Friday, 31 July 2009

What barbecue summer?

In April 2009, the Met office said that the UK was going to have a Barbecue Summer . After a mixed June, which had a fine and warm second half (There was an heatwave at the end of June, and a fine first two days of July, the month has been dreadful. There have been, since the 3rd of July, about five fine days. It has rained on the other twenty-two, most notably on the 3rd, 7th, (Torrential rain fell that evening), 17th, 21st, 26th and 29th.

What has been unusual about the character of the weather has been that it has mainly been dry during the night, and starts raining about 11am, and finishes around 4pm, then it clears again. However, it rained heavily on the 17th from noon to 8.30pm. It is forecast to be fine tomorrow, before more heavy rain sweeps in early on Saturday. Sunday is forecast to be dry, and then there will be more rain on Monday. I find though that it is an insult to have three consecutive very poor summers. I can't remember that happening before.

I also seem to remember in March 2007 the Met Office forecasting that the UK was in for a scorching summer. One that would be identical to, if not even better than, the hot, dry and sunny summer of 2006. What happened? After a fine first half of June, the second half was extremely wet, with record breaking falls on the 25th. Meadowhall shopping centre was flooded. Then July was the wettest since 1936 and the coolest since 1988, and also very dull. There was more widespread flooding. August 2007 had average temperatures but was the coolest, also since 1993.

The Met Office should stop giving long range forecasts and stick to making forecasts for the next three days or so. They know as much as we do with regards to what the weather will be like months in advance. They haven't learned though, as they are now claiming that August is going to be a wash-out. Given their prediction record, we can take it that August will be a hot, dry and sunny month.

Those who work at the Met Office should embark upon a new career. That of being politicians, because they are skilled at saying one thing and meaning the exact opposite.

There are three groups of people I wouldn't trust if my life depended on it. Politicians, Estate Agents, and now, Weather Forecasters.

Given how unpredictable the weather is here in the UK, it is no surprise that people go abroad to places such as Spain, Tenerife, Greece, Cyprus or Italy during the summer, where they are guaranteed hot, dry and settled weather. I didn't go abroad until September 2003.

When I was younger the places I went on holiday nearly every year were Rhyl, Bridlington, Blackpool or Skegness. I also went to Plymouth and Torquay when I was 3, and seem to remember going to Southport one year. My parents go abroad once every year now though, If you think about it, dodging the rain in Rhyll or Bridlington can cost as much as a week in enjoying the sun in Spain.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Change the flavour of food

Have you ever noticed that food which is healthy and good for you often tastes either unpleasant, or simply bland (Simply Red could have called themselves that!). In marked contrast, food which is bad for you, such as crisps and chocolate, taste nice. It's a pity they don't add flavourings to vegetables so they taste nicer. Perhaps if they did, more people would then eat them, and as a result, the heart attack and stroke rates in the UK would be reduced.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Some guys have all the luck....

Americans and Canadians use the term "Guys" to describe both men and women collectively. This phrase has gained popular usage within the UK since the advent of the Internet. I don't use it, just as I don't use cliches or metaphors when talking.

In life, you make your own luck, and some people have prospered by taking chances, or being risk-takers. I am pleased for anyone who has managed to be achievers or high-fliers if it hasn't been at the expense of anyone else, but you can't deny that some individuals appear to be blessed with more than their fair share of good fortune. Those in this category never or at least rarely struggle financially, are in continually good health, have happy marriages and a contented home life.

Conversely, there are people who never appear to get the breaks or opportunities in life, no matter what they do or how hard they try. Whether in employment, financially or in relationships, things never go right. There are also people who receive both good and bad luck at different stages of their lives. At times they get the chances, and opportunities. At other times they don't. Simultaneously, they receive both good and bad luck. Of course, it also depends whether you use the breaks you are given to your advantages. Some people can and do, others can't and don't.

If there was any justice, then nice people would have brilliant fortune in life, and horrid, obnoxious people would receive the fortune they deserve, but it doesn't work like that. This is one of the many reasons why I am an Atheist, and am not ashamed to admit it. In my opinion, there is no God or Devil.

Some people believe Autism and AS are genetic. If so, if my genes had been different at the time I was conceived, I could have been a Neuro-typical. I could have progressed very well in life and experienced no problems whatsover. However, as I wrote in my poem, I also could have been an alcoholic, or an heroin addict.

Other genetic influences that one can inherit are Cystic Fibrosis, Huntingdon's Disease, Marfan Syndrome and Polycystic kidney disease. I could have been physically disabled, if my "click-hip" hadn't been noticed when I was born. It was, and thankfully, I wasn't. My cousin, who got a University degree this year, her click hip wasn't noticed. She is now disabled.

When I was 19 months old, I had a massive fit which put me in hospital for eight days, and in which I turned blue in the face. This indicates lack of oxygen, but thankfully, I was brought out of it. If this fit had got worse, I could have been left a GLDer, due to lack of oxygen going to my brain. Fortunately, I am not.

So I think it is important for anyone of you to think that, just before you mock any Autistic or AS person, if these conditions are genetic, or anyone else with inborn, genetic conditions, that it could have been you if your genes had been shuffled differently. How would you have felt if other people were making fun of, ostracising or ignoring you then? It is so close isn't it?

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Aspie quiz

On Tuesday 14th July I participated in a quiz to determine whether (A), you have Asperger's Syndrome, (B) Are a Neuro-typical, and (C) If you have Dyslexia. There are many tests available on the Internet such as this. The problems with any multiple choice tests which have black or white, yes or no answers is that, in my case, my responses vary on where I am, and the mood that I am in.

For example, on some occasions I like listening to rock music, on others I am not in the mood for it. Some times I like listening to Indie. Other times I don't. There are some days when I like listening to classical music. Other times I don't. Sometimes I feel in a sociable, talkative mood. Other times I feel unsociable. One-third of the time, I like being in company. Two-thirds of it I don't. However, I don't change my views, nor do I change what and who I am to be popular. The simple reason is not that I don't want to, but that I can't.

I took the test anyway, and scored for Asperger's Syndrome 166 out of 200. The message which accompanied this information was "You are very likely an Aspie". No great surprise or shock there. For the Neuro-typical score, I obtained 42 out of 200. No shock with that score, because I am not a Neuro-typical. For the Dyslexia test, I got 1 out of 20. The answer was "It is very unlikely that you have Dyslexia". That wasn't earth shattering news either, because I don't have Dyslexia.
Here is the test....

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

In retrospect, the past is so funny

Comedians often make fun of the fashions, music styles and TV programmes of 20, 30 or 40 years ago. They probably didn't laugh at the time. We think we are sophisticated and advanced now. In 20, 30 or 40 years time, comedians will be making jokes about the fashions, music styles and TV programmes of 2009, but, I suppose if you don't laugh at life, you will go mad.

Monday, 13 July 2009

The family don't really matter

Have you ever noticed when anybody in the public eye has done anything wrong or being involved in a scandal say with regards to press attention, "You have no idea what effect you are having on my family?", but if they cared or thought about their family so much, they wouldn't have committed the offence or behaved in such a fashion to attract attention in the first place! That is often their shield against what they have done. Like celebrities having affairs and then posing with their wife and kids or other family members, all wearing sickly false grins on their faces. If it's not working, it's not working.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Brain stimulation

Your brain is a muscle in life. You either use it or lose it, and I find that the more you exercise it, the sharper it gets and the more it develops. My brain has to be fed, in that it needs mental stimulation and requires the acquisition of information. If I was in a job doing something that didn't interest me, my brain would merely wonder and I would lose interest and motivation to do the job well.

When something interests me, my brain comes alive, and I focus. However, whilst my brain requires daily stimulation, it also becomes mentally overloaded if there is too much going on at once for it, or if it receives too much stimulation. So, to be keep my brain happily, I moderately mentally stimulate it. Each and every day.

Friday, 10 July 2009

How to stop being vain and bitter

I no longer compare myself to other people. I used to do, but I realise it is pointless, because it will only make myself either vain or bitter, as there are people more gifted and talented than me, and there are people who I am more gifted and talented than. What other people do and don't do is a matter for them.

For example, Charlie, (A name I have just plucked up from nowhere) is brilliant at English, and Albert (Another name I have plucked up from nowhere) can hardly hardly write, but Albert may be very good at DIY whereas Charlie can't even change a light bulb. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. If you usually look and find, everybody is gifted at something, whether it is at English, Math, History, Science, DIY, Sport, IT, Music, being imaginative and creative, Art, singing or dancing, or in other spheres. There are Autistic savants such as Stephen Wiltshire, who had a mental age of six but the ability to reproduce likenesses of famous London landmarks from memory. It is true that some people find their niches in lives and others don't.

Monday, 6 July 2009

It is hypocritical, I swear

They say that you shouldn't swear in front of women and children. I find that to be a noble principle. However, it is not a practical one, because I have often heard women and children effing and blinding like it is going out of fashion. So if they eff and blind to such a level, why should you show restraint yourself?

Don't get me wrong, I am not a compulsive swearer. I feel when you are, it reduces the emphasis on the occasions when you do need to swear. However, if I were to drop an hammer on my foot, or cut myself by accident, or get stuck in a traffic jam, I wouldn't say "Dearie me" or "Oh Gosh, I wish I hadn't done that". Swearing is justified in the right situation and time.

Friday, 3 July 2009

The relevance of Dead people who could have been Aspies

I have read in the newspapers and on the Internet, in the years which have passed since my diagnosis, that many dead famous people from the past may have had Asperger's Syndrome, as it could retrospectively explain their behaviour and conduct, which would have undoubtedly appeared to have been strange and baffling at the time to those who knew them, as it can appear strange and baffling today, to those who are unaware of the condition, or refuse to learn about it.
This is the wikipedia URL for famous people suspected to have been Autistic (Or have had AS)
Suspected famous Aspies I have frequently heard of are......

Alan Turing
Albert Einstein
Bobby Fischer
Andy Warhol
Enoch Powell

Glenn Gould
Isaac Newton
Peter Sellers
Syd Barrett

all of the above individuals are dead, and therefore we can never know for sure whether they had AS or not. The only way to know for definite is either go back in a time machine and bring them here to the present day, which is impossible as a time machine hasn't been invented yet. Another way is to hold a seance! Picture it now as a front page newspaper headline:


Speculating on dead celebrities who could have had Asperger's Syndrome can be entertaining. However, wouldn't it be better, more useful, and more practical if Autism societies, professionals and the media expressed the need of improving life and services for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome who are alive at the present, rather than focusing on the possibility of Asperger's Syndrome in famous people who mostly died many years ago?

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Everything's changing...

I've been told recently by one or two people who have known me for many years that I have "changed". I hope that I have. I would hate to think I am still the same as when I was 12 years old.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Glastonbury and cost

I have never been to the Glastonbury rock festival, but when watching Sunday nights concert on TV, I wish I had been there. Madness were very good. I enjoyed watching them. I also felt that though relatively getting on, the Quo turned in an enjoyable life performance, and the recently reformed Blur were excellent. I would, if I ever got the chance, watch both Blur and Madness live. They have each turned out some very memorable tunes in their respective eras.

Reading the newspaper on Monday, some people have complained about the cost of the BBC covering the Glastonbury concert being £1.5 million pounds. Maybe this is excessive. Perhaps the BBC could have done it cheaper. Earlier on this blog, I wrote that Jonathan Ross gets paid too much.

However, I don't think those Dinosaurs making these criticisms would have been as so vehement if exactly the same amount of expenditure had been used to cover archaic events such as the Trooping of the colour or the state opening of parliament. At least, I found the Glastonbury concert last Sunday to be entertaining. I don't find the trooping of the colour or the state opening of parliament to be one jot entertaining.