Saturday, 12 March 2011

Japan the Devastation

Dedicated to my FB friend Yuko Nakamura who is living through this and to other ex colleagues and friends who will be affected by this disaster.

The photographs are the property of Yuko and with her permission, I am using them in my blog to illustrate how this earthquake is affecting the lives of "normal" people like you and me. Its so easy in this age of hi tech that we live in, to watch devastation take place and be de-sensitised to it. Through Yukos pictures I want to show you how it really is.

Dai - a fellow survivor of the earthquake
Haruko another survivor
Yuko keeps birds and it was touching to see her photos of Dai and Haruko as fellow survivors, a relief as well because lets not forget that not only do we suffer at the fate of natural disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan but the animals suffer too.

The newspapers reported the disaster and when we look at pictures such as this, its easy to be shocked but not actually FEEL the impact of what has happened.

People stranded, the transport systems which Japan rely upon are brought to a standstill.

Yuko has water, she has to get it from downstairs but at least she has access to fresh water, she considers herself lucky.

This photo really aroused me, before the earthquake, it was a plant pot. The impact of the earthquake is such that this looks as though it has been smashed with a hammer.

Here is an extract from Yukos note on FB......

I'm OK, managed to get some pure water though not enough. I still have no water supply in my area and have another problem now. It's highly likely that the electricity supply will be cut off in a couple of hours' time. If I can't come on Fb for a while, please don't worry, I won't be able to use my PC then. My relatives in the north are still missing and I've been desparately looking for them. Sorry that I'm running out of time as I have to get the latest information regarding the electricity and water supply, as well as the security and where-about of my uncles and aunts who live in Miyagi Prefecture.

PS: The damage in the north was much worse than expected. The number of the dead will be over 1000, the media keeps reporting. My area had a bit of damage but seems to be OK."

This picture of Yuko's sky really touched my heart the most, out of all of the pictures she shared. Why? because her words are few, the picture is simple, it could be anywhere in the world but to me it says "thank you for my life, I am glad that I survived"

Let all our thoughts and prayers be with those in Japan right now.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Killing for Company - Bolton March 2011

Greg Jones singer for Killing for Company

Killing for Company are a rock band from South Wales. The lead singer, Greg Jones has the most amazing vocals ever and their debut album "Lost Art of Deception" which has not been officially released yet, in my opinion is the BEST album of the year.

The band have a strong personal relationship with each other and this comes through on stage to make an electric performance. They always have time for a smile or a wink and thoroughly enjoy performing.

Sound Check at the Railway, Bolton
Killing for Company Merch
Die So Fluid - the Band Killing for Company were supporting
the lads in action!
The most amazing thing about the band is that they are the most down to earth, polite and considerate bunch of guys. This has got them a loyal following which is growing and growing in numbers. I have made some brilliant friends through the Dukes Army and its awesome to be able to meet up with them at gigs.

The last time I saw the band play was at the Alarms Gathering in Pontins but the sound system was appalling. Credit to them though, despite the bad sound system they still generated alot of interest!

The Railway venue was a small intimate place, must have been the smallest gig venue I have been to in my life. Memories of the Gathering still fresh in our minds, we were sure that the sound system would fail but no worries there, it was amazing.

The lads sang their hearts out and performed with a real passion. No microphone chewing for Greg today although I was quite concerned at one point when he started to wrap the cable around his head.... I felt sure I was going to have to leap on stage to cut the wire off and to give mouth to mouth!!!

Sadly, only six songs but its all about quality and not quantity.

Brilliant band - cannot wait to see them in Birmingham on 3rd May for their first headline date.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Hot No Cross Buns

Seeing as how my boys love tea cakes and hot cross buns, I decided to have a go at making them today. Oh what a disaster! I didn't have any strong flour in my cupboard so I improvised with gluten free wholemeal bread flour....... bad choice!!

They tasted so bad they went directly into the green bin.

However I will not give up, I will purchase the proper flour and try again.

I wasn't putting a cross on them because there was no way I was going to make shortcrust pastry just to decorate them. However, my friend who is a baker told me to just mix flour and water together in a paste and pipe the crosses on..................... hmmmmm might still give that a miss.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Why oh Why?? Diets

While the children were on their half term break I couldn't be as active as usual, plus I fell off the diet wagon with a resounding bump.

Having been back on track since Thursday, eating lots but eating healthy stuff so no pastries, cakes, biscuits and the like I am feeling so much better. My tummy is not bloated anymore, I am feeling more energetic. So this raises the question....... why, oh why do I fall off the wagon so easily when I know I am going to be suffering. Crazy!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


Pickles and Wilbur
Pickles is such a worry! She recently had an operation to remove a lump from her chest. It was only a small lump and luckily, the result of the biopsy showed that it was not cancer just a fatty lump.

The other day I found that the glands under her neck were swollen. This was the first sign of lymphoma for my first dog, my beloved Bobbi. You can imagine how worried I was!
I took her to see our vet this morning and he confirmed that the glands are raised but is 99% certain that it is nothing more than a minor infection. If the glands are still up after a week, I must take her back and he will take a sample for investigation.

She is such a stressy dog and a worrier.... had she been more chilled and relaxed Owen would have taken a sample then and there but we are just getting signs of improvement when she visits the vets he doesn't want to upset her especially if its for nothing.
She is such a lovely little dog with bags of personality. As I type, the cheeky monkey is cleaning her beard on my sofa! Why do you think we opted for a leather sofa!!
 We had a lovely walk in the woods today though. It was nippy but you could definately tell that spring was in the air. Wilbur is such an action dog, always on the alert as you can tell by his picture above.

We were late getting to Cola tonight and when we got there, he was the last one to come it. Disaster! He was sweating all over and so excitable he even barged the electric fence and got a shock for his troubles.

I was really worried, we don't have a sweat rug so we improvised and used his fly sheet instead. Jason is taking Joe to his brass band practice so he is going to stop off on the way to remove it and make sure he is fine.