Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Jason and the Trolls

 As a blogger, I rarely use other people`s words in my blog posts, but felt the need to in this instance to show exactly what inspired me to jot down my musings on the issue in point.  The author of the quotations below is Jason Manford, a well-known British comedian who disappeared from Twitter and our television screens when he was discovered to have been exposing himself and enjoying on line dalliances using a web cam, whilst his wife was pregnant with twins.

Over the past twenty-four hours I have seen several tweets mentioning a "great piece of writing by Manford about Gary Barlow and trolls", so this morning I decided to have a peek and read it for myself.  The first thing I noticed was the length of the piece of writing. I was surprised at how long it was.  As I read it, I found several points that Mansford made to be quite subjective and ambiguous.  Was this written as an objective piece of observational writing or was it purely emotive?  Intriguing. 
He begins by waffling on about his feelings towards people he perceives to be trolls.  I wondered what his perception and definition of the word, was based on.  Was it just a matter of people not reacting in the same way as himself, or was it that "the trolls" felt strongly enough to tweet their feelings so openly condemning what they considered to be heartless behaviour by a father who chose to perform on stage at a time when they felt he should be at home with his wife and other children at a time of bereavement? 

It made me question my own reaction and response mechanism.  Would he call me a troll?  Am I a heartless individual because I too don`t see and feel the way he does? 
 "But during the Olympic closing ceremony I posted this:

“Fair play Gary Barlow. What a superstar. Don’t think I could perform after

such a tragedy, amazing.”

I was referring, of course, to the Barlow family’s recent tragedy, their stillborn baby girl, Poppy who was born and died last weekend.

I’m not a Take That fan, I mean I like them, but I don’t own any of their music but I really like Gary Barlow, I’ve never met him (he sent me an email once asking if I could do a charity thing for him) but he seems like a thoroughly lovely chap.

Now after I posted this comment, I just got on with my night, sorting out my own family and half watching the rest of the ceremony. Then I came back, as I always do, and checked the comments. At the time of writing this blog the comments had 10,936 ‘likes’, had been viewed by 101,000 people and had 334 comments. Most of these comments are in agreement but some, oh man, some will make you wince.

Now I’m not talking about people doing jokes, I get that, i don’t like it, it’s not my kind of humour but I get it. Something horrible happens and the gags fly round before the bodies are even cold; 9/11, Madeline McCann, I’m sure even this latest little girl Tia Sharp has more jokes said about her than sympathy flowers outside her home. Again, you know my humour, that’s not me, i don’t appreciate it, I don’t tell them but at the same time, it doesn’t upset me and I don’t get angry about it because, generally, they’re just jokes.

What does get to me, and what does anger me, are people’s genuine opinions. A joke is a joke, we’ve all told an off colour joke to a close friend, knowing full well that it’s not you’re actual opinion. But some of the comments I saw in those 334 would make your blood run cold."

"First up is person A who according to his profile lives near me and is a fan of Cheryl Cole and the American TV show, ‘Medium’. His favourite, and only, activity is ‘drinking’ as is his only interest. Let’s assume he’s been drinking tonight, but he wrote:

“money first with mr barlow lol”

Now firstly, I suspect that he never actually ‘loled’ at his own comment since, well, it’s not funny and secondly it’s not factually correct. As a great many of you pointed out, none of the acts got paid for either Olympic ceremonies, they got paid £1 each for contracts but that wouldn’t even get you a hotdog in the Olympic park (they’re £3.40, I was there last week).

More to the point, of all the people to accuse of putting money first, don’t launch it at Gary Barlow. The guy has worked tirelessly over the last few years, organising countless charity and free gigs for the people of this country and abroad, The Children in Need gig at the MEN Arena, the Jubilee celebrations, as well as his continued support of Comic Relief, Help the Heroes, the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and lots of others beside.

Anyway, that’s just the beginning. Person B writes:

“Appalling! Just a week and he’s put money and his job before his family. If he was my husband he’d be out on his ear! I don’t think it was brave or legendary!”

And follows it up with:

“I’m sure he did (do it for his country) but it won’t do him any harm when that song sells copies again and makes him some money! He does nothing for free, he’s completely up himself! Really don’t like the bloke. He put his job before his family tonight, that’s disrespectful to his wife who probably needs him more than ever right now! And to think I felt sorry for him!”

And then for equal measure:

“He hasn’t been respectful to them (his family)! I respect his wife 100% and my heart goes out to her and her other children. My son is my life, I’d die if anything happened to him but if my husband left is to go to work before our child had even had a funeral, I’d never forgive him!”
This quote was the first one to make me question myself.  I agree that there is nothing legendary about Gary Barlow appearing on one of the biggest stages in the world, in front of millions and millions of people. I too would question his ability to do so and, as a mother myself, can understand and respect "Person B`s" opinion on the matter.  Why does this make her a troll?  Doesn`t it just show that the mother felt strongly enough to show her true feelings on Twitter?

Now, I know it’s 2012 but I’m always surprised when you get a comment like this from a woman, and a mother no less. There really is a catch 22 with doing charity work when you’re famous. I mean, I am nowhere near as famous as Gary Barlow and I don’t support as many charities but this kind of cynical nature that a lot of people have really plays on your mind when you’re doing charity work. Like when the charity say ‘can we put this visit in the paper I always think ‘oh no, people will think I’ve just visited this hospital to get in the paper’ where as the charity are thinking “this would be great coverage for us”.

This woman says “it won’t do him any harm when that song sells copies again and makes him some money”. Now I don’t know what is going through Gary’s head at this time, but I’m pretty sure the already richer-than-all-of-us-put-together superstar at no point thought “I know my wife gave birth to a stillborn child the other day, but I really need to sell some more records”.

"What an unbelievably stupid thing to say person B. As for it being ‘disrespectful to his wife’ and ‘putting his job before his family’ again, shut the fuck up. You do not know what goes on behind closed doors. For all you know, Gary could have spent the week sobbing his heart out in his bed, under the duvet and saying to his wife, ‘darling, I don’t think i can ever perform again’ and his wife could quite possibly have said ‘Gary, please sing that special song for me and Poppy, it will make us all so proud’. Now I don’t know either, but for you to presume the worst just because you ‘don’t like the bloke’ or think he’s ‘completely up himself’ is a disgusting trait in a human being."

Very emotive and sympathetically written, this paragraph made me realise that Mr Manford has a good imagination when it comes to relationships.  It even made me think that perhaps this was the discussion that Gary had with his wife, but the truth is, he doesn`t know, never will and should not be slating people who have read the situation differently.

He then goes on to describe his job and how the old entertainment cliches are still alive today.  Does that make it okay then?  My son is a professional musician, travelling up and down the country, gigging.  I know how hard it is to cancel performances when he has been booked for special occasions.  I wonder whether Mr Manford, in his condemnation of trolls, has considered the fact that most people did not know Gary Barlow would be performing that night, so therefore could have easily ducked out of appearing.   

Also being a performer is different from any other job. I’ve had family members pass away, I’ve had very upsetting things happen to me whilst on tour, but you can’t ring up the office and hope you get through to one of the cleaners to explain that you might not be in work today. You can’t go into work and just sit at the back quietly until the boss comes over and tells you to take a few days off. ‘The Show Must Go On’ is one of the most overused cliches in the entertainment world, but it’s because it’s true. If thousands of people have bought a ticket and are waiting to see you perform, have sorted out babysitters, have travelled from all over the country or the world to see you, then quite often, you put your personal problems to one side, and you give them the show that they want. And you know what, your wife fucking supports you because that is who she married; she married a driven professional caring guy, who respects that people have worked hard for their money and so you work hard for yours.

Okay. Moving on. Person C says: “he aint the only one thats had bad news, others have to get on with it.”

Now this is one of those kind of arguments you get on social media all the time. I remember putting something up when Amy Winehouse died saying I felt sad about it, and someone put ‘what about all the troops that die every day’. Yeah, I feel bad for them too. The human heart isn’t built in such a way that means we can only empathise with one thing at a time, I can quite easily feel sorry for Amy Winehouse’s family AND our injured or dying troops, at the SAME time; my heart is that fucking good!
Very interesting paragraph about what people consider important in their lives.  I liked Manford`s reasoning.  Well thought out and poignant to me in my present situation.  Few things are important to me nowadays since my granddaughter was diagnosed with Leukaemia in February of this year.  Several celebrities have died and I must admit it meant absolutely nothing to me.  One very famous singer was found dead in the bath and I could not find an ounce of pity for her.  Her daughter, maybe, but not for her as she had openly abused herself for years whilst our baby girl fights to stay alive. 

Where does that argument leave us as a race? We pride ourselves on being able to empathise with our fellow human, it is one of the things that separates us from the animals, the ability to feel someone else’s sorrow. Of course we have bad news in our lives, but why can’t we feel for the Barlows AND feel our own problems to.

Okay, last one. And I actually went from hating this guy to just thinking, maybe he just wrote something without thinking and is now, quite rightfully, getting it in the neck.

Person D writes:

“It’s not quite the same as losing a child who’s actually lived properly though, so why are people making out like it is? If the kid was like 5 years old it’d be 100x worse!”
You can`t argue with ignorance......"Person D" has a reasoning that we would never comprehend simply because his mind thinks in an entirely different way to ours. Does this make him a troll?    Logically, it kinda makes sense, but in reality it is unthinkable to even consider such a statement.

Yes, read it again, someone did, not only think this, but also wrote it down online. I mean, where does this end? So you love a child more the older it gets? When is the cut off point? What are the maths behind it? Do we love our ten year olds twice as much as our 5 year olds? When they reach twenty does our adoration double again?"
Jason Manford then goes on to write an astute insight into a man`s perspective on pregnancy.  Very moving and insightful indeed.  Which only made me question his actions when his own wife was pregnant.  Subsequently, it has also made me question his reasons for publicising such a blog, especially as his own professional life has been so heavily scrutinized and slated by many.  I don`t dislike Manford, he means nothing to me, but I can`t help but wonder whether he will see me as a troll.  I held back about my feelings on the Barlow story as I realise my thoughts are somewhat governed and saturated by the pain and realities of my own stage in life, helping to make my granddaughter better.  I do not have the capacity to hurt for others as my heart belongs to my own family at present.  Does that make me a troll or just plain selfish?  In my world, I don`t really care what others think but must say I found the piece interesting and thought-provoking, perhaps for reasons Mr Manford would never have considered.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Listening and soaking up a gorgeous new song, sung and written by the wonderful James Morrison, I wanted to put down my thoughts and feelings inspired and evoked by his words and his music:

Silence of the room
musical sweetness
seeps into my being,
through my ears
reaching my heart
and weakened soul;
Quickening of pulse rate
as crisp, melancholy
electric guitar
and tenderly
plucks and strums
just the right note
at precisely the right time.
Soulful, husky,
rasping voice,
as James sings his
well-written words
in his most
emotional way;
a way
only a sufferer
or victim of heartbreak
could possibly
relate to;
tearing into
a place
away from
and fakers
capable of
bruising my soul
breaking my heart

Friday, 18 March 2011

Japan 2011

One can only imagine the fear those people must have felt when the earth literally moved beneath them for a staggering amount of minutes.  The quake was like no other and the resulting tsunami so powerful it gobbled up anything and everything in its wake.  Japan had been expecting a big earthquake for some years and felt confident that it had taken all necessary precautions to limit the effects and potential damages of such an occurrence.  Japanese children, from an early age are taught how to protect themselves during earthquakes and subsequent earth tremors but nothing was to prepare Japan  for the horrific turn of events in March 2011. 

We all stared at our television screens in horror and disbelief as the full picture emerged.  Japan had not only suffered a massive 9.1 earthquake but its coastal areas were being swallowed up by a subsequent tsunami.  News agencies from around the world hurried to relay the catastrophic events, news channels followed and reported on the unfolding nightmare 24/7. 
When I first saw the footage, some of it live, for a split second I imagined the houses buildings, cars, lorries and boats to be empty.  It was almost as if my brain was not willing to acknowledge the true horrific implications of the images my eyes were sending to it.  Maybe it is because we are so used to seeing live coverage of all sorts of disasters, that we have become insensitized to their reality.  I didn`t see any people being sucked up into the monster wave as it engulfed a thousand buildings, so maybe there weren`t any.  I didn`t see any bodies floating in the murky stream of debris as it snaked its way menacingly through the towns and villages, so maybe there weren`t any.  I didn`t see people drowning in the ferocious waters as they claimed huge areas of Japan`s coastline, so maybe there weren`t any.
The numbers of the fatalities grew surprisingly slowly.  The first report stated just a few deaths, which made the viewing of the disaster easier and less traumatic see.  But as the figures grew significantly higher, I found the footage more and more heartbreaking to watch as it became blatantly obvious there were bodies swept up by the raging sea, there were people drowning in the ferocious waters, there were people, like you and I, caught up in the biggest nightmare of their lives.
Before the death toll reached a thousand we could believe there were no mothers out with their children, no schools full of pupils, no families living normal lives, no workers in offices, no bus drivers or taxi drivers wiped out and swept off the face of the earth by Mother Nature.

Some thoughts and visualisations are too horrific for us to emotionally cope with or recognise, we force them into a deep dark place in our minds and vow never to return to them for they are just too painful to examine and acknowledge.  Although we may want to know the truth, our subconscience forbids us to delve deeper for it.

And then the nuclear bombshell hit.  Reactors had been damaged in the earthquake and the country was now facing a further threat to its people.  A country famed for its superior techniolocal advances was being monumentally deconstructed and demolished by a force greater than itself.  The wrath of Mother Nature was so severe there was no compromise, no technology with which to fight or contain her.  With an act of utter defiance and astromonical power, she unleashed a foreboding and relentless warning to us all.  For it is she who rules the world - not us mere mortals.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Busy Time

It`s been a strange few weeks. 
 I have a thousand and one things going on in my head, but the positive thing is that I have been creative, which is wonderful for me as my creativity is like a valve that needs tweaking occasionally.  Tweaked the right way, it releases built-up tension and restores my equilibrium to manageable levels. 
 I have started a new blog http://jsjcreations.wordpress.com/ which is dedicated to poetry and verse. Please click on link to see new works. 

Plans are afoot for a house move, not only for myself but for my youngest daughter and her family.  At present she lives five miles from me and we spend a lot of time in each other`s company.  I also look after her 16 month old baby two days a week, with much pleasure.  So we have decided that when we move, her to a bigger family home, me to a less expensive home, that we will remain in close proximity.  Her house went on the market this week and she has her second viewers arriving tomorrow. I, on the other hand, must wait until summer as I am tied into a fixed rate mortgage - boring!

My eldest daughter is newly pregnant with her second child, after twelve long years.  This is both exciting and worrying for us as a family, as her first child was born with multiple problems, the main disabilities being PFFD (please google to find out more about this affliction), a hole in her heart and deafness.  She is due to have her first scan on Tuesday which, due to the nature of her previous childbirth experience, has been brought forward.  It`s still very early days and each and every member of the family prays for a happy outcome.  Needless to say, the next eight months are going to be a difficult time for us all, as a family.

My youngest appears to have finally settled in at his new secondary school.  What has however become increasingly clear is that he will never like school, and will try almost anything to fake illness to get the day off.  So far we have had a sore throat, bad leg, head ache, tummy ache, ear ache.....and that was just this week!

Our five month old puppy Hadley, has become a fully-fledged member of our family.  Still not entirely house-trained, and occasionally over-excitable (especially when we have visitors), he has otherwise settled in extremely well and we love him to bits. Puppy Class is a glorious experience each week! Of course, he warranted his very own blog, so here it is:

Last night, after watching an extremely depressing documentary on television focusing on the lives of people living in  the dreadful slums in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, I felt compelled to put my thoughts down in verse.  The documentary deeply upset me mainly because it highlighted the obvious injustice and forgotten suffering of others in our world today.  It made me ask so many unanswered questions about humanity and the gross imbalance in global human suffering. 

"My soul weeps – for it sees such sadness

and sorrow
in the eyes of mothers and children
destined to suffer
because of the place of their birth.
My soul aches – for the pain and anguish
of their daily lives
spent in squalor
while others
in far away lands, thrive.
My soul hurts – for the many children
black-skinned and sullen eyed,
whose mothers must
sacrifice their own pride
in order to provide.
My soul bleeds – with incomprehension
at their integrity and inner strength,
the hopelessness
that only we see
for they are unfortunates
who know no better world
while we live with our luxuries
and pathetic struggles.
My soul screams – at the injustice,
the hardship
these people must endure
in order to survive
short, troubled lives
My soul grieves – for these people
in Kibera
whose struggles we will never comprehend
because we are
- the fortunates."

Twitter still remains a huge and refreshing forum for me.  It`s wonderful to share daily thoughts and events with so many people and to make "Twitter friends".  People who don`t use Twitter as a forum or as a social networking site do not seem to understand it`s merits and purpose, often slating it.  But for me, it is invaluable, inspirational and above all, enjoyable.
Recently, however, I have been unfortunate enough to have experienced negativity and manipulation against me, initiated by someone whom I assumed was a "friend".  A group of ladies, me included, had forged a little group of like-minded, honest and humorous "twitter friends", which was both pleasurable and fun to be a part of.  Over the last few months, certain other women had been surreptitiously trying to infiltrate the group by palling up with us. Of course, we didn`t mind, but the core of the group, I felt, was strong enough to fend off any new pretenders.  We are all women of a certain age who felt comfortable disclosing personal details to each other in emails and DMs, so why change it and include others that would jeopardize our closeness and bonds?
For various reasons, three of our group have been unable to tweet so often recently, leaving mainly myself and one other on the site regularly.  Over a short period of time I had noticed two other ladies becoming increasingly friendly, @YourPollyanna and @TheCheekyMissBsimile literally.  I told her that I thought she was "like a dog with a bone" and she chose to believe I had actually called her a dog! Despite informing her of the fact that I was using a simile and had not called her a dog, she refused to accept it and continued to badger me and generally act like a five year old saying how upset she was.
I`m too old for games and decided it might be best to give her a wide berth.  A few days later TheCheekyMissB  asked me why I was ignoring YourPollyanna.  She said she had just noticed in her timeline that I wasn`t speaking to her. Haa!  It was getting ridiculous, so trying to add humour and wit to defuse the situation, I told her so.  Blocked by the pair of them! Hurrah! I thought.
Then I realised the other person in our group, whom I did think was a "twitter friend" had also blocked me.  Now, this was a different thing.  Friends don`t do that!  I asked her outright why she had done this and she responded by saying she would mail me.  I still have not received the mail, and now do not wish to.  This is no friend of mine!
How sad that someone you once felt was a genuine, like-minded person can drop you like a stone on the words of others.  Loyalty is an important, necessary attribute in friendship and if that is breached, there is no friendship to be shared, and the friendship that once was becomes meaningless.

15th March

Since writing this post I have become the victim of nastiness on Twitter.  I have discovered that both YourPollyanna and TheCheekyMissB have been accusing me of bullying them.  They have even brought my daughter into the equation although she rarely goes on Twitter and has never spoken to them or about them before.  There behaviour has been deplorable and potentially damaging to both myself and my daughter.  Once I had unfollowed the pair, I had never mentioned their names again in a derogatory way on Twitter and expected the same respect from them.  Sadly this has not been the case and now the situation has got completely out of hand because a certain bluejag has taken it on himself to join forces with them, despite the fact that he has always pledged loyalty to me in the past, especially when he has (frequently) fallen out with other tweeters and I have backed him up believing him to be a genuinely caring man.  The reason why I believe him to be behind the nasty remarks he has made on my blog posts and some of my websites is because of the viciousness and terminology he uses.  Since our little spat on Twitter, when he verbally attacked me for "butting in" on one of his conversations, he has systematically accused me of being a vindictive bully with "no life".  Friends of his have jumped on the band wagon and also spouted nastiness at both myself and my daughter. 
The final straw for me was when I saw what he had written on my blog.  He has absolutely no integrity and respect for anyone and deserves to be named and shamed. 

Here is an email sent to me earlier today.







---This email was sent from a form on your SnapPages website

Now see what @bluejag writes about me on Twitter 24hrs after blocking me:
 "I'm great - just find it sad that certain people have bullied on here and then whined to my followers that I have been nasty2 them"

"The best way to deal with bullies with low self esteem and sad lives is to ignore them. Don't let ANY inadequate upset you on twitter."

"Oh honey water off a ducks back to me but two of my female friends have been bullied by a saddo"

"When you come on twitter it is bittersweet. You find amazing friends but you also see the sad no life vindictive side of people. Very sad"

"Always love it when people behave like vindictive bullies on twitter and then go whining to their followers that they have been wronged".

"@TheCheekyMissB Haaaa! Yes they have enough shit to put up with! Best to just laugh at saddos like that. They just lead bitter lives. X"

"@TheCheekyMissB There's a few people off here I'd like to send to Japan! x"
"@YourPollyanna @TheCheekyMissB @Melanie_Cooper @syjohngibbons Polly don't have a break from twitter if you do then that bitch has won. Xx"

and this from a man who professes to hating bullies?! No wonder he hides his face!

Update on *Twitter`s Nastiest*

I continue to use Twitter and for the best part enjoy it immensely.   I have not had the misfortune to have to communicate with the above mentioned, which is a great relief not only for me, but for my darling daughter who now frequents the social network and had to witness me being verbally abused and threatened by Blue Jag and his side-kicks. On my timeline alone he had managed to terrorise, abuse and threaten many people who felt alone and helpless to do anything other than leave Twitter.  Then, out of the blue, someone came on Twitter saying they wanted to get as much information as possible about Blue jag as he planned to expose him.  Over the following few weeks more and more victims raised their arms and admitted to being cyber bullied by him.  It was amazing and incredibly comforting to realise that we actually had a guardian angel on Twitter who was willing to speak openly about the abuse and nastiness of Blue jag.  It soon became apparent that all victims suffered the same fate when targeted.  There did not have to be a particular reason for being ostracized but the subsequent treatment would follow the same pattern.  He would state that he did not agree with something that was said and tell the person that he was about to block them.  This action made it impossible for the victim to respond.  Bluejag would then spend the next few days systematically insulting, bullying and threatening his victim openly on his timeline.  Some of his devoted followers would then join in, some even DMing the targeted.  Victims that were foolish enough to have given him their phone numbers would then be subjected to nasty and abusive texts.  All victims were his friends and any personal details openly ridiculed by Bluejag and friends.
The worst thing was the amount of young women (17yrs and older), who were confessing to having been duped and manipuated by him into having sexual cyber relations with him.  More than one had left Twitter and come back using a different user name to avoid having any further communications with him.  To this day, I have people DMing me asking me to rekindle friendships with people who took his side and cursed and called me hateful names purely because he told them to.  I do not have room in my life for such weak people.
I felt real pity for the young girls involved as they were not aware that the man hiding behind the faceless avatar was in fact a short, rotund, balding fifty year old who had no life other than Twitter.  Our guardian angel opened an account purely for Bluejag`s victims (44 at last count) over the course of two days.  It was horrifying to hear some of the stories that were told about the abuse this man gave out to perfectly nice people, some who will be scarred for a long time.  Even more worrying as far as I am concerned is the fact that he has come back on Twitter using the name @maplestead4 and still has some of the same followers!  If I was following someone of his calibre who I found out was acting in the same way as Bluejag, my hand would be on the "block" button before the end of the first sentence.  What is wrong with these people? 

Ways to avoid Twitter Nasties

1.    Never ever give out your phone/mobile number to anyone.

2.    Be wary of people who do not use their own face as an avatar.

3.    Remember people can pretend to be anyone online.

4.    If someone abuses you online, speak out about it, there may be others in your situation.

5.    Do not give in to threats of any kind.

6.   Inform the police if all else fails. 

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

What a load of poo !!

As I went to put my coat on to leave my daughter`s house this afternoon, she came towards me, "Here Mum, take these magazines, I`ve finished with them".  I glanced down at them now in my hand, and saw Josie and JJ`s faces grinning inanely at me from the cover of "OK!" magazine.  They were being photographed in a fake travellers` wedding setting complete with horses, caravans and a bright pink meringue wedding dress.  As if being severely  electrocuted, I dropped the offending magazine to the floor, proclaiming, "I would rather walk blindfolded four miles up the M25 in hobnail boots, than read that rubbish"!  I did however agree to take the other two magazines she proffered as she seemed somewhat offended by my reaction to her generosity.

Tonight in my bath relaxing, I decided to learn just what these magazines offer as a means of educating us in the subject of celebrity and entertainment.  Looking at the "New!" magazine before me, the first thing I notice is the amazing reduction in price from a whopping 95p to a lesser dent in the purse of 45p.  "Wow! That`s some kind of bargain", I said to myself as I sunk under the Raddox bubbles in my steaming bath.  Four seperate photos of the socially inept couples that are Pete/Elen/Jordan/Alex grace the front page - Greattt! Oh and another of dear Alex fills most of page 2!!
Four pages are then filled with photographs of celebs dressed up to the nines in their designer frocks on the red carpet at a recent awards show, most of them looking radiant, whilst someone at the magazine who obviously knows a huge amount about fashion and fashion faux pas, shows their opinion of the outfits by using thumbs up and thumbs down graphics.  That kept my attention for a full twenty seconds, before I moved on to learn about ......Jordan and Alex (two more pages worth) and Pete and Elen not being able to keep their hands off each other (one page worth).
Moving on..........Ah! Now we have the nation`s favourite ice skating nightmare that goes by the name of Kerry going on about her love for a secret man by the name of Kevin. Apparently they met at a bootcamp, where they kissed but not in a passionate way.  Stone the Crows!!  Kerry and Kevin!! Sounds about right to me! 
 Another classy lady who I like to call Cheryl the Peryl, for obvious reasons, appears next on page 18 in a slinky little backless black number in a bid to show off her exciting new tattoo.  Lovely Cheryl - sure it will look gorgeous when you are eighty-five and about to have a hip replacement operation.  I can just see the nurses, "just turn onto your tummy please Mrs Cole while I administer the morphine.  Christ! What the hell is that?" "Have your grandchildren been going mad with the felt tips?"
Aww! At last a breath of fresh air as Myleene Class appears on page 20 wearing a beautiful lemon dress which hangs elegantly over her pregnant tum. Lovely!
Skipping and skimming over Chantelle`s proclaimations, Ulrika`s skinny but ill story and Simon trying to convince us of his love for his fiance with the name nobody this side of Asia can pronounce, my eyes fall upon a sad pic squeezed into the bottom corner of the page of poor Gail Porter breaking down as her alopecia returns and once again she must face the world with none of her own hair.
A few pages along brings forth the words and wisdom of Amy Childs "This week I have used six pairs of fake eyelashes, but I do wear two at a time!", who for reasons best known to those in charge of this wonderful example of a British magazine, now has her own column.  Incredible, when one considers her only claim to fame is having enormous fake boobs and the vocabulary and intelligence of an average three year old.  
On to.."Hot or Not?" - God! I think I`m beginning to lose the will to live!  Who cares?
No, it`s no good, I am really not interested in Chloe Madeley telling me she`d love to have a nose job!  If I had her nose I would too!  Oh, but wait! "I`d absolutely love a nose job, but I`d absolutely never do it.  It`s just not in my nature!"  What??
Jeff Brazier`s new secret girlfriend, Sarah Harding drunk as a skunk again, Kayla looking for Mr Wright after eating unthinkables in the jungle............ That`s it!! 
 This sodden mag is going where it belongs!  On the bottom of the hamster cage or better still, wrapping up Hadley the puppy`s  poo!!

Sunday, 20 February 2011


February blusters in with icy winds
that bite and chill us to the bone
Spiteful in its intensity
ferocious with its strength
and ability to
sting us with its savagery
and persistence.

The cold wind has no prejudice
or favouritism;
it chills one and all
big or small
saving no-one from its
ice cold heart.

The ill wind brings no peace
no comfort
strips bare our defences
strangles us with icy fingers
until we can bare no more
and seek warmth
in shelter.

Written by JsJ Creations

Thursday, 27 January 2011


January arrives
and coats us,
like a heavy snowfall,
 with a blanket of depression and trepidation
that we must push aside
or trudge through
 by any means possible;
Like a suffocating smog
 it clouds our aspirations and resolutions,
strangely reminding us of our mortality and self-worth.
Fond moments of previous years
 often surface as we evaluate
and vow to change things
 we are unhappy with.
Will it be this year that our life improves
or will we feel the same
and live the same existence for another year?
Each morning`s darkness weighs heavily on us
 as we
reluctantly force ourselves from our warm duvets
into the chilled home
 that only last night toasted us
like marshmallows on a roaring open fire.
Hoping the day ahead brings warmth and contentment,
thoughts of stark reality creep forever forward
reminding us,
 with the click of the light switch,
of our true existence.
Shortened dark days,
characterizing the season,
so grey, without real light,
failing to lift us,
 inspire or motivate us in any way
strangely and significantly
 seem to last forever,
day after day, day after day,
 and still no sun to lighten our hearts,
To give us hope,
 to make us want to reach for the curtains
to want to see what the world has in store for us.
To inspire us
and help us see and feel that there is a future;
that our lives will not always be so cheerless and clouded.