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Read with benefits

Danielle Darrieux in the French film Lady Chat...

Danielle Darrieux in the French film Lady Chatterley’s Lover (L’Amant de Lady Chatterley) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have heard a lot said about ’50 Shades of Grey’, by E L James. Apparently its ‘soft porn‘ and one of the best books out there. Its flying off the shelves, and has led to an upsurge in Kindle sells. I now know who to blame if there is an upsurge in the Greenhouse effect! Just kidding!

We should be thanking the writer for getting our female friends or partners to get interested in reading again. I have since had more time to play FIFA12 on my PS3 since I bought, the Kindle and the complete set of the book!! Small price to pay for domestic bliss.

This book/set of books has also made me think – since our OHs are now pro-soft porn, surely they should not frown upon us men if and when we decide to watch the late-night soft-porn channels. After all what is good for the gander should be good for the goose! I shall try and test this new ‘enlightened’ world one of these nights and ‘accidentally’ turn the tv over to one of these hitherto ‘banned’ channels. I shall report back on the reaction. One thing I learnt in Chemistry when doing experiments is that you should always wear protection and be prepared for different outcomes. My ‘protection’ (ha-ha, not that type!) will be alcohol so I intend to be slightly inebriated so that I can blame it on the booze. I don’t plan to be too inebriated for I intend to utterly enjoy a positive reaction,if one is forthcoming.

Ever since the day I bought the books, I have been slowly and quietly counting down to the day that I shall receive my real ‘Thanks’. I do not intend to read the book, but like any good investor, I intend to reap the rewards. And on those special occasion(s) I get a return on my investment, I shall secretly be saying ‘thank you’ to E L James.

An update

I have read somewhere that a jealous boyfriend squirted his girlfriend with Ketchup because he was getting jealous of the time she spent with Mr. Grey. Sorry, I meant reading the novel! He is also alleged to have slapped her as well. We should not condone violence at all, for whatever reason. As for squirting the sauce, what a waste of ketchup? However, Mr Bounderby would have used baby oil instead! Not out of jealous! This tome, or ‘mommy porn,” as it is called now, has been a revolutionary revelation. Just looking at a cross-section of Facebook status updates, it is amazing how many women are saying ‘going to bed early’ to read ‘mommy porn’. Mr Bounderby is a very enlightened man, and will never look down upon people who decide to read. Reading is a joy. More people should engage in it. However, I think if we were to juxtapose that with Facebook updates (imaginary updates for the time being) from men stating: ‘I’m off to bed to read Playboy’ or Penthouse’, Hustler’ or even just to watch some late night ‘soft-porn TV‘ ; I bet there would be an outcry and some choice words would be thrown in the men’s direction too. Society is still somewhat uptight when openly talking about what the ‘majority’ consider ‘taboo’.

We should be glad though that ’50 Shades of Grey’ has somehow and unwittingly enlightened a lot of people. A significant proportion of the population anyway. Does anyone remember the hullabaloo that followed the publication of ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover‘? (D. H. Lawrence). The furore and obscenity trials in the USA, Canada,UK and Australia. Maybe we are living in more open times. Times that allow the proliferation of independent thoughts, ideas, divergent opinions, acceptance of diversity, acceptance of free speech etc. Perhaps society is slowly accepting that some of these taboos are a thing for History lectures. Or am I dreaming of some fantasy world? Judging by the reaction of that British gentleman above, and stories like the one below we are still struggling to cope with openness especially when it comes to the same ‘taboo’ subjects like ‘sex’. Feminists are all agog, saying books like ’50 Shades’ denigrate women, and Christian fundamentalists think they are heinous. I am not 100% sure what other religions’ fundamentalists would say or do if they see their women folk reading the book.

I have not read the book myself. However, I am glad the book has been written for it has given me some fodder for the blog. Apart from that, it has also made a lot of women buy and read books. It has also made society realise women actually like that type of written material and that they also do enjoy ‘sex’. Some have come out and confessed they had not read a book for years. Surely anything that makes people read should be welcome. I am certain the nation has benefited immensely. So have the men.

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Our wise Government ministers have decided to change the educational system. Again. For the umpteen time.

I assume the system is broke, otherwise if it ain’t broke why try to fix it. Is the system that bad? Or has education become another political plaything like the NHS?

I often wonder the system is really wrong or is it the political classes and leadership that screws it up all the time. Resources are stretched right now, and yet we want to overhaul the educational system. Wouldnt it be wiser to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the educational system, compare results with other countries with equivalent or even better educational systems then embark on a modification exercise. Regular  overhauling of the educational system will cause more harm than good. Members of parliament, the ministers and all the major parties should all be sitting together and coming up with one solution. Cheap political point-scoring may win you a vote; but it will harm our children. Plus cause problems for the country in years to come.

Our children need a good basis and environment that nurtures learning and it should be unrestrictive, meritocratic and encouraging.

Too many changes are unnecessary and will make it even harder for the teachers to impart the knowledge our children need.

Just a thought: ‘Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else.’ espousing the virtues of Utilitarianism, (Dickens).

Relationships are great. Loving someone, having someone special is great. People all over the world have either got someone they love. That specail someone, or they are seacrhing. Dating websites are 10-a-penny. They all promise to get you that ‘soul mate’. If ever there was any phrase that’s forever abused it is the phrase  ‘soul mate’.

Most people look for a shag-mate or a ‘friend with benefits’. Yes some seek love. But some seek that fling, that excitement they will get from knowing they are seeing someone else.

I digress.

My initial aim when I started writing this piece was to talk about relationships and the pros and cons. It is not easy to maintain a good loving relationship. Ups and downs are there everyday.  The most important thing is to ensure you keep the candle burning. People often take each other for granted and this is the main root cause of domestic strife. The ones who love you most, are the ones who also hurt you most. Keep fighting for the love.Dont give up on your partner, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend or significant other. Or OH. It is not plain sailing, but its interesting and is full of hope. The grass always looks greener outside. Its mere temptation. And its a mirage.

If the grass was that green outside your relationship, why is it there are millions of people who desperately want to have that someone they can share their lives with. Always remember.

Reading a title like that makes one wonder what the world is coming to? Venetian blinds? For what? Apparently they need shielding from the sun’s rays so they can get a good kip!! Tell that to the poor woman whose house they burgled.

I visited Peterhead Prison about 20 years back. I was part of a team to assess a prisoner for parole. So that’s as much as I can say on that.

However, when I heard the prison service was to erect or install these blinds, I was totally taken aback. I agree prisoners have to be humanely looked after. I agree they have got fundamental rights like every one else. And I also agree my tax should not be wasted  so we can accommodate pandering to the whims of the bureaucrats in Europe, and the criminals in our jails.

The Human Rights Act 1998, I believe was not introduced to suffocate the lives of European citizens. Prisoners deserve the protections afforded by the Act. All citizens do. This prison, for crying out loud is shutting down next year! Why is it so imprerative that crucial budgetary funds are so directed to these occupants of her Majesty’s Prison service. Funding is being cut right left and centre and the NHS are having to ration medication. What are our national priorities?

For some reason, prisoners are geting away with the proverbial. If and when a  child is naughty they have to suffer the punishment. Be it the naughty step or grounding. All depends with their age. Getting blinds fitted in prison to me is like saying to a little boy/girl you are naughty and go sit on the naughty step for 10minutes. But hang on, mom and daddy will bring  your TV (Showing your favourite Nickeledeon/Disney shows) so that you are not inhumanely  treated! No one is seeking the recreation of the gulags, or even an imitation of Guantanmo Bay. Prison aint a holiday camp. Neither is it a break from the norm. Its a correctional facility. A place where punishment should and must be served. In addition rehabilitation should be achieved.

Crime does not pay. Howsoever, liberal we want to be that is a fact. The Human Rights Act 1998 is essential. However, the Act does not ipso facto mean that prisoners should not be held accountable.Prisoners, like everyone else in society deserves respect. Prisons are there for a reason.

There is something rotten in the state of…South west London (Wimbledon, to be exact). Millions of pounds are being harvested from Wimbledon every year by the LTA. A good chunk of that is being invested in developing talent. But it doesn’t look like any talent is coming through to challenge in the top rankings. Reading the Boris Becker interview in the Guardian this afternoon made me think.

European countries pouring less money in development of junior players seem to be doing a better job than the LTA. This is no criticism of the LTA at all. The problems are deep and embedded in the social fabric. In the north-west part of England I am familiar of, I have never seen a single girl or boy carrying a tennis racket. The primary schools do not seem to encourage this sport. However, other sports like football, rugby league, gymnastics, netball and sprints are well catered for. Is tennis seen as an elitist sport? A southern sport? Or not a sport at all, but just a Wimbledon spectacle? Former Wimbledon Champion Becker’s view is that ‘Tennis is no doubt an elitist sport, it’s expensive; racquets are expensive, courts are expensive, a pair of tennis shoes is expensive. But it is fairly obvious that the LTA is not struggling for money and the question is: what should they be looking for?’ And where are they looking? I hasten to add.

A lot of work needs to be done otherwise the whole nation’s hopes will be on one Briton every year, Andy Murray. God Forbid the Scots decide to go independent!

Schools must be encouraged to provide for tennis training. The LTA should be helping schools promoting and encouraging this sport at grassroots level. More people need to be encouraged to coach and above all else funding should be provided for setting up of tennis courts. Preferably all-weather surfaces to counter the vagaries of the weather.

We need more players in the top 20. We should be looking forward to a Briton winning at Wimbledon. It is a sad indictment  of the state of British tennis with one of the most famous tournaments all over the world that Fred Perry is the last Brit to have lifted the trophy.

Even Sleeping Beauty woke up eventually from her slumber. Lets hope our tennis does; and not become another Dodo

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