Friday, 28 August 2009

Here is the (extraordinary) news...

Where's the month gone - and summer hasn't arrived yet? We're promised a decent Bank Holiday weekend (public holiday to those not in the UK) with up to 26 degrees of warmth; I'm not holding my breath.

What an extraordinary day for news today which has kept me occupied during my breaks at work. The first story was about the 13 year old girl from Holland Laura Dekker who wanted to sail round the world on a solo voyage. I am absolutely delighted that the authorities have stepped in to stop it, well at least temporarily. The BBC reported: "Miss Dekker had planned to spend about two years aboard her 26ft (8m) boat, Guppy, to break the record set this week by a 17-year-old UK boy. Mike Perham tackled 50ft waves, gale force winds and technical problems during the 28,000 mile (45,000km) circumnavigation, which took him nine months."

I suppose there are two things for me, firstly the emotional and physical capability to succeed alone at that age make the odds of success low and serious injury or death high. Secondly, to justify breaking a world record (that's what it's about) she would miss two years at school at one of the most formative times of her life missing education and development of social skills. Miss Dekker reportedly told Dutch television, "Since I was 10 years old, I've known that I would like to sail around the world. I want simply to learn about the world and to live freely." Erm... yes dear - you'll certainly learn a lot about the world spending two years at sea and the odd stay in foreign ports.

The second extraordinary tale to come out, this time from across the pond is the remarkable story of Jaycee Lee Dugard who walked into a parole office in Concord California on Tuesday this week with the man who abducted her in 1991, 18 years ago. This has stark similarities with the incarceration in secret of Elisabeth Fritzl in Austria, kept a prisoner in her own home for 24 years.

I suppose the triumph and tragedy of this story is the heartache and stress her disappearance must have caused to her family and friends who must have mostly come to terms with the fact that they would never see her again set against the immense shock of discovering her alive and well and now having the need to rebuild their lives. The tragedy is that a woman and two children could be kept secret from society for so long and the luck they must have had to avoid injury or serious illness and all the other things that would put them in contact with the various social services available that we all take for granted. Amazing stuff, but glad she is back with her loved ones and again, an opportunity for those including her two children, with proper support to start to live a normal life.

And finally... a dead piranha fish has been found in a river in Devon (south west England) just off the River Torridge. Fortunately, the Environment Agency says it must have been put there as an unwanted pet (it was 14 inches long rather then the 6 - 8 inches it would have grown in a tank.) I know climate change is marching forward, but piranhas in Devon!

Time for a weekend list, haven't done one for a while. This week it's about political correctness, a pet subject, but without discriminating, thanks to Geoff Tibballs here are some phrases to ponder...


A man is not 'stupid - he suffers from minimal cranial development.
A man is not 'impotent' - he is procreationally challenged .
A man does not 'snore' - he is nasally repetitive
A man does not 'hog the blankets' - he is thermally unappreciative.
A man is not 'lazy' - he is energetically declined.
A man doesn't have a 'beer gut' - he has developed a liquid grain storage facility.


A woman does not have 'a moustache' - she is in touch with her masculine side.
A woman is not 'hooked on soap operas' - she is melodramatically fixated.
A woman does not have a 'sugar daddy' - she is a recipient of parental asset infusion.
A woman does not have 'PMT' - she becomes hormonally homicidal.
A woman is not 'dumb' - she is on a detour off the information superhighway.
A woman does not have a 'bad hair day' - she is suffering from rebellious follicle syndrome.

And just to make sure kids get a look in too...

A teenager has not got 'detention' at school - he's merely one of the 'exit delayed'.

Have a great weekend

Chat soon


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