiles every year in order to function. Currently the government delivers these snowmobiles at a cost to the taxpayer of one million pounds per year. If we then privatise this service we will still need 1000 snowmobiles, so how does the private company supply them foe just one million pounds? The only ways they can do this and make a profit would be to either supply less than we need, supply poorer quality snowmobiles or pay their workers less. All of these are bad for the country and it is still costing the taxpayer the same amount. 

So why do it? I’m genuinely curious and would love it of someone could give me proper answer.

The good, the bad and the awesome 

The good news is that the horrible housemate is finally gone and I can feel relaxed at home again. Or can I? Sometime between Wednesday and Thursday my window was smashed as seen in the picture above. The object used to break it has fallen in between the two panes of glass.

The police have obviously been advised but as I never actually saw the window being broken and the hideous housemate was always careful to only make threats when there was no-one else around, he will probably get away with it. I’m left hoping that he has no further unpleasant plans. 

It’s a bad situation but I can take one very big positive away from it. Derventio Housing who rent the property are awesome. As well as offering their full support when contacting the police they have been with me every step of the way. On the day that the heinous housemate moved out they immediately changed the locks in case he had a copy of the key made. They even offered to move me to another property, which I declined as I like it here and I’m not letting a nasty little bully chase me out.

If anyone out there would like to support a charity that is doing truly great work in helping the homeless please check out their website and consider donating your time or money to aid them in their good work.

Pest control 

I haven’t posted on here for a little while and for that I’m sorry. I forget sometimes just how helpful it can be to vent my feelings here. Since I last posted I’ve been forced to deal with three pests of varying degrees of annoyance.

The first was a cute little grey mouse that showed up one day. The little guy wasn’t a major issue as he was apparently alone and just stopped by for a few days while passing through. No complaints, no mess and he never outstayed his welcome. If only all my housemates were so accommodating. 

Which brings me to the second pest, this one far more serious. A housemate who moved into the property a couple of weeks after I did quickly became a major issue. It started with him having a few friends over late at night and escalated into a number of issues. Fortunately the housing association (Derventio) have been incredible and immensely supportive. He has been given notice of eviction and will be hopefully gone by Friday. I hate the thought of anyone being made homeless but his overt aggression and threats have made my life hell for the past couple of weeks and I just want him out of my life. 

The final pest is one that I don’t think I’ll ever be rid of and that’s the crippling depression that haunts me. It’s been a dark, lonely time recently and I’ve done what I usually do at times like this and isolated myself. I know that this is probably the worst thing that I can do but in contrast to the popular saying misery does not love company. I’m hoping that after the house bully moves out that I’ll be able to get back to a semblance of normalcy again but I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see.

I hope that next time I update here that I have something more positive to post. I really do hate these downer posts which is one of the reasons I’ve left it so long, I just haven’t had anything good to say. I hope everything is good for everyone out there and I’ll try to update a little more often.

Oh woe is we

That light at the end of the tunnel really is a train and it’s coming to hit all of us. I live in a world that is broken and fixing it is beyond my comprehension. War and terror reign supreme and instead of seeking peace we build more weapons. We see a child dieing of starvation and instead of putting bread in his belly we put a gun in his hand.

In my own country we have thousands homeless and thousands more using foodbanks just to survive. Instead of addressing this issue we are going to spend billions on weapons that if they were ever used would destroy us all.

I don’t normally swear in this blog but I’m so fucking sick of all the horrible shit I see every day. If we can’t do better as a species the just fire the bloody nukes, maybe the next dominant species on the planet will do better. They certainly couldn’t do much worse.

John Oliver is my hero

Ever since his wonderfully funny appearances on The Daily Show I have been a big fan of John Oliver. He has a dark, sarcastic humour that I find very appealing especially when he is using his talents to poke fun of terrible people. In the last few years, since getting his own show, he has turned his particular brand of sardonic wit into an art form and used it to highlight some of the worst of injustices.

Last Week Tonight is shown on Sundays in the US on HBO and is then uploaded to its own YouTube channel the next day. Thanks to HBO not having advertising the show is able to be completely unrestrained in its choice of targets, meaning that it is one of the few news programmes to be genuinely unbiased. Not that John would describe it as a news show, he is very adamant in interviews that the show is intended to be a comedy and nothing more. But while the show is indeed hilariously funny it also serves to highlight many important pieces of news that would otherwise slip through the cracks.

I would strongly encourage anyone with either a sense of humour or a sense of justice to watch the show. I have included several of his YouTube videos here and if you like them then there are dozens more available online. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.