Archive for May, 2011

Twitter, Lawsuits, Sooper-Dooper Injunctions!

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

So, this is my post on the furore regarding Twitter and the sportsman. I am no lawyer, a fairly obvious statement. I can only write about my opinions on the  matter. There are great blogs out there on law, my personal favourite is http://charonqc.wordpress.com/. Charon manages to make law matters interesting, amusing and, for laymen like me, understandable. Charon also references many other bloggers so that we can see a breadth of opinion…

Here goes! My first thought? What an absolute palaver! A sportsman ‘played away’, stunning news.  He may regret it deeply, many people have done stupid things in their lives and look back with shame. Others have done stupid things and don’t regret them at all, counting them as a life experience. Regardless of how he feels now, surely his actions since then are more telling. I don’t know all the circumstances but have read quite a few blogs on the matter. I don’t feel sorry for him or the ‘other woman’ in this regard. It doesn’t look as if she has covered herself in glory and I am very doubtful of her ‘I was used’ tears. She knew what she was doing at the time and there is a great lack of dignity (in my opinion) in trawling round the media talking about it. Publicity anyone?

Secondly, who cares? I really don’t care. I feel for the families involved, they are the ones who will be hurt and that is sad. For the rest of us, are we so obsessed with ‘celebrity’ that this would be important in our lives? I don’t think so. I understand why you would do it to protect any children but beyond that it must be a matter for the partners involved to either forgive or make a break and move on.

Next, this is only prolonging the story isn’t it? They used to say that today’s would be holding tomorrow’s fish and chips. This is no longer true, the internet and growth of gossip magazines means stories will be dusted off and reused for years after the event. The question is how you deal with it. When a story like this breaks, do you admit it and try to move on or do you try to protect yourself using the law. You can pick the latter but only if you have the money to spend on lawyers, plenty of money. Your potential problem is the human factor. People have been known to leak secrets, shock horror. This can happen for many reasons, malice, greed, a desire to buck the system or even simply because they can. Once the secret is out, it is very hard to put it back in the box. It is safe to say this has happened. We now hear the footballer is suing Twitter. That is his choice, I just think it isn’t the right one. If I am honest, I had already heard the name before it was tweeted, I can’t remember how but was likely from someone who had found it on the Internet. So, is Twitter to blame for taking something that was already there and recycling it? Assuming the angle for any lawsuit is that Twitter should have removed or blocked the tweeter in question is, to my mind, a wee bit daft. Block one account and twenty more will spring up.

I know there are plenty of people who use Twitter for extremely serious reasons, to build their business, to highlight their cause, to inform and educate. I use Twitter to promote this blog and it has been valuable to me as I gain and talk to new followers who very kindly read and retweet my blog – thank you all lovelies, LesleyAlmost sends you a big, fat *MWAH*.  The other side of my Twitter usage is like the majority of users, we like the craic. Twitter is a massive chatty-fest and the people can be relied on to make you laugh or cry. The majority of Tweeters I talk to are kind and supportive and will lift you after a bad day. I also find that Tweeters will take a wry look at life and will not take perceived censorship too well. The way to be talked about on Twitter is to try not to be talked about on Twitter. It is a social medium and they have changed the way the world works. If someone wants to speak on Twitter they will find a way and they will parody those who want to shut them down.

My final thought goes to those who would choose to sue Twitter, are you sure you really want to do this? Take a pause and think about it first…….

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

PS – I would like to thank Panovision101. He has copyright on the Sooper-Dooper. So my thanks to my fellow blogger on http://lastexittoreality.wordpress.com for allowing me my Sooper-Dooper Title!!!

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May 21, 2011 at 11:12 am 7 comments

Who Do You Want to Carry the Torch?

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

I was watching the BBC Breakfast News this morning and saw Lord Coe talking about the Olympics. Sport again from Lesley, I hear you say. Well, yes and no. Anyone who follows me on Twitter (@LesleyAlmost in case you are wondering) will know that I love sport. I have blogged about my love of football and am saving Rugby for the World Cup later this year. I am a huge fan of the Olympics and am checking my online accounts almost daily in the hope that I have been successful in getting the tickets I requested. I will be glued to the television when the Olympics are on, switching between rowing and cycling and archery and athletics and and and…..

However, today’s blog is not about the sport itself, it is about the carrying of the torch. I think it is a brilliant idea to take nominations  from the public for torch-bearers as the Olympic flame visits all areas of the United Kingdom. We all talk about inclusion these days, it is one of those buzz-words in danger of losing its meaning under the weight of all the business-speak that has crept into everyday use. I like inclusion, to me it implies welcome, building communities and society, the areas we may lose sight of in these harsh financial climes.

It is my hope that the London Games will be massive, I want them to be successful, fun and heartwarming. I know about the scandals in sport and the concerns on the inherent drug culture. I accept there are potential cheats out there but my optimistic (naive?) nature feels that most sportsmen are just that, sporting and honest. I love the pursuit of excellence, whether it be in business, the arts, charity, academia, sport and countless other fields If you strive for excellence, have the talent and that little slice of luck that means you succeed then I applaud you regardless of your field.

I also think the London Games Committee’s idea to ask for ‘locals’ to carry the torch in each region will generate its own buzz. How better to pull people into the experience than asking them to nominate/participate in that rite that builds the excitement to the opening ceremony and the Games themselves. It is a little touch of genius. So, I wonder, will you consider nominating someone for this honour? Will you get involved and feel a part of the whole experience? I love the idea of nominating young people for this. I am going to think seriously about this and talk to my children to see if they feel there is someone who would love the chance to take part. I hope you do too. Please check out the London Olympics site and have a look. It doesn’t matter if you are not UK based and won’t be nomimating. Look at the concept, think about how you could adapt this to something that is local and special to you…..

For reference, the link to the Carrying the Olympic Flame is – http://www.london2012.com/games/olympic-torch-relay/carrying-the-olympic-flame/. Is there someone you know would love the chance to take part?

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

May 18, 2011 at 10:48 pm 2 comments

It’s Back – The Agggggg-pprentice!

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

Oh yes, it has returned, the BBC Apprentice with Lord Sugar and his cohorts.  I am not sure yet whether to laugh or cry. I always say I am determined not to watch. If one programme needs a health warning for blood pressure spikes, then this is the one. I find it hard to put into words how irate I can become with some of the unfounded arrogance, the rudeness and the general idiocy of some of the people we end up watching. So you ask, why do you watch it?

Well, how else will I get to spike my blood pressure, shout at the television and laugh until I think I will choke without watching the Apprentice? And therein lies the rub as they say.

The problem with the Apprentice is exactly what makes it watchable. It is an entertainment show masquerading as a reality business show but we know it is for laughs, don’t we? It is the best and worst of ‘car-crash’ television. The best because we all get to shout ‘Don’t do that’, ‘Call yourself a salesman’, ‘What age are you lot, 3?’ and other favourite phrases. It is the worst because some people may believe that this is the way to ‘get on’ in business? I hope this isn’t the case but worry that there are some young folks out there who would regard some of the contestants as role models. Please don’t let this be the case….

So, what do I like about the Apprentice? I love a good laugh and you can’t deny that the programme will give you plenty of those. You also have to enjoy Nick and Karren show. I do miss Margaret, she had ‘the look’ down to a fine art but I have been very impressed with Ms Brady’s abilities to get to the heart of the numpty behaviour. My favourite moment from the last series was when Karren took some of the contestants to task after they rowed outside a shop. She berated them for their total lack of professionalism and maturity. They squirmed and they were right to squirm. I was so glad to see their childishness being addressed with a cool dose of common sense.

I also love the complete lack of organisation from those who regard themselves as the cream of business. I know that they live and work together in a hothouse environment where you can get carried away but sometimes it has more than a touch of the Keystone Kops about it. It beggars belief that all of these ‘brains’ can make such dumb decisions. However, isn’t that the reason we can tell ourselves that we could do better? And that is the last reason I love this show. It makes all of us feel better, we can believe that if we decided to got for it then we would be so much better. Unfortunately, I also assume that we would get caught up in the whirlwind of business-speak and nonsense and we would be as dumb as we perceive them all to be…..

That was the ‘good’, now what about the bad?

The first one is simple, bad manners. For a programme that tells us it focuses on professionals, we see rows, name-calling, speaking over each other, all-out nastiness and arrogance. Some of the behaviour I have seen has left me speechless and appalled. The after-show has the merit of showing the fired contestants some prime examples of this behaviour. I am glad when they have the good grace to be apologetic about this. I wonder if any of them learn that making yourself look good doesn’t mean that you have to make everyone else look bad but I really hope they do.

Then we have the language. Not swearing, I can take that. I mean the business-speak. Oh my word, what nonsense some of them speak. I work in business, I know the jargon and have had occasion to use it. However, it is not a competition (though it might be bulls**t bingo, go ahead and google that!) but some contestants can only speak in gobbledegook. Who do they think they are kidding? I get to the stage where I think ‘Oh bless’ when some of them speak complete tosh and look so proud of themselves. They really don’t have a clue sometimes.

So, to Sir Alan, I wish you the best. Your analysis of the team contestants tends to be on the money, you know what you want and what you want to achieve. I enjoy the madness, I sometimes wonder if you do, we wish you luck and hope that on your journey you will give 110%! Well, I couldn’t resist…..

PS! My favourite quote so far – ‘I am very sorry that I underestimated the manpower required to squeeze oranges’ – what can I say?

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

May 10, 2011 at 9:48 pm Leave a comment

My Home…

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

I wanted to post about my home, Northern Ireland; also known as Norn Iron. Just say that quickly and you have the beginnings of the accent. Alternatively, Jennifer Sanders is the key, when she does Norn Iron it is done right…

Back to the topic. Many things have been written about my home country and we all know there are reasons for this. We have taken the headlines for the worst of reasons over the years. I grew up through these headlines and confess many of my generation developed a strange ‘skin’ that eventually covered many of the shocked emotions that should arise from sudden and random violence. When the water-cooler conversation in an office starts with ‘The Europa was bombed again last night’ and follows with ‘Ah, they’ll be open again in a week’, you can tell that people have developed a certain sad immunity. Don’t get me wrong, when people were hurt and killed we were still shocked and saddened but life still had to go on with some normality. We went to work and lived our lives, what choice was there?

Then, in the late 90s we saw a change. There were ‘dialogues’, the word and actions were given gravitas and allowed small kernels of hope to build in my country. This culminated in the Good Friday Agreement of May 1998 where we began the process of bringing peace. Some thought this the end of the peace discussions, for myself I consider it the start, especially when we still had horrific events like the Omagh bombing that brought turmoil back. This was a blow to our hope, not the only one, we also saw riots on the infamous Garvaghy Road and the deaths of 3 young children when their house was petrol-bombed; all this added to the tension of these times. I have picked events here to reflect the actions of ‘both sides’ as I want everyone to understand that no-one was blameless at this time; I for one never forget that atrocities were committed byall  the violent factions.

However, these events were also pivotal in that the levels of disgust amongst the general population prompted the strongest desire for peace to build up; this momentum has allowed us to develop a more normal society where the disagreements are generally resolved via political discussion. We are not yet fully there, the last couple of years have seen awful events from those who believe that violence is the only way to fulfill their aims. What upsets me most about this is that my children have been sheltered from the news that I grew up with and their horror is all the more shocking to me. My happiness with our new and peaceful society was heightened by the fact that my children would have a different experience to mine, I still hope for that and will continue to support all those who will stop those who think violence is an answer. Violence is not the answer, I know this. Please bear in mind that my blog is my opinion and viewpoint on our history and current situation but I believe that my opinion reflects the hopes and desires of most of my countrymen.

So, why should we love Northern Ireland, why do I love Northern Ireland? I did one of my occasional twitter-polls to get some feedback from both locals and those who have visited this lovely place. I have included a few selections below:-

  • From the lovely piglet who has relatives here – Beautiful windswept beaches and fresh, bracing sea air.
  • From Jane, a visitor on the #Twelfast tweetup! Because the people are so wonderful and full of spirit and Belfast is a wonderful city to visit!
  • From Jacques – I love the accent on a lady, a lilting song. (This was a quote that was always going to be included!).
  • From Mel – People in Norn Iron are lovely and the scenery is pretty. Plus I experienced snow on a blue-sky day! My hosts said it was Irish snow.
  • From Andrew – I have never been but the people are pretty amazing if the ones I know are anything to go by. Andrew has great taste, needless to say….
  • From Iain – When we all arrived for #Twelfast, everyone from the taxi driver to folk in the bars was friendly and great fun. Loved it.
  • From the Fat Councillor – Belfast, food, the people. Epic place.
  • From Neill –Belfast #tweetup was the best weekend jolly ..EVER. everyone we met was a gem
  • From Elizabeth – Norn Iron folks are the most welcoming friendly people you will ever meet

So, my twitter-poll shows the loveliness. As for me, there are so many reasons I love this place and I will give you a few of my own:-

  • Bread! I am a carb girl and our choice of bread is rather spectacular. There aren’t many places where you get to choose between a Pan loaf, a Plain loaf, Veda, Wheaten Bread, Soda Bread, Potato Bread. Honest, these are all options in any corner shop.
  • Covered above but worth a mention are potatoes. They provide me with two things of loveliness, Tayto crisps, not only are the Cheese ‘n’ Onion scrummy but the rest of their flavours ain’t half bad. The other thing is champ. Champ is a local dish made with mashed potato into which you add milk, butter and scallions. Scallions are what many of you call spring onions but they are scallions to us. Try it, warm the milk, butter and scallions slowly and then add to smooth mash, you will find out what I mean
  • The people. There are so many things I could say about the people but I will keep it short. They are kind, warm, funny, bonkers and love to have a good time. Part of their good time is making sure others have a good time too. I know most of you will say this is true of your home too, I am sure this is the case but I like to state it for us.
  • The words. We have a wild and wonderful vocabulary that is descriptive and quite mad. A normal greeting will be ‘Bout ye’, the shortform of ‘What About Ye’, meaning ‘How are you?’. Then there are the hallions. Hallions is not a term of endearment, a hallion is someone who has irked you. However, I have one personal favourite that my poor father used a lot as his many children were growing up. When Dad said, ‘You are as lazy as shugh water’ you knew you were in trouble, you hadn’t done your chores. Then my mother would ask why we were standing there with our two arms the one length, you knew more chores were on their way.
  • The beauty. Northern Ireland is full of breath-taking scenery everywhere you go. All that rain we get does mean it stays green and lush but there is wild beauty in the coastal regions and mountains. If you want a look please check out the ‘Discover Northern Ireland’ website, just google and you will see.
  • A certain mad genius. Northern Ireland has produced it’s fair share of famous people but some have had a sad something which means that their genius becomes overshadowed by their weaknesses. The two best examples are George Best and Alex Hurricane Higgins, both amazing talents where the talent was lost to alcohol.
  • It is my home. We may be a slightly peculiar people living in our little bubble of Norn Iron but we are proud and happy to live here. The fact that so many of us stay or leave and return shows the hold it has over our hearts……

So, there we are, a little slice of Norn Iron, I hope you like it and remember, try the crisps!

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

May 4, 2011 at 11:18 pm 2 comments


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