Sunday, January 28, 2007

First Aid

A weekend residential where Josh S, Josh L, Thomas (AKA Gertie), Keeley, Jim & Craig trained to be Peer Educators in First Aid...

Amongst other things they...
  • met new strange and wonderful other young people and bandaged them
  • ran a session on the subject 'The Amazingness of Craig'
  • devised and performed the Unicorn Play with its infamous 'Unicorn Dance'
  • met the Crystal Maze Master and tried to win crystals for tasks that challenged the intellect and in a final X Factor tested the ability to sing YMCA and scrounge, blag and plead for more crystals, culminating in a timed rummage in Wendy's (not Stanbury)drawers for goodies.
  • put the role-playing unconscious or anyone asleep in the recovery position
  • played games including 'spin the remote' and Jim's favourite game - charades
  • Sang, on more than one occasion, Awima wey, Awima wey...In the jungle, the mighty jungle the lion sleeps to night...etc etc
  • ate cheesecake
  • oh and learned some stuff about snails and yoghurt that wasn't true so they shouldn't remember it.
  • phoned their imaginary boyfriends called Paul
  • entertained the other young people with their fun, games, comedy, drama and winning personalities...sorry that was someone else
  • some were Happy Hens and showed this in their clucking while others were non-conformists...or (a) couldn't be bothered, (b) were too lazy or (c) had some deep thoughts that occupied their minds when the call for the Happy Hens sounded.
  • kept me going on cups of coffee and were generally a great bunch to be away with on residential - but don't tell them I said so
  • and probably loads of other stuff I will probably be reminded of ...

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Do Something Amazing Give Blood

If I was someone who said things like 'I'm so proud of you' I would have said it of Craig, Jim & Keeley today...because they gave blood for the first time...but I'm not someone who says things like that so I didn't but I would have if I was...And I told them that if I was someone who did I would!

The National Blood Service advertises...

Do Something Amazing Give Blood

They did something amazing and gave their blood and could at this very moment be saving someone's life. They didn't have to study to be able to do it, or get a qualification, or spend years in an apprenticeship or even need any experience... All they had to have was a free afternoon and blood that was healthy and at least 17 years old.

Next time come with us...we will be going 3 times a one will be at the end of May...

If you want any info about the wheres, whats, whos, whens, whys and hows check out the National Blood Service site.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

London Snow

On waking all is still and quiet, as if insulated from sound,

And you look out and see the reason; a blanket of snow on the ground,

Embracing every horizontal surface and non-vertical plain

It lies there until disturbed and it disappears again.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Cold Water on Fresh Blood

Cold water, it seems is what to use to remove fresh blood. I checked it on the internet, as one does. If my hoodie hadn't been a very light shade of grey perhaps I wouldn't have bothered, or if it hadn't been new and the recent Christmas present from my brother and also my favouritist hoodie-de-jour.

Of course if the boy, who's shoulder's I put it round, had friends who would have given him one of their jackets (jackets which were all darker than mine) then perhaps I needn't have had to go to this trouble.

And if I hadn't walked home the way I went.
And if I hadn't stopped.
And if I hadn't asked, after bandaging his head, if he was cold...worried about him being in shock.

Actually it would have been a lot easier if I had never gone on a First Aid Course at all...(especially not the most recent one last week) ... I woudn't have felt half as confident with heading into the situation and my hoodie would still be in mint condition.

If you want to keep your hoodie clean, don't do First Aid.

(PS. I will keep you updated as to the condition of my hoodie - I know we are all concerned)

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007


So when is it OK to listen to music on your mobile phone, ipod or MP3?

(a) When its good music with a quality sound?

(b) When you are in the privacy of your own home, in your room and under the duvet?

(c) When you do so with ear phones (ones which don't let a 'dum diddy dum' through to the unsuspecting passerby)?

(d) When you are out and about in public and wish you had a boom-box or transistor radio or even two saucepan lids to bang together?

(e) When its more important to hear any sound rather than the sound of the thought that trespasses across your brain like a tumbleweed in a cowboy film.

(f) When you are on the train, without earphones, blaring a tinny distorted sound leaving the listeners (a whole carriage of people) wondering if, in the right circumstances, the music might be good?

(g) In all the above situations, because 'noise polution' is a made-up thing for boring people who wish they had great music to share with the world and are jealous of those who have and rather than want to sing and dance to the music just sit and 'tut tut'...but if they did sing and dance may scare the provider of the music and may make them think again before sharing their music with the world?

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Light @ the End of the Tunnel

...and its not a train...its the sun...days are
getting longer...and brighter...

New Year Haiku

Winter breaks apart
Ice with sunlight and long days
To warm Spring’s return

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Saturday, January 13, 2007


"Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime?"

Find out in Freakonomics.

New York Times Review

Freakonomics Blog


Friday, January 12, 2007

Hole in the Wall

The sign over the cash machine read Hole in the Wall. Sheila laughed because although in Ireland its slang, she'd never seen it actually labelled as such.

I'd never seen someone actually rob a cash machine, whatever name it had, until tonight. It was like the programme The Real Hustle, except that it was real.

I joined a queue for the cash machine outside the cinema at West India Quay. A man had lost his card in the machine and was on the phone trying to contact his bank. A group of people gathered round the machine to work out what was wrong. The woman in front of me was worried because she didn't want to lose her card too. The group broke up and the person at the machine said it was working. The person had his card and money. The woman in front of me seemed satisfied. One of the men from the group joined the queue again. The next person in the queue got money. Then the woman did. The man from the group who had rejoined the queue was letting me go ahead but I said that he could go as he was he was next in the queue. I got a phone call. I thought to myself, don't get distracted, watch whats going on, something is wrong. The guy who lost his card was still on the phone trying to contact his bank. The woman who had been ahead of me had joined the cinema queue. The man at the cash machine seemed to be taking a while. His large frame covered the face of the machine completely. I thought OK maybe I am just imagining its odd, maybe its just that he doesn't want me seeing his pin number. He coughed and shifted. I moved to get a better view, just in time to see him forcibly, pull a piece of machinery from the face of the machine, pulling wiring which lit up momentarily until it detached and was stuck into his jacket as he strode off.

I stood there thinking for a moment while I put my phone away, that I might have imagined what I'd just seen. Then as he continued away, he looked back and I looked at him and realised, no it was real.

As quickly as I could I told the guy on the phone to tell his bank what I'd just seen and advised him to cancel his card as it may have been stolen. I found the woman in the cinema queue and did the same, but she was confused as she had her card and didn't know what they could do without her card, until I told her about the possibility of a device reading her card details and money being able to be withdrawn without the card. Then I told the police.

Its strange, how any crime or incident I have witnessed or any accident or such event I have seen takes on a fictional feel to it like a film almost the moment I realise it is what it is. Whether its that adrenalin makes the senses more heightened and I am aware only of certain aspects of the scene or time does actually slow down - whatever happens, it makes me a good person to help in a situation but a lousy witness.

Its like for a slice of time there is a hole in the wall of reality that you can step momentarily into for the duration of the scene and when you step out again it's gone, like a hole, a void...defined by whats around it because itself is not a presence but an absence - a hole in all the positive scenes - an aberration or a glitch in the good stuff. When we stop seeing the holes that are there some might say its optimism or innocence or even naivety or that its because we are actually in the hole and can't see the wood for the trees...or the bricks for the wall.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Zombie Back from Beyond

Its not often you get a phone call beginning with the words...'theres a video of man landing on the moon' only took me 5 minutes or more to work out it was referring to my Christmas List and only after it was explained to me (I had even noted it down on a blue post-it landing on moon...expecting the relevance would be revealed to me and it would all make sense and I would need to have noted it down, after all it was the DYO speaking to me....saying that perhaps if it had been any other DYO besides Tim Miller)

So onto the point - my Christmas Wish List should have included - Good Health because apart from New Years Day (a false reprieve) I have been in various states of Zombie from having hallucinations to coughing my guts up to veering between hysterical laughter and tears...but I am back...just a slight cough and sore throat to get rid of and I will have shed by Zombie-like state, which has been in various stages upon me 1 calendar month - I should have put Good Health on my list...btw next week I will be reviewing Cough & Cold Remedies of 2007 and be making my reccomendations for the Cure of the Century...I know - you can't wait.

Until then....Whats on @ Club ....some dates for your diary
  • Thursday 11th @ 7pm-830 First Aid Awareness for young people - come early for tea, coffee, chat & cheesecake from 6.15...& if you have a Sociology Coursework Essay to do come even earlier!
  • Monday 15th - know whats happening...we're off to see the Wizard...the woderful Wizard of Oz!
  • Tuesday 16th - Safe & Sound training @ 7pm
  • Wednesday 17th Trees 4 Cities @ Alton Green 2-4 (Special dream Catcher to find out how you'd like area transformed) & Lansbury Centre 4.30-7.30 (Evening of fun, art, activities & refreshments)
  • Thursday 18th Senior Club 7.30 - Remember the last Thursday of the Month will have a different flavour - your choice as to which - just not vanilla, cheesecake yes
  • Friday 19th Complex Needs Group re-starts
  • Monday 22nd Intermediates 7pm
  • Wednesday 24th Junior Club 6pm
  • Friday 26th Blood Donor Groupies head for the hills...or Canary Wharf - so all you 17+ people out there come and join us - you know you want to - and we will give you lots of TLC and even cheesecake if required...and who knows you might even save a life - not bad for people who aren't even doctors.
  • Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th First Aid Young Persons' Peer Trainer Residential
  • Saturday 10th (February) Trees for Cities - Tree Planting Event...lets plant some trees...and bushes...and flowers and oh go Dancing in Daffodils
  • Monday 12th - 16th Half Term (breathe out again)
Throughout the coming months the Mosaic Project - still need to hammer off the remaining inner tiles, grout the outer half and make up the new pressure

The Mural 3Dness needs a shell-to-net gluer, a butterfly-n-bug attacher & a shark-detailer to get it finally finished...any 3D people out there? (btw you all are unless you are cartoons like the Simpsons!)

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Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year

Blian Nua
Faoi Mhaise Duit
...le gra
agus pog
agus ciste-caise.

(translated from Irish as Happy New Year...with love and kisses and cheesecake)

Started the year brilliantly...
  • finally woke up feeling vaguely human again after weeks of the Barry Whites on Night Nurse
  • on the first underground journey of the first day of the year met someone in full, head to toe kangaroo costume and it felt right...unlike the guy on the other side of the carriage with tinsel in his hair - really, he could have made an effort.
  • went out with Tom and my brother and girlfriend and danced, moshed and sang the night away in Chinatown...with a variety of people, only one of which had a better air guitar and that was only because their's had a lower centre of gravity and air go-faster stripes.
...what more can you ask for apart from cheesecake...and really the kangaroo makes up for it especially as there is an emergency cheesecake in the freezer.

Hope your new year started as well as mine...but don't worry there are at least another 364 days and on one of them you too might be graced with the presence of Kangaroo Man...and even a camera to record it so that people won't keep calling you a liar and saying things like...why would a man be dressed in a Kangaroo suit in the middle of the day? - as if the time of day mattered to a man who wants to wear a kangaroo costume...anyway it might just be useful for carrying things in his pouch, although he did have a dog which could have used the pouch so wouldnt be pleased to share it with the groceries from the supermarket, unless they contained dog food or cheesecake. Hurrah for Kangaroo Man...he takes it to the limit...of the costume world and beyond - he knows the meaning of life and keeps the answer in his pouch, we should be so fortunate...but we spread his love through text...when you next text K to mean OK or are saying Yes or Ok to Life...K is for Kangaroo Man...Hurrah for Kangaroo Man

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