Thursday, 18 September 2014

Scotland's liberal backers

I was not going to say anything, but too many so called left-Wing liberals are declaring Scotland's potential yes vote as a victory for the left and it's driving me crazy! In what way is a political movement based on nationalism left wing? It has become an us and them debate - based on anti English rhetoric in the name of Westminster, run by a man who longs for power and to write his name in history books as the man who 'liberated' Scotland. Channel 4 putting on brave heart, a famously anti English film was a final slap in the face. Further more an irony is steeped in the fact that if Scotland splits on the back of a fierce nationalistic drive is that the right wing conservatives will have fewer opposition seats and therefore be almost guaranteed to win the elections.... as Scotland has a large number of  left wing voters. Yes a true victory for the liberal lefties. surely they should be promoting co-operation, not separation! countries should want to unite and work together... when a neighbour has troubles we run away now do we, not help? people need to stop comparing it as well to other countries problems such as Belgian, italy and Spain with Barcelona. These are different things in different countries with different circumstances... I could sit here and compare nationalism to nazism (national socialism) but I won't as it's crude and untrue here.... but this one size fits all policy of labelling everything the same is bollocks. Finally I want to say that all this fucking referendum has done is served to divide and rip the people of Scotland apart.  if it's yes, thousands of unionists will flood south, and if no they nationalists will feel bitter and this divide will last a lifetime. on a lighter note it's going to fucking ruin the aesthetic beauty of the flag.... with blue taken out it's going to look a bit... red and white.

on the last note I just hope that Scotland says, for the sake of the lovely blue on the flag and liberalism... if not we will miss you greatly and when we are splitting our CD collection and fighting over the kids just know you've given us so much culturally and thanks for being there.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The power of a pause

In a somewhat 'Anchorman' like way this news reporter seemingly reads his auto-cue without a necessary pause, completely changing the meaning of his introduction. Did they forget to write a comma on what he was reading or it this man just letting us in on a bit more information about his life than we were expecting. Nevertheless the slip highlights two important points;

1) The power of a pause in the English language when speaking can change everything...
2) The question: 'Do all news anchors all read exactly what is written on the tele-prompter, no questions asked?' 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Pictures that show you all that's wrong with the world

So I came across a site with 29 pictures that show you what's wrong with the world and I wanted to share them with you all... I hope you love them as much as I did. They are all incredible images and to the right you can see of my favourites...

Please check them out following the link below and write on the posts below which inspired you the most!

Click here to see all 29

Friday, 27 June 2014

Live your life like you're going to die

Please, watch this video and comment below... 

Work work work work work... it's what we were born to do... to be a slave to a system created by those who don't want to work as hard as us... 

but the most liberating idea is that we will die... and living longer is not cheating death.. it's merely not living fully in the time that we have... 

If the video doesn't show up follow this link...

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Public Hospitals in Brazil

The other night I experienced the most shocking moments of my life.

I am currently on holiday in Brazil with my girlfriend, seeing the sights and hitting the beach, soaking up the sun and eating as much food as is possible before I head back to delights of the UK. Three days ago we went on a tour into the Atlantic forest of Brazil, containing jungles and filled with dangerous snakes like the corral, spiders and jaguars, panthers and other creatures you don’t normally see on your average daily commute in London. Towards the end of the trip we went to visit a waterfall known locally as Paraiso (Paradise) falls. It was a paradise and I went for a swim in the lagoon beneath. It was stunning, the only problem was the mosquitoes… I can only say that I was bitten to shit, I and my girlfriend looked a little like we had been to war with these creatures and I am itching now as I write this.

Itching is an issue, but the major problem that my girlfriend had underplayed just how allergic she was to these bites. To give you an example of how aggressive these things are I felt one bite me and it felt like a needle going into my arm and when I swatted it off, the wound gushed with blood.

We returned to the house where we were staying and ate dinner. My girlfriend’s bites were less, but now much larger than mine yet looked like nothing serious at this point. We went to bed and I slept like a baby while she, however, did not.

She woke me a few times complaining of feeling ill and suffering from a fever, but when I touched her she felt normal. After an hour or so at 4.30 she said to me “Help me, I’m dying” I touched her forehead and she was burning up. We went to the living room and looked for a local hospital (she has private medical care here in Brazil) but found that in the local areas there were only public, free hospitals. With experience of the NHS I thought that it couldn’t be that bad. There are two types of hospital in Brazil, Private (UPS) and Public, much like the UK.  We caught a taxi and she was admitted at 5 am in the morning.

On arrival it looked like any standard hospital. She saw a woman who looked like a nurse who took her blood pressure which was critically low. (80/50!) My girlfriend was unresponsive and couldn’t speak or stand and could only lie down as the allergic reaction took hold of her. She saw a doctor (which later I found was a fucking miracle to actually be seen by a doctor) who sent her round to back sounding like he was almost doing her a favour.

We went to a room with 6 chairs, 3 each side facing other, all filthy. My girlfriend was sweating with fever while the rest of her body was freezing and sat opposite a woman covered in her own vomit. The room stank of shit and vomit and there was dry blood on one of the chairs.  There were two women in the room who looked like nurses, yet later I found out they were ‘technicians’ or orderlies as we call them in the UK.

My girlfriend was whiter than a sheet of A4 paper, her lips were white and her hand was freezing and couldn’t grip mine. I sat there wanting to cry, I knew I had to be strong but seeing the person you love, slipping further and further away into lifelessness. She later admitted she too thought she was going to die. The orderly then took an IV and inserted it into her arm, but too my horror she did not drain it and the long tube was full of air. I have seen enough medical dramas to know that you shouldn’t put too much air into the bloodstream and I shouted in Portuguese for her to drain it, release the air, which the woman promptly did and got rid of most of the air and then re-inserted the tube. She then started the first of three drips going in to her arm and I watched in horror as some air bubbles entered her system. I noticed it was only hydrocortisone to rehydrate her and she slipped further and further. I even started praying at this point. The second drip started about 20 minutes later with no sign of improvement, now we were onto our 4th new person in the room, all of the previous signing off and the girl opposite had left 5 minutes before, yet her vomit bin still remained.

My girlfriend asked for some bread and I dutifully fetched some from local kiosk and fed it to her piece by piece as she was too weak to hold the bread or take bites. The second drip finished at 6.30 in the morning and my girlfriend showed no sign of improvement. She then asked for a bin and was given a new bin covered in blood. I think the food started to take effect and did as much good as the drips had. She started her third drip and this had some anti-allergy solution put into it (A second miracle). The room at this point was full and stank of sweat and other bodily products. The old woman next to my girlfriend turned to her and said “If you can go somewhere better, go, because my son died here 15 days ago from being misdiagnosed”

My girlfriend started to look better, and started saying to me she wanted to leave. Then to my horror the orderlies said something I have still got a hard time believing “There are no doctors or nurses here, what are we meant to do”. My girlfriend then heard them say they were preparing an injection of something that would lower her blood pressure further. Now I am not a doctor and neither were they, but to lower someone’s blood pressure which is already critically low is not a good idea, right?

I picked her up and we walked out, escaping at 8 in the morning, the vomit bucket still in the room, that had just been moved by someone with no glove on.
I have never seen anything like that before…

So to summarise. I went to a hospital with:
·         * barely any medicine
·         * no doctors
·         * no nurses
·         * blood stained chairs and a high mortality rate.
·         * 6 changes of staff in three hours and they only passed on instructions verbally as they couldn’t        write it down
·       * No machines, not even the ability to do blood tests
·        *  And no-one to check where I was taking a patient

So why do I write this… they tried to pass a law to make up public servants use public hospitals… but the law wasn’t passed… when Dilma and Lula had cancer.. where did they go? Private care, and who can blame them? They wanted to live! I can’t blame the hospital or the staff, they were doing their best with untrained staff and no equipment, so I must rest this one with the government

So the World Cup… imagine this, a football fan has too much to drink and collapses with dehydration… where do they go? Be very very fucking careful….I fear the number of people being admitted to hospital along with the numbers of those successfully treated.

So my advice:

11)      Buy the very best travel insurance or health care you can
22)      Always check there is a private hospital nearby
33)      Do not put yourself in any danger through your own actions ie excessive drinking
44)      Never ever criticize the NHS… it might be a bit ropey… but they have doctors.

Oh and to let you know… my girlfriend went the next day to a private hospital and was given treatments galore and now looks to be on the mend! If you're coming... good luck :) 

Sunday, 9 February 2014

So what I do when I get bored

Well recently I've taken to thinking about Music, and the point at which music's soul crawled up it's own arsehole and died...

I think that was probably about the time Rick Astley cut a record and shortly before people started buying  his shit...

I got into a moment with a student the other day. She said that Justin Bieber was not her favourite, but that he was good, sort of ok, that he made some catchy tunes...

I have always felt that music without the musicians taking some form of high was a little on the lightside, then Bieber comes out as a drug taker and I jump on the deport him bandwagon...

I started to think, maybe I am being too hypocritical, maybe I should give the wee guy a chance, that he might not be that bad. Maybe just maybe the fact that my student was his age and I grew up with the Prodigy and Oasis that I was missing something... I got into this deep moment of thinking that maybe I have gone passed the age where I can appreciate 15 year old men children singing about love and that maybe it was time to accept I no longer got... then I realised something...

LED ZEP, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix... these people knew how to fuckin rock... I was right and my student us firmly wrong. The new music these days is everything that's wrong with the world... we tolerate mediocrity as if it is acceptable to be shit...

So I wrote this..

enjoy the-10-most-annoying-songs-ever

Monday, 3 February 2014

The proof I'm a coffeeholic

I thought I want to back up claims that I am in fact a coffeeholic.

I wrote an article a year ago about the best ways to make coffee...

Here is the link 5-ways-make-coffee

So feel free to know, yes, I do have, or did have, or will have again very soon.. a massive problem to coffee... but then it's better than crack...

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Conclusion of the Coffee Challenge

When I accepted the challenge from my student Marc of giving up coffee for 7 days I thought to myself there will not be a problem. That it would be rather simple and that I wouldn't really miss it... how wrong I was....

The first day of the challenge was a little boring and nothing really happened apart from a throbbing headache, which to be honest I thought could have been caused by something else. It pissed me off that Starbucks decided to give out some free tasters on the same day I'd vowed to give up, but I stayed strong and decided not to neglect my challenge in the same way they felt about paying taxes to the UK.

I even scored some Camomile tea left behind by another ex-student called Mabel, so that kind of substituted my need for a hot drink. I usually drink 8 or 9 cups a day between lessons so I found myself looking for things to do and wandering aimlessly in my breaks.

It was not until the second and third day that I started to feel the bad shit rising. As I sat there at work I found myself getting irritable, irate and pissed off for no reason. On the brightside I was no longer getting my daily bloodshot eyes and palpitations in my chest... so every cloud and all.

On thursday I fell asleep while chatting on Skype and woke 30 minutes later with the imprints of keys in my forehead. I have felt moody, exhausted and angry! To make matters worse I kept running into coffee such as the charming person who left 'free coffee for everyone' on a bag at work. Nice, but why this week?

I have found myself eating more chocolate, fast food and drinking more alcohol this week than in months... I had strange almost pregnant like cravings combined with the anger of Jack Nicholson..

Tomorrow I will kick the alcohol and go back to my coffee... but maybe only one cup a day... just so I never have to feel this shit again!

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Coffee Challenge: Day 1

Technically today I finished my vegetarian challenge and to be honest, aside from not having many options for my meals, it wasn't that difficult. Paul McCartney would be proud of me. It's even at the point where today I didn't bother eating meat, I just didn't feel the draw of it, so I went about my Tofu curry and bagels for sustenance.

I had planned to give up alcohol for the week, but then my ex-student Marc suggested that I should give up something I really love... coffee...

Let's put it this way - I am addicted to coffee... it feeds me and in some ways I can't live without it... in fact it shapes my day. I go to work and having had a coffee before I left. I get to work and have a coffee, then every break and gap I have one and make another ready for the start of the next class.

I'm not sure whether a good day would be classed as a day where I have a lot of coffee, or as few cups as possible, but I would say on a good day (few) I have 5 cups and on a bad day 8 or 9. In fact the other day I had so many cups that I couldn't stop my hand tapping on the board while I was writing.

So I've given it up, and I decided to not substitute it with tea cause it's still caffeine. It's the hardest thing I've ever given up so far and it's only day one. I didn't feel this bad when I gave up smoking and I used to smoke 40-50 a day. I have a headache from hell and I can't really concentrate. I found myself looking for coffee or sniffing at other peoples. I think the point to life is everything in moderation, but right now I have 6 more days to get through before I can taste this brown nectar again!  I predict tomorrow will see the shakes and more crashing. I feel like Bear Grylls on his greatest challenge. In fact I've decided to record a video of my crashing..

Oh and to make matters worse... on my first day I walked up to work on Oxford Street and Starbucks were having a discount day on all coffee and they were offering free lattes - this is the first time I have ever seen this! Oh and if you're wondering, I resisted the offer!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Vegetarian for a week...

Somehow this week I found myself going for an entire week without eating a single piece of meat or fish, which for me is a bit weird. I wasn't sure I was even doing it till about Thursday. At the start of the week I went shopping and I thought 'I know, I'll buy some Cheese, jam and porridge rather than my usual selection of Iberian hams and German sausage (I feel like making some crude sexual reference here, but seeing as I survived a week without meat I am an adult now) 

The problem is that I usually throw so much meat down my throat (I can almost hear the jokes about sexual contact with men coming from my more juvenile friends) that I found it difficult to think of what to eat. As you can see below from my 'healthy living' selection from Ireland of pies and sausage rolls there was bugger all on offer anywhere.
The only really tough day was Friday. I usually eat so much fucking takeaway that part of me being good to myself was to cut out Wasabi, Starbucks, Costa, Pret, Nero, Subway and every other fastfood joint on Oxford street where the people seemingly know me enough to use my first name and wave when I come in.

So without these options I realised two things. 1) I don't like Tofu, it's not chicken, it's more like cardboard that is soggy and 2) Vegetarians have shit choices... or they need to share their secrets.

The only benefits to being a vegetarian I found were making comments full of innuendos like 'I used to love packing back a lot of meat' and 'crikey, what I'd do for a Spanish sausage' along with trying to ruin other peoples more fun dinners by saying 'meat is murder'.

These 'perks' did not do it for me... but one thing... my body started to feel better... so... I've made a choice... I'm going to give up something I love doing each week to try living without it. It will only be non-essential things... so not water, air, mobile phone or money (sadly) but things like coffee, meat, be a vegan, alcohol. I would welcome your suggestions as to what I should give up...

Next week I'm back to meat and off the booze... this could be fucking hard...

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Birth of Troy Spiter

The other day I went to Starbucks to buy a coffee. As I ordered my medium cappuccino I reached into my pocket discovering, to my horror, that I had left my wallet in the school. Luckily one of my students was also in the cafe and offered to pay for me... a little embarrassing, but hey I am an English Teacher so I'm always happy to receive hand-outs.

The girl behind the counter asked for my name to which I responded 'Roy' - I said this as this is my name. I suddenly caught sight of what she had written and asked her to confirm. She showed me 'Troy' to which I chuckled. I love living in London, cause the amount of people from other countries who don't understand me always make me feel like I'm on a permanent holiday. Only the other day I had to try and communicate in Italian to ask whether the Burritos come in different sizes. I do not speak Italian, but a blend of Spanish, Portuguese and a few words I did know accompanied by a few mines seemed to do the trick.

So here I was confronted with the wrong name on the coffee cup and the girl behind the counter staring at me as to how to continue.  I decided to break the tension with a light comment:

"Troy, well that's ok, I mean it's an ancient civilization so that's cool, like Sparta"

In a moment of confusion the girl began to scribble on my cup again, but instead of Sparta she wrote Spiter... so when my name was called I had to respond to Troy Spiter, a man with a superhero porn star name.

The only thing that worries me is Spiter is quite close to Spit or Spitter, which I hope was not a call to arms for her colleagues to give me 'an extra shot' in the coffee of the man creating all the fuss about his name. Anyway, it tasted good, so who gives a fuck... plus now I have a new character to write a short story about.

Friday, 24 January 2014

'Sleeping' on the tube!

Sometimes on the tube it's bloody hard to get a seat, particularly when it's peak time and overcrowded, so one must, in my humble opinion, always make the most of it when the opportunity of another's arse leaving the chair arises.

So today I was at Earl's Court when the chance came my way. A man left his seated position and disembarked the tube. I moved with all the grace of an elephant with no co-ordination as I sprung into action. I took the seat and placed myself next to a man who appeared to be fast asleep and instantly took my phone out of my pocket and read some irrelevant news about something I wasn't really interested in. I did this as to avoid making contact with the other competitors who I had beaten to the prize, in fact during the whole 'taking' process I look straight down at the floor because any contact of eyes can mean my 'British politeness' kicks in and I have to forgo my challenge.

Now the other problem is the envy of others, and being a man I am often expected to give my seat up before a female. This is a lasting effect of sexual discrimination that has carried over from previous generations. In my opinion able-bodied females and males are equal in their ability to stand and therefore should both be expected to stand - you see... I believe in equality.

Now I looked at this man to my right and saw his eye open at every station to check where he was. The cheeky bugger was fake sleeping to make as to avoid the awkward glances from others who wished to accuse him of seat stealing. So I decided to join him.

I placed my phone in my pocket and closed my eyes. It is the second time I have fake-slept on the tube. The first is when I actually ended up falling asleep after closing my eyes and then woke up two stations after mine and arrived at work 25 minutes late. This time I promised it would not happen again so I would keep mentally active.

As I was reciting the Portuguese I remembered something happened. A pregnant woman got on the tube two stations after I started to fake sleep. To my horror I realised I was sat in the disabled seat you must give up for someone who needed it. To be honest I would have, and have many times in the past, given up my seat even if I wasn't in the 'special' seat. This time however it was an obligation.

I pretended to wake up, looked around, noticed the woman and said 'ohhh'. It was so fake that even I was cringing. I offered my seat and then stood up. All the other people on the tube looking at me in disgust as I slinked to the corner to avoid the glances. It was only as I vacated my seat though that I noticed a girl, about 10 years my junior, looking at me with a wry smile of victory sat in the opposite 'obligation' seat. Why was everyone staring at me to move? why not her who was younger? Is it because I'm a man, or because I was fake sleeping? I am happy to stand for anyone who needs it, but come on...

The moral of the story... I will never ever ever fake sleep again.. till next time, cause I look like a dick when I wake up and look straight at the person who wants to sit... there will be no Oscar for my this time.