Thursday, May 31, 2012

Amsterdam Council Needs To Stop Prevaricating.

Oscar Mellor
I couldn't believe it when my case manager told me that the council was not planning to appeal the decision, but they want to reassess the situation.

In the court papers I have, it says that the council should reappraise in the light of the decision; and the fact that I had won my appeal against their refusal to allow me air conditioning.

My arguments for air conditioning were accepted by the court as valid reasons for the absolute necessity of it for me.

So now they are basically indulging in time wasting in the hope that they will come up with a cheaper solution.

All this renewed talk of sun blinds, sun awnings or whether the building does not have enough ventilation or speculations as to whether my neighbours also suffer from heat is totally missing the point.

The point is that I have Multiple Sclerosis which causes me a lot of serious problems during the summer months.

They are looking for other solutions which do not work for me; all I need is for the air temperature to be cool.

I will have to keep very cool when they come around to do their reappraisal, hopefully I'll manage as right now I'd like to tell them what I think of them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

No reappraisal is needed

Oscar Mellor 

It was good news getting the letter from the courts telling me I had won my appeal against Amsterdam Council's decision to refuse me air conditioning.

For many people it may be a luxury, but for me and others it is an absolute necessity, in order to have any quality of life while the weather is warm.

After getting the judges decision that my case was proven, I looked forward to hearing when they would come to install it.

Last week when I heard nothing I asked my case manager to find out for me.

She promised to enquire and let me know, this was last week Wednesday, and I heard nothing else from her.

As it was Whitsun weekend I could not contact her on Monday, so sent a mail yesterday reminding her of her promise.

Jacqueline’s replied saying that the council had six weeks to consider their next steps; this worried me, I sensed an appeal coming.

We arranged she would phone at 15.00 this afternoon, finally she phoned me at 15.30.

She told me the city council had time in which to reassess the situation, I asked if this meant they were intending to appeal the decision.

My case manager said that it meant that they would be reappraising in order to see what the best solution would be.

I told her the solution was obvious, it was air conditioning, which was why I went to court to appeal against the council decision to refuse it to me.

Sending the same people who came to assess my application last year does not make me feel optimistic.

Again they are talking about sun blinds and sun awnings, sounds like people who are too fixated on finding reasons to refuse requests and totally failing to see reality.

No reappraisal is needed; the situation which the judge recognised only too well is that I have Multiple Sclerosis which makes warm weather difficult to cope with.

I will try to be optimistic that the council will look at the situation in the light of the court’s decision.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Atrocities In Syria

Yves Tanguy 
Watching the 23.00 BBC TV news on Sunday and again last night, and hearing the dreadful reports about the continuing massacres of innocent people in Syria were shocking.

Every day I hear on the radio that the UN Security Council condemns what is going on in Syria, in the strongest terms; France Germany as well as Britain has today expelled Syrian diplomats.

The UN’s special envoy Kofi Anan has been trying to get the Syrian government to stop attacking and killing its own civilian population.

He has been embarked on this diplomatic mission for the last six weeks without any sign of the violence stopping any time soon.

The Syrian government keeps hiding behind statements that it is not the Army who is responsible for the massacres; they say it is the insurgents who are responsible for the killing.

If anything there has been more violence recently since the arrival of the UN peacekeepers not less, the recent reports are all about a town near Homs, called Houla.

They moved onto Houla after the Syrian army flattened most of Homs with their continuous heavy shelling, the Alawite militias then went in going house to house killing everybody they found.

On Sunday we heard that 180 people have been executed in Houla, many of them small children and even babies, they were either shot in the head or had their throats cut.

After the army bombed and terrorised the people of Houla, they again sent in the Alawite militias to go house-to-house brutally murdering everyone they could find.

A 10-year-old boy managed to avoid getting killed along with his entire family, by playing dead near the bodies of his mother and siblings.

The Syrian government keeps protesting that it's not them doing the killing, when it is obviously the Syrian army who were and are still murdering civilians.

The Alawite’s are from the same minority sect as the ruling family the Assad’s,
the militias are fiercely loyal to their leader Bashir Assad.

The ruling Assad family seems to be determined to keep control of the country no matter at what cost, not surprising seeing as their sect, the Alawites only make up a mere 12% of the Syrian population.

It would be brilliant if Bashir Al Assad would step down now to stop even more bloodshed, I really fear that if he doesn't there will be a terrible civil war.

Otherwise Assad could very well end up suffering the same fate as Gaddafi did in Libya, dead with a flagpole shoved up his arse courtesy of his loving people.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Voice.

Brigitte Szenczi, Hungarian Artist, 1943-

Yesterday evening we watched the semi-final of the programme on BBC TV called The Voice, which we have been watching since it started last month.

Two of the contestants, Ruth Brown and Jaz Ellington had the best voices; most of the others were generic and did not have good voices.

The only other contestant whose voice I rate is Tyler, a close friend of Amy Winehouse who tragically died last summer, robbing us all of her unique voice.

We watched in disbelief as first of all Ruth Brown was not voted through to the final by the public, they chose Leanne to go through to the final.

What a sick joke, to put Leanne through to the final, when she does not have the voice that Ruth Brown has, Leanne sounds like a club singer.

Whereas Ruth Brown has a wonderful powerful and passionate voice, she is a good soul singer.

The second shock was when we saw the other voice, Jaz Ellington also not been put through to the final.

Apart from Tyler the other contestant going through to the final, with a voice which sounds like a pale imitation of Delores O’Reardon, the Cranberries singer, was a woman called Bo.

How disappointing, once again it seems that the public have voted off the real talent on the show simply because they are black.

I was really hoping that Ruth Brown would win the final; Tom Jones who was her coach seemed to think so too, saying he would do everything he could to make her a star.                                                        

I hope he does, her voice should be heard, and I look forward to seeing her on Later with Jools, maybe this September, an exciting prospect.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Eurovision Or Euro Crap In Azerbaijan

Kay Sage

Last night we did end up watching the Eurovision Song competition, it was truly horrible and had nothing to do with a song contest.

There was very little that you could categorise as singing, it was all about glitzy costumes and as many spectacular special effects, such as wind machines, dry ice, as they could cram into each performance.

It's amazing to think that Azerbaijan built this obscenely huge venue, which they call the Crystal Hall purely for this competition.

It was nauseating to see the big show that they were making of the fact that they have huge oil revenues.

Which the president uses to enrich himself and his family, as well as small circle of hangers on, who are happy to arse lick in return for their affluent lifestyles.                     .
The army are another section of Azerbaijan who get paid well in order to keep the population in line, by utmost brutality.

What is disgusting is the knowledge that the overwhelming majority of people in the country are  poor and totally subjugated.

Apparently the oil workers are paid low wages and work in extremly dangerous conditions, protests are not allowed, they are smashed.

Of course there is no such thing as trade unions in the country; recently I saw a peaceful demonstration by a couple hundred people.

They weren't doing anything apart from standing to make their protest known, they were brutally beaten to the ground by their paramilitary police, I believe some may have died.

Watching it last night and knowing about the brutal repression was sick making. 

Apparently the large majority of the venue was empty so they handed out tickets and it was made compulsory for everyone to be there so it would be full for the TV shows.

Watching what used to be hilarious cheesy event now seems to be all about nationalism, political manoeuvring, money and corruption.

Looking Forward


Kay Sage 

What a truly dreadful afternoon that was yesterday, we went to the bathroom so much later than normal around 15.00 and by the time we were finished it was 19.00.

Then later on we both forgot that I hadn't been got out of bed at 21.00 as we had planned, so I could do the leg and arm exercises using the Motomed and going to the bathroom

We’re both really quite disappointed that we've forgotten these basic things, especially as we had watching things on the telly to fill the time before the very last Later with Jools Holland was on BBC two.

There wasn't a lot of time left before the programme started, Richie managed it somehow which was brilliant.

I would never have wanted to miss last nights show, so glad we did as right at the end Jools Holland announced that it was the end of this series.

Very disappointing to hear that, now we will have to wait patiently until the program Later with Jools Holland comes back in September.

It is such a good program; it's really great to see so many good bands and singers, fabulous to see so much new talent.

As well as fantastic favourites, this week both on Tuesday evening as well as last night Jimmy Cliff was there with his wonderful band.

I love Jimmy Cliff, his songs are brilliant, his voice is so good and still is, and then there are his fabulous clothes.

The other thing is that he is not a Rastafarian; in fact he doesn't agree with it at all, he always wears a red star to show what his politics are.

Been absolutely wonderful that we've been able to watch Later with Jools Holland for the last six weeks, it's just so hard to hear that it was the last show of this series.

It never feels like nearly 2 month it always feels much quicker than that, it's a real shame that there is no other good cutting edge music programs like Later with Jools Holland.

Once the two ‘extravaganzas’ in England are over, we won't have to be constantly bombarded with how wonderful the Queen is, as well as the hype surrounding the Olympics.

Then there is something good to look forward to in the autumn, but first we have European Cup Football to look forward to, this is happening sometime soon in June.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Dreadful Afternoon.

Kay Sage 

It has been quite a day, typically what we didn't need to happen occurred when Richie took me to the bathroom for a catheter change and a shower.

The catheter came out all right but would not go back in and no matter what Richie did, he had no success.

After an hour and a half I called the doctor to ask for their assistance, once I explained, I was told someone would be there right away.

Hans, Dagma’s colleague came to see if he could help us, he too did not seem to be able to achieve the desired result.

He ended up making a telephone call to the urology department of one of the hospitals for their advice; they gave him a few tips.

Which he tried without success, then Hans went to the chemists to get a couple of catheters with a smaller diameter.

While he was gone Richie kept trying and in the end he got one of the catheters we used to use inserted without a problem.

So then he tried again with the supra pubic catheter, this time Richie inserted it at an angle and it slipped in no problem.

At that very moment the doctor returned with the other catheters, he was very pleased when he heard Richard had been successful.

Right now we both are trying to recover from spending just about four hours all told in the bathroom this afternoon.

Once I finish this I shall find an interesting piece of artwork the post this and spend the rest of the evening relaxing.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Being Brave.

Dorothea Tanning

How I wish that I didn't have to be brave, I really yearn for life to return to what it was like before the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in 2006.

Then, as now, I did not feel brave all I was trying to do was to keep going the best way I could.

The reality is that things will never change back, nor will the progression of my MS go into remission and give me more time enjoying life with my darling Richie.

I'm really starting to feel that my strength, what little I have left is draining away; I can feel the steady progression day by day.

It really is shitty, that I not only have to struggle to keep my identity, but I have to seemingly fight for everything I need in the way of aids to make life easier.

How typical of this uncaring capitalist society to make vulnerable people go through hell in order to get mobility aids.

I still can't believe that so much time, effort and money are spent trying to find reasons to not give me, as well as others a vital piece of equipment.

What I find makes it even worse, is when they forget conveniently to keep me informed.

Like my occupational therapist Maurits who despite my asking many times still forgets to keep me informed.

He, Maurits as well as other advisers, consistently forget to keep me in the loop Welzorg and RTD H Dorp are the worst for this.

Because of this attitude I've become accustomed to people coming around for appointments and promising that they will send me the information and never do.

There really is nothing more disenfranchising than being kept ignorant of what is going on; it is rude and totally insensitive.

I really don't understand why my occupational therapist cannot be bothered to let me know the things I should know, such as status of items applied for.

It is not just my current occupational therapist who forgets promises made; Johanneke was also very prone to making promises and not keeping them.

It almost as if this point is not emphasise enough during their training, it seems a strange to me to do a course of training and forget that it is vital to communicate with your clients.

That surely is the whole point of training for the so-called caring professions, for me that means being trained to communicate with the target group is essential.

So often forget that it is their clients welfare that is important, it often feels to me like we are there for them surely if it weren't for us they would not have work.

No wonder that I have to be extremely stoical, brave in the face of such bureaucratic insensitivity.

It's a good job that I am so persistent and able speak for myself otherwise I truly believe I would still be waiting.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Protect Freedom Of Choice

Joseph Cornell

Thankfully our coalition government has gone and there will be new elections in September when once again the election charade will be played out.

At the moment they are still seemingly going through with some of the coalition's proposed new legislation, one of their brainwaves is to restrict people using coffee shops.

They are now proposing that people who use the coffee shops become registered members, with membership cards.

However the downside is that you can only become a member of one coffee shop and you can only become a member if you live and are registered in the Netherlands.

This means that tourists will no longer be able to go to them, which means that they will maybe choose to go somewhere else for their holidays than the Netherlands.

I wonder if they can really restrict people from being members in more than one shop, can you imagine the row there would be if people could only sign up to use one shop for their shopping.

Imagine if suddenly you were told that you could only use one baker, one butcher, one supermarket, where would your freedom of choice be to spend your hard earned money where you wanted to.
It is amazing that they can't see the consequences of their actions, these conservative reactionaries don't realise that the effects of making this law, will cost the economy lots of money.

And additionally they will lose all those tourists to other countries such as Portugal where they can use the coffee shops without a problem and enjoy wonderful weather and excellent food, neither of which they can enjoy here.

In my opinion they have really shot themselves in the foot by proposing this ridiculous knee-jerk legislation.

What I find very worrying is that nobody seems to be protesting about this, I hope I'm wrong about this.

I shall investigate this and see if coffee shops as well customers are demanding action be taken to prevent the freedom of choice being taken away.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nothing Must Spoil The Fantasy.

Franklin Rosemont

Trying to keep calm and cope with hearing about the Olympics constantly interspersed with the Silver Jubilee.

We listen to BBC radio a lot and watch BBC TV but intend not to do so during the Silver Jubilee which is from 2nd to 4th June.

I find it amazing that they are celebrating that this head of state, has been there for 60 years just like any other dictator.

She has never done a days work in her life, although she is often referred to as hard-working, it must be exhausting having to endure living a life of such luxury as she does.

Neither have the rest of her family ever worked, last night there was a program about the corruption in Azerbaijan where the Eurovision Song contest is being held this year.

They talked about the fact that the president’s family had accumulated huge wealth, his two daughters own plenty of real estate as well as TV stations and other companies and even the teenage son, who is 13 owns an island in Dubai.

This doesn't sound too different to me, then the financial situation of the Royals, who by the way are not English but usurpers from Hanover.

I don't intend to watch the Olympics as far as I'm concerned it is nothing to do with the beauty of sport and just about the Olympic Committee and multinationals making more money.

Knowing that Dow Chemical is sponsoring the games is revolting, especially after what happened at Bhopal, India in 1984.

The torch relay is also pretty sick, seeing as it was Goebbels who introduced the torch relay at the 1936 games in Berlin, hosted by Adolf Hitler, no wonder they don't mention this important detail.

Nothing must spoil the fantasy of the Olympic Games, which is supposed to be a celebration of sport by amateurs and not professionals who are now the only competitors.

It was started against communalism, nationalism and to promote cooperation, far as I'm concerned it's become a big festival which is all about money and nationalism.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Winning My Appeal Should Set A Precedent.

Penelope Rosemont

This weekend has been enjoyable; receiving the letter from the Amsterdam Court and reading I had won my appeal case was quite incredible.

My decision had been to try to invest as little energy in it as possible, but nevertheless to persist in trying to get, what I perceived as a bad decision overturned.

It really is a shame that the Amsterdam Council department whose job, it is to provide the aids and facilities that disabled people need do not do this.

Instead of carrying out their brief they seem to spend their time and valuable public resources on seeing how and why they can refuse as many applications as possible.

Surely Amsterdam City Council wastes a lot of money doing this, when they would surely be operating in a more cost-effective manner by giving applicants what they need and when they need it.

I guess that has little to do with giving people what they need and more to do with exercising their control by applying bureaucratic nit picking.

Up to now nobody has contacted me about winning my case; I think that I shall send e-mails to everyone involved, that I have won my appeal.

This will go to my case manager Jacqueline and Annelies, the Amsterdam Council’s mobility advisor, as well as Maurits my occupational therapists and Janneke, one of the doctors at the Rehabilitation Clinic on the Overtoom, Amsterdam.

I'm quite curious as to when I will hear from the Amsterdam Council Department that deals with applications from the disabled.

Shame that I could not have been there, to see their reaction when they got their letter on Friday informing them they had lost the case.

Hopefully they will do something very soon as the weather is suddenly very warm, and I shall need the air conditioning as soon as possible.

In fact I could do with it now, as the temperature has suddenly shot up, this certainly seems to be the way it has gone these last few years, one day it is under 10° the following day it is over 20°.

No longer does it become gradually warmer, what tends to happen is that one day it is cold enough so that the heating is on, the next the windows has to be wide open as it has become hot.

Any changes in the temperature impacts heavily on me, and my body reacts immediately which causes me problems.

It would be nice if the council approached me this week to inform me when they will be installing the air conditioning.

The quicker that happens, the better for me and hopefully also for all the other people applying for air conditioning.

Winning my appeal against Amsterdam City Council will set a legal precedent that should be very useful to everyone else making an application for much needed air conditioning.

For me, as I'm sure it is for many others, air conditioning is not a luxury but a necessity as I need the temperature in the apartment to be constant.

Multiple sclerosis totally deregulates everything, the changes in temperature have an enormous effect on me, and I’m looking forward to keeping cool this summer.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Didier Drogba with the Champions League Trophy 2012

 Didier Drogba 

I had a really good day yesterday after I had read the whole of the registered letter I received from the Amsterdam Court.

Once I'd read the entire contents of the document, it took a bit of time seeing as it was legal language.

Then I rang my friend Anja who had represented me at the appeal hearing to tell her, in fact I read the conclusion of the letter to her.

She could immediately confirm that I had indeed won my appeal against the rejection of my application for air conditioning.

Once Anja gave me her confirmation that my case against Amsterdam Council had been successful I was really overjoyed.

I'm really so glad that I persisted with this and wouldn't give up, but that's me I don't give up, and was persistent just like our Jack Russell terriers are.

To celebrate I drank a tiny glass of Limoncella, that was left over from our friends Cecile’s lovely visit here on Thursday.

To make yesterday an even better day we watched the Champion’s League Final between Bayern Munchen and Chelsea.

Typically of course once it started I could barely watch it as I was so nervous, I really wanted Didier Drogba and Chelsea to win.

Not because I'm a Chelsea fan, I really am not, but because I do like Didier Drogba, I think he is a wonderful football player.

Every time I did manage to peak at the television screen it made me very nervous, and when Bayern scored first I couldn't cope any longer.

Then Didier scored which was a relief, but Chelsea needed to score again in order to win, Didier’s next attempt went over the goal which was an immense disappointment.

This meant they would now have to play extra time so another 15 minutes was played and then another 15 minutes after which it was penalties.

Bayern seemed to be winning but then one of their best players Sebastian Schweinsteiger stepped up to take his penalty shot and amazingly he missed.

He really never misses so it was quite something to see him miss, even Sebastian couldn't believe it, he was devastated, the poor fellow.

Then Didier Drogba stepped forward to take his turn and he buried it in the Bayern Munchen goal; Chelsea fans erupted with joy at winning this long coveted trophy.

The other side, Bayern Munchen were absolutely devastated they really thought that they would be the winners; in fact I think that they had never considered any other alternative.

Their supporters were absolutely in bits, a lot of them were leaving, the players were all crying on the field, quite a few of them collapsed on the ground weeping.

When they went to collect their losers medals they all took them off around their necks and carried them away in their hands, so disappointed were they at losing, what they consider their trophy.

Chelsea was overjoyed and their supporters delirious with happiness, Roman Abramowitz the owner grabbed his caretaker manager Roberto De Matteo and kissed him, he also kissed Didier Drogba and I think many others.

The Russian owner was so happy; he had spent over £1 billion trying to win the prestigious Champions League Trophy, hiring big-name managers from all over the world.

Yet it was his caretaker manager and ex-player Roberto De Matteo who finally won the trophy for Chelsea Football Club.     

How very typical and how true too, so often you can look all over for something and then find that it was right under your nose all the time.

Life is like that full of unexpected surprises; not all good but sometimes like yesterday they were brilliant; I am enjoying both.

Being in the here and now and enjoying every moment that I can, really is rewarding for me.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Winning My Appeal Is Sweet.

Guillaume Cornelis  van Beverloo 

Yesterday evening a neighbour came to the door with a large envelope for me; it was registered post from the court.

It was the decision about my appeal against the council refusing me the air conditioning.

A combination of not being able to sit well in the shower chair as well as bad lighting  meant that I could not read the letter at all well.

I did scan it is much as I could and I thought it said I had won my appeal, this morning I finally read the whole document.

In which I understood that had I indeed won my court case, I telephoned my friend Anja who had represented me at the court; to read the conclusion of the letter to her.

Anja was very pleased, I thanked her profusely, once she confirmed that I had indeed understood the letter correctly that I had overturned the two previous decisions, I was delighted.

I am so happy that I persevered and did not give up even when it seemed quite hopeless.

Now the council has been told by the courts to go away and reassess the situation in the light of this court case.

I'm so glad that the Council has not been able to get away with it again as they always do.

Whenever somebody applies for something the council always look at the reasons they don't have to give it to them, they never look at this situation in the light of the needs of the person making the application.

In my case they tried to get out of it twice by insisting that my problems with the heat would be solved by blinds in front of the Windows and sun awnings at the front of the house.

Neither of these two solutions are very helpful for me, we have windows which go from floor-to-ceiling, they open inwards so sunblind’s are not workable.

Our landlord does not permit us to place anything on the front of the building, additionally sun awnings and do nothing to lower the air temperature.

Seeing as our apartment faces to the east on one side and to the north on the other side, this means we do not get much sunshine apart from briefly in the early mornings.

 The council also tried to shuffle the responsibility on to my landlord; they were constantly asking whether other people also had the same problems.

I told them several times that my problems with the warm weather were due to my Multiple Sclerosis, as far as I know I am the only person in this building with this progressive disease.

I'm very happy that I've managed to overturn the Amsterdam Councils decision not to grant me the much needed air conditioning.

I did not hold out any hope of winning as I don't have any trust in the justice system, so winning is extra sweet for me.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Community Action is A Re-affirmation of Everything Good In People.

Maracas Bay, Trinidad.
 On Wednesday night we watched a programme on BBC TV called SOS the Big Build.

It is about a wonderful team of workmen and many volunteers who get together to rebuild people’s homes, when they can't do it for themselves.

This week the team plus a huge team of local volunteers were rebuilding a small terraced house in Enfield, North London.

This is the home of Eric, Davina and their three lovely daughters; Eric was diagnosed with Moto Neuron disease two years ago.

Shockingly his diagnosis was terminal with a prognosis of three years; I hope that Eric will have a bit more time than that with his darlings.

It was an extremely moving programme seeing so many people giving their time freely to help somebody in their own community.

It is beautiful to see people cooperating to work together, it is inspiring and it is something that happens a lot more than people think it does.

Really there's nothing better than everybody getting involved to help a neighbour.

It was really wonderful watching the rebuilding of Eric's house; they thought of everything, doors were made wider for Eric's wheelchair.

They laid wooden floors which are much better for somebody in a wheelchair; they put in a simple lift so Eric can get upstairs to the new wet room and his newly renovated bedroom.

The other bedroom was beautifully decorated and divided so that the two younger daughters each have their own space.

Upstairs the attic had been totally rebuilt to create a beautiful room for the eldest girl.

Downstairs was totally remodelled with an extension added to create a lovely roomy living room and kitchen plus decking outside so Eric can roll out and enjoy the garden with his family.

It was an incredibly moving programme which I did manage to see despite crying so much that my darling Richie had to keep cleaning my glasses.

I was in good company as everybody was crying in the programme especially at the end after the family had seen their rebuilt home.

The whole family came out to thank everybody for helping them to make the most of the time Eric has left, the rebuilt home will make that much easier for them all.

When Eric was thanking everybody he started to cry, this set everybody off including me.

What a wonderful family they are, I hope that making the house more accessible for Eric will give him the extra quality of life that he needs right now.

So that Eric and his family can enjoy everything they can while they can without all the problems that they had before the wonderful rebuild.

Wonderful to see such community spirit in action, a re-affirmation of everything that is so wonderful about people. 

Eric's  blog

SOS The Big Build website

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Pleasant Afternoon.

Dorothea Tanning 

This afternoon was pleasantly derailed by a friend coming round, just as Richie had got me back into bed after a long shower the phone rang.

 It was Cecile asking whether it was okay for her to come around, she had mentioned that she might be able to come by today.

Very good to see her, she was here not too long ago and surprised me then with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers in my favourite colours, lots of vibrant pinks and reds.

When Cecile rang 14.30 she said she would only pop by briefly and ended up staying until 18.30 which was really nice.

She brought some delicious Italian Limóncella with her its a delicious lemon liqueur which is very nice, it was fun sitting here talking and sipping the citrus drink.

I'm glad she came to visit its nice to see somebody spontaneously like that which is something that doesn't happen often enough these days.

That is because of my routine which is of course so different to when I was mobile then it was never a problem for a friend to drop by unexpectedly.

Being so handicapped has really changed our lives so dramatically; I think it is a good idea to try and scheduling more of these unplanned visits.

This is good for us, it will mean we won't be so isolated and it would be good for our friends to be able to come and see us more often.                                                            

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cooperate To create a better world for everyone.

Clarence John Laughlin

I can't stop thinking about why it is that so many people believe that they're not intelligent enough to change the world.

This must be because we are all brainwashed from an early age to follow orders regardless, thinking for ourselves is not encouraged, nor is working together.

They don't want people to be free thinkers; they want everybody to conform and to follow the herd not to be individuals who make decisions for themselves.

This is one of the functions of school; it gets us ready to be wage slaves and to be passive recipients of authority.

We are told over and over again that we need political leaders, that without them we would be in a mess.

It seems to me that we are in more of a mess with these glorious leaders, who we are told are the only ones that are capable of being politicians.

The rest of us are just not clever enough to get involved in politics, we should all just be happy that we have all these wonderful self-sacrificing people who will put themselves on the line for their countries.

Amazingly it seems that a lot of people accept this as the truth, when the real truth is that these figureheads are just in it to enrich themselves.

The rich are getting richer and the rest of us have to work even harder right now to keep them in the manner they are accustomed to .

Surely it is time for everyone to consider different ways of organising our affairs, this current crisis is an indication that things need to change.

The way the affairs of the world is organised right now, does not work for the majority of people on the planet.

Nor do they work for the planet which is so slowly being destroyed by the greedy rich who don't care if they are doing this, all that matters to them is their own needs.

They don't give a damn about what their destructive activities are doing to this beautiful world we all live in as long as they can keep accumulating wealth.

This is a world of plenty for all of us if only we were allowed to freely share the bounty of this wonderful planet we inhabit.

People need to start cooperating with each other, this is not encouraged, and in fact we are conditioned to distrust each other.

Not to work together which we must do in order to create a better world for ourselves; this is something only we can and should do now.                         


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Positive Appointment.

Zdzislaw Beksiski

This afternoon has gone quickly after the long appointment with Maurits, my occupational therapist and Werner, an advisor from RTD Het Dorp was over.

It started late because Werner could not find a parking space, however once he got here it was well worth waiting.

We discussed with him my problems with using the gadget that allowed me a small modicum of freedom to control some of my environment.

The iPAQ let me operate the bed, turn on the light, switch on the TV as well as open the front door and our apartment door, once I have checked with the intercom who is at the door.

I explained that I could no longer use the gadget as well as I could before my hand function got worse.

Richie backed me up totally saying that he was the one to operate the bed, turn the light on now that my hands were too weak.

 Also nine times out of 10 he also turns on the television and brings me the telephone on which he activates the loudspeaker so I don't have to hold the phone which I can't do anymore. 

Werner listened carefully to everything we said, he asked questions and made suggestions.

After a short time it was clear to him that I needed to have the functionality of the iPAQ on the computer that Icould operate operate by using the Seetech software.

Before the end of the appointment Maurits and Werner started getting the application organised.

When I asked, they both said that they would complete the application and would get it sent next week.

It was a very good appointment, Werner was a nice person, and most importantly he was a good listener and communicated very well with us.

I think that this application for the long awaited Seetech will be successful; hopefully it won't take too long, although there always is a wait of up to 2 months.

Hopefully this time it will be quicker, as the application is from the same company just updated to include the iPAQ functions.

Today's appointment has left me feeling optimistic, it was good to be listened to and feel that finally I would be getting what I need which is very important for me now, so that I can carry on doing the things I enjoy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Manchester City's Epic Victory.

Well yesterday really was so exciting, at times it was too nerve wracking and there were even moments when I could not watch any longer.

That was when Manchester City could not seem to get their winning goal, which would have been wonderful for the red half of Manchester.

Today I almost feel sorry for Manchester United that they did not win; they fully expected the trophy to go to them.

in fact when Wayne Rooney scored against Sunderland, they thought that was the winning goal, then just as the Manchester United fans and their manager Alex Ferguson were about to celebrate, their joy was short lived.

Sadly for the Reds, the result of Manchester City’s game was visible on the scoreboard much to everybody's shock and stunned disappointment

That was the very moment when the Manchester City supporters realised that finally after a long wait of 44 years they had won the Premier League trophy once again, the last time they won was in 1968.

The explosion of joy was wonderful to see, especially as minutes before they thought that they lost at the last moment.

Seeing Noel Gallagher from the well-known Manchester band Oasis having his photo taken was a lovely sight.

This morning we heard him talking on the radio about how wonderful it was that his club had at long last won the coveted Premier League trophy.

Noel then told a very funny story that he heard, that a Manchester United fan had printed up 100 0’s of red T-shirts, with the slogan on them saying:

Why Is It Always Us!

I almost feel sorry for Alex Ferguson, the manager and for the Manchester United team as well as fans.

It must have been very sad for them to cancel their red bus decorated with red ribbons for their victory tour of Manchester.

Instead everything was cancelled including all their parties and now they have had to watch the blue side of Manchester celebrating since Sunday.

This has me wishing that this will happen many times for Manchester City, there really is nothing better then the old order getting overturned.

Surely that is what life is all about, progress and not stagnation; it is really brilliant that finally Manchester United do not have it all their own way.

The football season 2011 to 2012 has really being full of unexpected twists and turns, it’s been a truly brilliant season, I hope to be able to enjoy the next season starting in August.

It seems that they are still plenty of good things for me to look forward to, even though I am now a tetraplegic, I am glad to be alive in the here and now



Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Exciting End Of The Football Season.

Alexander Canedo

What an exciting afternoon it has been, today are the very last football games of the season.

It has been nerve wracking especially watching the game between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers.

What was supposed to be an easy win for Manchester City became quite a battle, during which Queens Park Rangers scored two goals.

Then the Queens Park Rangers captain Joey Barton really lost the place and got a red card for violent behaviour, when Barton was going off he went back to have a go at another Manchester City player.

I suppose all the tension of the last crucial game was really getting to Joey Barton, a real shame as he was doing so well keeping his temper under control.

At the time of the sending off it looked as if Queens Park Rangers might go down and Bolton would stay up, after scoring two goals against Stoke City.

Then it seems that Stoke City got a penalty, Owen Coyle, the Bolton manager disputes that it was a genuine penalty saying that Peter Crouch dived.

That meant Bolton would be going down the Championships for the first time in 11 years and Queens Park Rangers will be staying up in the Premier League.

It was good to hear that Arsenal got the goal that they needed to stay in third place in the Premier league and now they will qualify for Champions League football again next season.

Some of the other results, were that Tottenham got two goals against Fulham, because Arsenal retained the third-place; Tottenham will have to hope that Chelsea do not win against Bayern Munchen so that Tottenham will qualify for champions league next season.

Everton beat Newcastle united by 3-1 yet another good result for David Moyes, who is a good manager, who does very well on a very tight budget.

At the end of the game between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers, Manchester City had still not managed to score the winning goal.

The Manchester City fans were looking extremely upset and distraught at the thought that winning the League was going to be snatched out of their hands in this game.

That would have been very hard for the team and for their Manchester City fans that have been waiting for 44 years to win the League Cup again.

In the 5 minutes extra time they got their winning goals, the Manchester City football stadium erupted with jubilation that they finally won the big prize once again.

I'm very pleased that Roberto Mancini’s club Manchester City have won it this season, I am also very glad that Manchester United did not win this time.

It was really lovely to see the city fans going mad joy and it is especially nice to see Noel Gallagher celebrating this wonderful victory.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Harmonious Neighbourhood

Thomas Bak

Today is another pleasant day, the weather is very changeable one minute the sky is blue and the next it is full of clouds.

Then a few more moments go by and the clouds are gone only to come back again.

It's been nice seeing sunshine and once again hearing happy sounds of children playing outside.

What is also good is that Mentrum; the people across the road seem to have decided that it would be better to have a friendly relationship with the children on the playground.

This is much better then a few weeks ago when Richie and I witnessed one of the workers literally screaming at the kids because a football bounced against the door.

It was not nice to see, she actually told the kids that they should play somewhere else, which they did.

The place they found to play was the road, not a safe place for children to play, which is why there is the playing area, is there specifically to keep the children from harm.

I'm glad that a friendlier attitude is now being shown to the children; I was planning to get in touch this week, to let them know what I thought of the children being chased off their playground on to the streets.

The other thing I was going to mention is that all day long there is a group of people hanging around on the children's playground smoking.

Not a very good example for the kids, this is something I may very well still ring up and speak to them about this, I'm sure that there must be somewhere else for the smokers to congregate.

It must be possible for everything to be organised so that all the people are happy, much nicer for people to cooperate to achieve a harmonious neighbourhood, it is better for everybody.