Confused, you will be

I can be easily confused and moving to a new house may be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Wondering why? Let me explain: The lounge is going to be my temporary bedroom, but will then become a dining room and a music room (well Mary’s piano will be in it.) Our dining room, which is actually a kitchen/diner is going to become our lounge at one end and stay a kitchen at the other. Just as well, I don’t fancy Mary trying to cook food on the sofa or fry an egg on a coffee table, “extra soft-boiled eggs anyone?”. One of the bedrooms is going to be an upstairs sitting room (it has sea views). The garage will become a lift room, and also a computer room (my bedroom will be too small for my computer after the lift access is added). Don’t worry I haven’t returned to the 1960’s with room sized computers, I just mean my PC will be in that room.

Just imagine the confusion all this changing around will cause. The car won’t know where it is, we may well find it in the kitchen one day or sitting on the sofa reading a paper. Herbie rides again, here we come. I might lose Mary completely. Just imagine, Mary might say, “lunch is ready,” I will be sitting in my wheelchair in what was once the dining room, while Mary and my rapidly cooling lunch is somewhere else entirely. Or picture what could happen if a visitor calls around for coffee. Mary says, “take a seat in the lounge”, they glance around, decide on the appropriate room. Mary makes the drinks and starts searching. The drinks could be cold before they are found. Years could pass before we find our visitor covered in cobwebs and dust.

I’m thinking of labelling the house East Wing and West Wing; is that too ostentatious? At least that way we could say, “meet me in the West Wing lounge.” I’m making our house sound far larger and grander than it is. As I said to the butler the other day, “if I write this blog people will think we live in a mansion.” He laughed and said, “just wait till I tell that to the 2nd under maid.” I just wish we could find enough footmen for house. The gardeners are always complaining that 100 acres is too much for them to manage alone. We really have a very ordinary house.

A note for my readers from the US of A. We no longer live in Somerset, so this obviously isn’t true. It’s only true of every Brit who lives in that county, as is shown in every American Movie. The people of the south live in mansions. We now live Up North, and I wear a whippet and take a flat cap for a walk.

Anyway, I must go, the maid wants to set the fire in this room.

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Good Morning

Good morning from sunny Hartlepool, don’t check your weather forecasts, they are not always accurate. Besides, it was sunny, when we arrived. Hartlepool greeted us at the border, yes when we were getting our Southern passports stamped, with glorious sunshine. Actually on the subject of borders Teesside is a funny place. It technically doesn’t exist; by which I mean you never reach a sign that says you are entering Teesside. But you do get signs that tell you have many miles away it is. I wonder if it’s like a rainbow and if you find it there’s a pot of gold?

The county we live in is actually called Cleveland, unless you are entering the address on some systems, then it’s Durham. Anyway, back to arriving on Teesside, I mean in Hartlepool. The effort of that display of sunshine was a bit much and by lunchtime a few drop of rain made an appearance. But I maintain that is merely because we were in the car at The Headland waiting on the house keys. As an aside, The Headland has really changed since we were last here. Verrills Chip shop has an ice cream parlour at the side. What else are you expecting? The rain knew that we were staying in the car, had it seen us exit the car it would have stopped immediately. Because the moment the keys were available, mid-afternoon and we headed to our new house, the sun popped its head out again. Which was good as it meant we were dry and warm when our lovely new neighbours came out to say hello. God has blessed us with wonderful neighbours, just as he did in Wellington.

Now about the elephant in the room. A few of the comments on my previous brief post, suggested that it is cold up here. I don’t know what they mean, it is June after all. Let me make this absolutely clear for the naysayers: We did not go to the house the day after we owned it in a howling gale and heavy rain. Mary certainly did not struggle to stand up as she went around the back of our house to check on the plants. The plants were not huddling together shouting, “why did you bring us here? We’re southern plants, not hardy northerners.” Plus, we have not been glad of the heat being on full in the hotel. So, any thought of the cold up here is totally wrong. Besides, weather is up and down anywhere. The odd drop of temperature in June can happen in the south too. The forecast is for a balmy 17 degrees centigrade tomorrow. I might even take a layer off; I was finding the furs a bit heavy and I never liked smearing whale blubber over my skin. Actually, from our experience living here 11 years ago, this is unusual for June. I remember days in summer I could take my coat off. Not for later in the year though. But we do have a warm house to shelter in.

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Take Two

There seem to be so many re-runs I’ve decided now is the time to join in. Not because it saves on creativity; that’s why everyone else does it. No, my reason is that most of you have never been in my basement; metaphorically that is. You have not trawled my archives, looked through the back issues, read my history, asked about my past. To be honest I’m a bit hurt; don’t you care about me? But I will forgive you if you read this.

The following series of blogs carry a Government health warning:

Don’t operate heavy machinery while reading them.’

I feel that I must add that warning as one of my carers was reading one of my blogs while walking along the road; she walked into a lamp post. Just imagine what would have happened if she had been operating heavy machinery; it doesn’t bear thinking about. If you are wondering which post she was reading it was: “Not so public convenience.” Actually that blog should carry it’s own warning. In fact I think it does. My blogs are at: just in case you want to see why she walked into a lamp post.

Don’t expect a copy and paste of archived blogs. If you want them as they were, you’d still need to read the unadulterated version. These will be adulterated; that sounds as if I will be doing something illegal! In fact I’m not. These will be the all new, singing and dancing versions with added commentary. After all, I know what happened when I posted them. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but reading back into events with added commentary is even better.

For example, when I posted about elves in Amazon devices and how Amazon were going to take me to court and prove elves could not get into their Echo devices. It was only afterwards that I can look back at the spirited defence mounted on my behalf. Looking at those generous hearted comments, we can laugh at the folly of one person saying: “I don’t know much about elves.” When I pointed out it was a farce. Or appreciate the tongue in cheek fun of those who continued the serious debate about the rights and wrongs of Amazon suing me over the alleged elf infestation. All matters relating to the legal issues arising must be referred to my solicitors: Ms Ery Guts at May, Hew, Makemoney & Partners, 1 Gold Row, London.

Let me not tell you too much before I give you the first re-run. There are those who wonder at the picture I use of myself on the Website and its tag line “Shall we get dressed now?” What better place to start than at the beginning and don’t worry I will avoid singing any Sound of Music songs as we Start at The Very Beginning, a very good place to start.

My first ever blog was:

“Shall we get in the bath now?”

“OK, shall we get in the bath now.” This was said by one of the two young ladies who were preparing my bath at a nursing home.

In case you’re wondering, and I know you are, nursing homes only have a couple of nurses at most. The rest of the carers are the same as in a standard care home. The two young ladies mentioned above were carers, not nurses. I don’t need two nurses to bath me. Although that does take me back to when I was 28 years old (The full story is in the blog “Ambulance Transport.”) I was in hospital with a severe electrical burn. Only one arm was working. A nurse, yes it was a nurse this time took me into the bathroom for a bath. She said; “shall we get undressed now?” I was too shocked and embarrassed to notice at the time. I just said I could manage fine.

Anyway back to the original blog. These two young ladies are probably tapping their feet by know waiting for an answer, much like you. So let’s hear my reply:

“Is there room for all three of us?” I asked innocently.

Can I just make an aside here. Yes, another one. There have been those who have suggested my comment may not have been innocent. I assure you, it was. After all, she did ask if we could all have a bath. The bath looked too small to me; perhaps I was wrong.

I had noticed over the previous few days that “we” was used by carers a lot. I guess it was to be encouraging or they just hadn’t thought of it. But once I zoned in on it, I realised that carers were asking to join me in the bath, in the shower and even in bed “shall we get into bed now?”.

Now you are just adding your own interpretations here. They only wanted to get into bed with me.

They were wanting to eat my food, wear my clothes, although I think my clothes may have been a little baggy on them, get into the sling before me and even sit in my wheelchair! “Shall we get into the wheelchair?” I suggested they might be heavy on my knee. There were a couple of them looked light enough.

When I got home from the nursing home, I was so focused on it I noticed my carers at home similarly wanted to eat my lunch “shall we eat now?” This seemed a little mean, I only have small portions; yes I’m big boned. Of course, once I pointed it out, they started to catch themselves saying ‘we’. 

The one that inspired the name of my site is, “shall we get dressed now?” Is probably the most common and one I have to bite my tongue not to respond to the most. Having pointed it out, one of my regular carers has become so aware of this that she will occasionally joke “We! Are going to get dressed now.” Waiting for my eyebrows to raise and then we both have a good laugh.

I had never noticed she was undressed either.

Then again it can be two ways. I’ve become much more aware of saying to Mary on her return, “We’ve tidied up.” Taking credit for the carers work. 

Language is such a funny thing; we say things without meaning to and of course it’s so easy to distort meaning. But it’s also important to be aware of what we are saying and why.

Since I wrote this blog it has had the biggest effect of all my blogs. It has been read world-wide and by a lot of people in the caring professions. I’m not boasting; just telling you how wonderful I am. Oh I see, I am boasting. A tutor at a teaching college in the USA contacted me after reading it and asked if I would mind her making some of my blog’s part of their course reading material; it’s a course teaching about Continuing Health Care. Of course, I said no, how dare you use my material for such a worthy purpose. OK, so I was honoured as this was the reason, I started writing the blog. I’m still waiting to be flown out first class as a visiting speaker. If you are reading this, I’m ready to go, bags are packed.

If you have carers or you are a carer, take note of that ‘We’ it is still used so much. I do realise why it’s used. The idea is to help people feel comfortable and included; it’s meant to be friendly. But I think you’ll agree that it sounds far too inclusive and far too friendly. Anyway shall ‘we’ finish this blog now?

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So Long, Farewell

To anyone who has not seen The Sound of Music, the title of this blog will be lost on you. Let me give you a fuller part of the song:

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night
I hate to go and leave this pretty sight
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu
So long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen

You can almost hear me singing it. What a treat. I was chatting to someone at the Creech Shed Cafe the other day. Having heard me speak online via YouTube during a Creech Baptist Church meeting, she can now hear my voice whenever she reads my blogs; poor lady. Perhaps you are with her in that, or you are now going to rush to YouTube (see below) and try and find that talk, just to hear me speak. Is that tumbleweed passing down Wellington High Street? I have been told that I have a very distinctive voice. There was somebody who used to say, “Hello Mike,” whenever I answered the phone. Perhaps I need to stop answering the phone, “Mike speaking.”

The reason for this blog, as I always have a reason, is to say goodbye to Wellington. Put those tissues away. Stop! Don’t jump off that cliff; life is still worth living. There is life after Mike. It may be a greyer and…. wait a minute, you don’t have to lose touch at all. I may be a million miles away, all the way up in the North East of England, but I will still share with you all. No, you had not got rid of me. I am still here by the wonders of social media.

We are moving to Hartlepool. I know, I also asked where it was when I was offered a job up there back in 2005. You all have no excuse; it has been in the news so much recently. But for anyone still puzzled; it’s in England. More specific than that?! OK, it is to the right of Durham and just below Newcastle. But whatever you do, don’t say that their accent is Jordy. They may sound the same to an untrained ear, but not to them.

Just like Scotland you can get your Mars bar deep fried in a chip shop there; why you would want to… The stotty buns, baps to me, are as big as dinner plates. My mum and her whole family come from the North East so it feels very cosy and warm; not literally of course, going back up there. On the subject of heat, when I first went up there in Winter 2005, I got out of the car, the North East wind slapped me round the chops and I got back in. I wouldn’t have minded so much but I hadn’t even been introduced to the wind; most rude of it.

Mind you, the local lads and lasses are obviously made of much stronger stuff than me. When I used to drive through the town centre to pick our sons up from the train station at night, we passed the Town centre clubs. All the lads and lasses were stood out in the icy winter winds in their summer wear. In fact, what they wore would be a bit chilly on a beach in Lanzarote. But they all looked happy enough.

Our new house is a beach front property. Given its location in Hartlepool, we will spend more time looking out at the impressive skies and waves. I am looking forward to writing while looking at the drama of it all. Best of all the house is accessible to start with and being made more so. We are moving from a house I can barely move in, to a home I will be able to fully access. I won’t know myself. Literally, I won’t know myself. I will see a bloke in the bathroom mirror and think; who’s that?

You may think I write for my own amusement a lot of people would miss me. Wait, I always tell people grammar is so important. Let me try that sentence again. You may think, “I write for my own amusement.” A lot of people would. Miss me? Language is so confusing. Someone on one of the disability sites said, that they were hanging around naked, instead of standing up transferring from their bed to their wheelchair. Wait bare and weight bear, confusing, eh?

So, my starting farewell, is really just a cheerio. I will be practicing extreme social distancing via my writing.

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If you want to hear me speak, in the flesh so to speak:

(I start speaking about 53 minutes into the meeting.)



Hello, My Lovely

The phone rings and a pleasant female voice says cheerily: “Hello, my lovely, how are you this evening?” Either you have developed an amazing, magnetic personality, or they are trying to sell you something. I know which I plumped for. I was wrong, she was trying to sell me something:

“Have you got an electric and gas smart meter, my lovely?”

My response:

“What has that got to do with you?”

I can be as sharp as a new pin. My granny used to say I might hurt myself. But the lady on the phone had an answer, not a good one. It was obviously outside her script; it must be listed under ‘reply to all other questions.’

She said:

“I have a job my lovely, so I have to ask.”

What did I do:

1/ Say, “that’s OK my lovely, how can I help you?”

2/ Ask how she was doing?

3/ Lead her around the houses with a long chat?

4/ Hang up?

Anyone who said no.4 is right. Normally I just hang up when people say what company they are from and I don’t recognise it. She caught me out with such a strange question; I had to throw a question back first.

I know many of you will say, it’s just her job she was doing; don’t be rude by hanging up. But my answer to that is: I never asked her to phone, yes, it’s her job, but not a good one. Why should that company cold call people pressurising them to change energy company? Even if you think they have a right to do that; why use such underhand tactics? After all her opening question about smart meters was irrelevant. She was only asking about that to get a conversation going. Whether I had a smart meter or not was not her real question. What she wanted to know was, would I change to her utility company. I have deliberately missed the company name off this blog. There are many others that use this technique.

Then there are also many companies that employ people to actually lie on the phone. Companies that phone you and say: “I am calling about your accident Mr Nevin.” What accident, when? Or “This is Microsoft Technical and we have monitored a fault on your PC.” No, you haven’t. I hang up on all of these. I am not here to be lied to or cheated or robbed. I have no time to spend arguing with them; I just hang up. Now many companies like these use automated messages. There are also a whole new raft of automated phone messages giving dire warnings, that sound so real. Amazon, HMRC, etc. You just need to hang up.

Obviously, it’s up to you, you can have a long and fruitless conversation about your utilities, double glazing, insulation, solar panels or whatever; but I find it easier to just hang up and block the number. With the automated phone calls, unless it’s your GP surgery, or similar, telling you about an appointment; hang up. Even if it was genuine sounding, I would hold back on pressing on numbers, unless you are absolutely sure it is genuine.

As for the manned phone calls, feeling sorry for the person phoning, might just lead to you buying what you don’t need. They are not beyond emotional manipulation, after all what is all this, “hello lovely,” about, more and more of my cold calls start that way. They are trying to make you feel special, so that you are open to their sales patter. OK, my lovely?  

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Quick, Quick, Slow

In days of yore, when Blu-Ray was first invented. Actually, was it around in ‘days of yore’? Anyway, it was a long time ago, because I still had use of my legs. You’ve distracted me now, oh yes, Blu-Ray was newly invented, they took forever to start-up. I would turn it on, wait, not started yet, so I went upstairs to get something. Still not started, so I’d hoover around; I know, I was amazing. Then check the Blu-Ray, no, still not started, so I’d do a bit of washing up. I’m really a one off you know. Then back into the front room; cup of tea in hand. I’d made that after washing up; is my halo glowing? At last, the Blu-Ray symbol was coming onto the TV.

All this took my mind back to those early days of television; that I heard about from my great grandparents. Switching it on and waiting, the hum of valves warming up; so, I’m told. That exciting moment when we… they saw a dot of light appear in the centre of the screen and wavy lines formed on the screen. Then slowly, very slowly, oh so very slowly, a picture appeared. Black and white of course. Ah, those were the days; not days you would want back of course.

It all gets me wondering about the way things work. I will not fall into the trap of suggesting that elves have anything to do with the internal workings of televisions or Blu-Rays. I got myself in enough trouble suggesting that elves were messing around in Amazon Alexa devices. Once bitten and all that. Besides, I know that elves don’t like televisions or Blu-ray devices. Now if we were talking about fairies…

The real reason that things have become faster is technology of course. Faster processors, better operators, I mean operating systems. There are no little creatures inside pressing buttons. That’s all very last century. Now it’s all voice activated, biometric etc. You can’t have just any creature running your high-tech equipment; they would mess things up unless they were highly trained.

Why do you think Apple called their company after an apple? Steve Wozniak noticed every time he left an apple on his work bench overnight, in the morning a bite was missing. He mentioned that to Steve Jobs and the rest is history. I don’t need to explain why Raspberry Pi named their computers that. I do, oh, well they found that their OS’s would only work when fed Raspberry Pies. So, they came up with name. What are OS’s? Well, they are obviously not Operater Sprites, that would be silly.

You really are running off on a tangent. I wanted to talk about the rapid development in the Blu-Ray. What’s Blu-Ray old man, did you say? Are you suggesting that all disk technology, except maybe UHD is defunct? Well, I won’t admit to having a VCR in that case. If you think discs are old, you will not think much of tape. I have it for historical research and because I am waiting for the re-emergence of video tape. Just like vinyl records; it will come back. Purists will one day say: “You cannot experience video, unless you see it in poor definition, complete with lines and dots. It’s the fuzziness that makes it real.” My VCR will be worth a fortune and all those old video tapes you threw away will be like gold dust. Won’t you be kicking yourself then?

Look you’ve got me off on a tangent again. Rapid technological development. It’s all so fast I can hardly see it. One minute you have time to make a cup of tea while your TV starts, next minute your TV makes you a cup of tea; whatever next? A TV that you speak to? Oh, we already have that.

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The Wrong 50%

Have you noticed that percentages are broken? Today it was noted by the BBC weather app that there was a 43% chance of rain. I am looking out at the rain hammering down; I know the garden needs it. But my point is what happened to that 57% chance of no rain?

You see whenever I see a percentage about rain I think: “The BBC weather app is going to be right.” I believe it more than my own eyes. If I look at the app and it says 4% chance of rain, then I look out and there are a few drops of rain, I think: “I’m safe from rain, no coat needed.” After all, percentages are there for our protection and safety, I absolutely believe in them. If there is 94% chance it is going to be dry that is a certainty as far as I’m concerned. So when they are wrong; there is a big problem.

In fact, and here is my reason for the blog, even 50% is half/half. We should be able to go out safely with a 50% chance of rain. You are in doubt? Let me lay out the proof for you: If I had 100 chocolate treats and I gave 50 to you, then I put 50 around the room, you have half of my chocolate treats. Are you still with me, or have you started to salivate and head off to buy chocolates? Concentrate, this is important. I don’t just make things up you know. If I then said: “What are the chances of you finding those other 50 chocolate treats?” what would your answer be? Pretty good, eh? I think you’ll all agree with me that if you have half already, finding the other half, hidden around my room would be a cinch. I wouldn’t hide them in difficult places. Don’t you just marvel at my mathematical genius? I bet you wish I had been your maths teacher? Yes, I would have given out sweet treats and healthy treats too. OK, so the BBC weather app says 50% chance of rain, I have just convincingly demonstrated, I think, that this means there is little chance of rain. How come then, that on a day when there is only 43% chance of rain, I am looking out at rain? Percentages are broken.

I don’t wish to continue blinding you all with my mathematical genius. As an aside, I failed maths at school. They were unable to see my natural abilities. The way I see it I was too advanced for them. Back to the sweet’s theory, I think.

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And if you must speak…

We have been practising our significant looks; this is going to be interesting to get over in writing. Have you noticed how so many people give you a look that means so much? That raised eyebrow, the lowered lip, the half-smile, both eyebrows up and mouth wide, pursed lips, sideways glance, licked lips etc. Some are really obvious, but others leave me clueless.

Greg and John on MasterChef; what you hadn’t realised we watch that? They are always giving each other very strange looks. But what do they mean? After a contestant has just shared their cooking passion, does their look mean: “No passion there.” or “Wow! I have never heard such passion.” or “Are you hungry too John?” or “Get off my toe.” or “Do I look good in this top?” Are we even meant to understand their look? Or is it just a teaser to frustrate us?

The trouble with significant looks is they can get you in trouble. I remember as a child one teacher looking at me expectant of an answer to his question? As if I should know what his look meant. What am I; a mind reader? Then, when I replied, “Are you alright?” For some inexplicable reason he considered that cheek, worthy of a trip to the headmaster. Why didn’t he just say; “Where is your homework?” That way at least my trip to the headmaster would have been justified. It wasn’t my fault that he looked at me as if he was in pain; nothing was ever my fault in my youth. Ah, those were the days.

The purpose of this blog is not to talk about my childhood or to find better excuses for lost homework; because obviously it was lost and not forgotten. I wanted to point out how much facial expressions are essential to human communication. I am sure that anyone who has looked at the profile picture I use for my ‘’ blog immediately realise it is an expression of shock/surprise. Mary thinks it makes me look stupid; but I am sure none of you think that? You do! I need to change it immediately. Another case of Mary being right. I have noticed that woman have an alarming tendency of often, I won’t say always, being right. I put it down to the fact that us men are far too practical and straightforward to bother with little details like getting things right all the time. For us, it is far more important to feel we are right, rather than actually being right.

There are a lot of women whose expressions I think I would fully understand at the moment; justification, long-suffering, disgust, horror, well you know what you’re feeling. Any men reading this have that shocked look on their faces; disbelief, betrayal, well hang on a second, before you jump to any conclusions. I am not saying that we men are actually wrong; we just know when it’s best to say that women are right. Now what do those facial expressions mean?

I am off course messing around, as usual. Although, no doubt, I will get some serious responses. My blogs are meant to explore ideas in a light hearted way. Are there a few raised eyebrows out there? Cross looks and pursed lips? Oh well, hopefully there are also a few smiles.

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Call Thames Valley

Watching ‘Call the Midwife’, yes I look away a lot. Not sure why I watch it really. I have realised that the writers were very clever. If they had called it ‘Nurse Jennifer’, then it would have ceased to make sense very quickly. By being broad they have enabled lots of changing characters. I noticed that they are even calling the voice over, which is Jennifer in her old age, or was, the voice of wisdom. The credits still say it’s Nurse Jennifer, it’s the reviewers who say its the voice of wisdom.


It got me thinking, if they had named ‘Morse’, ‘Call Thames Valley’, they need not have started a new series named ‘Lewis’. Just think how convenient that would have been. None of this explaining how Morse’s slow side-kick became a detective genius. Plus, they could have just carried on with detective Hathaway or any other likely person the public took a shine to. They really missed a trick there.


Of course, Agatha Christie understood, she called her ‘Poirot’ mysteries things like ‘The mysterious affair at Styles’. But ITV tripped up by calling their TV series ‘Poirot’, they left themselves no wiggle room to carry on after Poirot’s death. Just think, we could have had Hastings suddenly becoming a detective genius or Miss Lemon getting out from behind her desk and showing her sleuthing skills. Instead after Poirot’s death; the series ended. Not even a chance for Chief Inspector Japp to prove he wasn’t a hapless idiot and take over where Poirot left off.


What about Miss Marple? Her nephew was just waiting in the wings. That’s not even counting her various maids. She must have imparted so much knowledge to them; they can’t have just done the cleaning, surely. If only they had called it, ‘The St Mary Mead Mysteries’, who knows what delights we could have had. ‘Midsomer Murders’ knew what they were about, although strangely they still stuck with the Barnaby family; even though they had complete freedom. Poor old Troy, he could have shown his true colours.


I know what I shall do when I write a murder mystery. Actually, I have no plans to write one. I don’t know that I would even write a drama. I’m not sure why I watch them. Part way through, when I am holding back the tears; big boys don’t cry of course, I think: “why am I watching this?” That’s a good point, why do we put ourselves through dramas? I guess it’s cathartic; gets all those feelings of angst out. Plus, I suppose there is that feeling of relief we get that our life is not that bad. Is there also a bit of nosiness, people watching? Drama is always so popular though. Perhaps I need to re-think. My mind is fertile with ideas; no doubt one with come to full term soon. I am really watching far too much ‘Call the Midwife.’ Push!


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To Infinity and Beyond

I love the Buzz Lightyear’s call in Toy Story, “To infinity and beyond.” But what can be beyond infinity? Isn’t infinity by its very nature, unending? If I said that I was going to live forever; then you couldn’t ask me what will happen after that. There would be no, “after that”. As somebody said, “forever is a very long time.” Now that’s not true, is it? Forever, isn’t a time at all. Forever, is another way of saying infinite.


If you limit something, time, space, this blog; then it is not infinite. I can here you cheering that this blog isn’t infinite.


It used to be that people saw the universe as infinite. Then some clever scientists came up with the idea that space might be looped/bent back on itself in a doughnut shape; tasty. Actually, I am being deliberately difficult; not like me at all. Science has many opinions on whether the universe is infinite or not. Many of them state something like: ‘The Universe’ is made up of all the ‘matter’ thrown out by the ‘Big bang’ so it can only be as big as the furthest it has reached/expanded since ‘The big bang.’ Umm, fair enough. But I think us non-scientific folk, include all the ‘emptiness’ that this ‘matter’ is expanding into, when we talk about ‘The Universe.’ I think what most people mean by ‘The Universe’ is everything ‘out there’, not just the bit that matter has reached so far. After all, what we really mean when we say, is the Universe infinite? Is this: “Is there an end point out there? If it were physically possible for me to fly straight out at limitless speed, would I come to a wall, or an edge; would I go around in a circle and end up back where I started?” Really, we are like those first explorers who set out across the oceans asking: “Will I fall off the edge?” Fortunately, we don’t have cartographers, writing: “Here there be dragons,” on the edges of the map of the Universe. We leave that to the Sci-Fi writers. My map of the Universe has this written at the edges, “here there be ET.”


The incredible thing about the universe is the balance of it all. The perfect way in which forces operate. Gravity, light, heat, all the different types of radiation. The way these forces have shaped and enabled the complexity of the universe and the very life we live. Many scientists have become and remain Christians on the basis of the what they have discovered and observed.


Those scientists who look at the universe and see random chance, remind me of those who would look at an iPad and say: “What an amazing thing, look how time and random chemical and physical reactions can produce really useful technology.” Of course, Apple might take exception to that viewpoint. Would anyone seriously argue that an iPad could come about randomly, even given millions of years for it to happen? Yet it is argued that a much more complex thing, a biological cell containing DNA (1 gram of DNA contains 215 million gigabytes of information), that’s much more data than contained in an iPad, came about by random chance. I find it as hard to believe that life in all its complexity is a chance accident. After all, would you think that your, house, phone, iPad, car, PC, office building, the infrastructure of our country or anything else man made came about by chance?


I have heard it suggested that an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of type writers could produce the works of Shakespeare. What utter rubbish; that could only work if it were monitored and every time the first few words of Shakespeare were randomly produced it was saved to one side. Then we wait for the next bit, a few million years later, add that etc. An intelligent brain would need to be involved. The reason such absurd suggestions are made is because they cannot be tested. I’ll make a challenge, a really easy one. This is not for something complex like Shakespeare or an iPad or a biological cell. Find me an Ikea white ceramic plate that has been randomly formed by chance anywhere in the known universe. With Ikea printed on it. Not the whole works of Shakespeare. Just a simple white plate, circular. If complex things can come about by chance, so can this. Think about it for a moment is it any more likely that life in all its complexity would spring spontaneously into life than a plate appears spontaneously? After all we only think life makes sense and is a natural thing to happen because it is here; we live it. But what is there about chemistry and physics that would make you see life as any more a natural progression than a plate, an iPad, a robot, a sock? I don’t see the logic beyond one very obvious reason; it is an explanation of this: ‘How did we come into existence?’ We know how iPad’s, socks, plates etc. came about, intelligent beings created them; us, well not me personally, but humans. But we fail to grasp that the much greater complexity of human life could possibly be by intelligent design. How ignorant and silly of me to suggest such a thing.


When science is able to create a single cell organism out of the chemicals that they say it sprang from spontaneously; I will take their argument seriously. I am not talking about taking things containing DNA and splicing them. I can build Lego models from blocks intelligently designed by others. I am talking of the base chemicals only. For those who don’t know, that cannot be done. There is no evidence to back the theory.


Don’t see me as anti-science; I am not. Science at its best is an exploration and understanding of the Universe God gave us. It enables us to harness the physical world, fight disease, and make life easier. At its worst it can destroy and contaminate. I am pro the best in science.


Well, it’s been a while since I last watched Toy Story. Maybe it’s time to strap on that firework and roller skate and shout: “To infinity and beyond.”


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