Posted by: madkentdragon | March 12, 2016

To a Grandson or Daughter from a Silver Surfer


From A Silver Surfer


Dear Grandson,

I know you giggle when you see me peer a little closer to the computer screen and my finger hovers a little too long over a button.

Be patient with me, you see you grew up with these wonderful things, learned them at school and probably played games on a computer before you were old enough to go to school.

When I went to school all I had was pen or pencil and paper, we didn’t have computers, Xboxes, mobile phones that seem to do so much and neither did we have computers.

I remember buying a calculator for your father and his brothers and watching them play about with them – making the word “ESSO” and other words which were a bit naughty when they turned them upside down.

I think your Dad and Uncles were about 11 or 12 when the first ZX computer came in and then they had an Atari – but this was more of a games machine. When they started work, they soon learned to use a computer; but when I started work we only had an adding machine that you cranked with a handle on the side – oh and a typewriter that didn’t have a spell checker!

So when you see me poking at the keyboard with one finger, remember I am learning what you knew from a very young age, in fact my generation have seen the world change a lot and it takes time to get used to it.

But, dear Grandson, remember this – your generation are using wonderful machines that were invented by clever people from my generation who only used pen and paper!




Posted by: madkentdragon | January 16, 2016

No Fixed Date for Easter

I read with mounting incredulity that Easter is to be a fixed date and I found I had to write this:

I don’t often write about religion as I find it is so easily mis-read and misunderstood, but this trying to fix a date for Easter is so wrong. This will turn it back into the pagan festival that it is named after Eastre (which gives us Oestrogen) with the obvious fertility symbols we all know and love – the Easter Egg and the Easter Bunny.

According to the Bible, Easter is linked to the Passover, with Jesus as the ultimate Passover Lamb of God and should therefore be linked to this date. Why it was ever moved many years ago, I don’t know – but wonder if there was an anti-Semitism bias to it.

Please reinstate Easter in accordance with the Bible.

Posted by: madkentdragon | December 10, 2015

Make Of This What You Will …

Make of this what you will – it’s personal but may help others. No it’s nothing to do with my heart – am starting to get impatient over that – but what will be will be. Although as I’m on Warfarin, it’s a no Brussels Christmas – something to do with vitamin K so I’m told.

I have just donated over 500 books to a local charity – yes 500!

Why? Well I’ve finally realised that I don’t need them, it’s taken me 13 years to realise that.

It all started when I moved in with my now ex-husband, you see I brought my books with me in a little old fashioned book case. Within a year he had given it away, wasn’t sure why then – but I’ve come to the conclusion it was because it took my attention from him; he just about managed not to get too jealous about the babies, but books and magazines were definitely out. Newspapers were allowed, but he had to read it first.

As time progressed, I learned how to cope – you put the book down as soon as he walked into the room and sighed when he realised you had a few and they got sold at the local boot fair.

Yes, you’ve guessed it – when I ventured out into the world by myself, I started buying and reading books, lots of books and I couldn’t bear to part with them. A friend gave me a pile of Mills & Boon and I didn’t mind giving them away because my taste was mysteries and detective stories and did I enjoy reading them!

But something’s changed – make of it what you will – I’ve just given every tome away, well I’ve kept the one that my son James wrote and the one that’s got a short story written by me, a small book of poetry and my Bible; oh and the couple I’ve just bought. I promise I won’t keep them.

You see, this was an act of defiance which is now pointless – who do I have to prove anything to? I’m content with my life – well apart from my heart – so I’m just going to be me, hope you will be too.

Posted by: madkentdragon | October 31, 2015

The Ultimate Discrimination

So women have still got to pay a tax for being a normal functioning woman with VAT added to sanitary products (tampons etc.) but men don’t have to pay VAT on razors – but even there, there is a discrimination within a discrimination – change the colour to pink and as a woman you pay more!

This is the governments – past and present – breaking its own laws; it is, after all, illegal to discriminate against a woman for being a woman; and this is what is happening here.

I don’t want this made a party political thing – because to be honest none of the three main parties have done anything about this when in power, and it’s time it was made a free vote so that a woman’s human right to be a normal functioning woman is not penalised by this discrimination and voted on freely.

Come on you women’s rights groups, why haven’t you taken this to the European Court of Human Rights?

Of course, the other alternative is for every young woman to have a hysterectomy so that they don’t need these products –  a loss of that VAT? But this extreme method would mean no children to continue this country – even China have recognised this is a problem.

So come on government stop this discrimination!

Posted by: madkentdragon | October 26, 2015

Welcome To the Workhouse in the 21st Century

So the government want to reduce working tax credits for the “hard working poor” – sorry, weren’t they meant to be supporting them?

Shame they’re taking this money away before the new national living (ha ha) wage comes in, isn’t it?

So dear government:

You want to get people off benefits? Well come down from your ivory tower and consider this – what will happen when a large number of these workers decide to have their hours cut to under 16 hours a week – you know they can claim more then – don’t you?

Then the employers will have to look for more workers – but most will be too frightened that they won’t be able to manage so they will look to eastern Europe and employ them, they will probably get housing benefit as well and then they can claim child benefit for the children they have left with their mothers in eastern Europe. A bonus for them!

So now we have loads more Brits on the dole or working less hours and claiming benefits and housing benefits and school dinners as well as paying out monies for the new set of employees, housing benefit and child benefits – doesn’t add up does it?

Those who try to brave it out, well what if they don’t need the free child minders that you’ve promised (won’t they cost a lot?), will they get help with school meals, rent and council tax?

Sorry, you millionaires at the top who cannot see those you have turned your noses up at, you need to go to Spec Savers because you are going to see rickets and malnutrition and families out on the street as they can’t afford either the rents you laugh at nor the mortgages that you praise.

If you want to save money, look at the winter fuel allowance; the means test is already there – Council Tax Rebate is a fair one don’t you think?

If not – when will you be rebuilding the work houses – oh wait, when you have finally destabilised the NHS you can use the hospitals as a substitute.

Hello, my name’s OLIVER TWIST!

Posted by: madkentdragon | September 27, 2015

Discrimination or Political Correctness?

A man is injured at work and is rushed into the local casualty department wearing a boiler suit, a nurse takes one look at him and asks him to come with her to a more secluded area in casualty in case his boiler suit offends the unemployed/non-boiler suit wearing persons in the department.

Am I talking a load of rubbish? Well, No!

Substitute that boiler suit for the work uniform of the RAF and that is exactly what happened – how attitudes change!

The man who had been injured at work and was taken to the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate; previously there had been problems with an “altercation” between a soldier and a member of the public there, but no one has told us whether they knew each other or what it was about. In fact, as the nearest barracks to Margate is in Canterbury, I would presume that this “altercation” was more about the man than the uniform.

However, in the work uniform that he had worn in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, this airman with burns to his eyes had to be moved! Political Correctness, Discrimination or plain ignorance? You decide.

But I will point out that it was not long ago that multitudes lined the streets in Royal Wootton Bassett, or in Oxfordshire to pay tribute to those who had lost their lives in that very same uniform.

In the year that we are remembering the Battle of Britain, have we learned nothing from Kipling’s days?

‘I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint of beer, /The publican ‘e ups and sez, “We serve no red-coats here.” /The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fir to die, /I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I: /O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, ‘a’ “Tommy, go away”; /But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play – /The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play. /O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play. ‘I went into a theatre as sober as could be, /They gave a drunk civilian room but ‘adn’t none for me; /They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls, /But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! They’ll shove me in the stalls! /For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”; /But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide – /The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide, /O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide…’You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all, /We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational. /Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face /The Widow’s uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace. /For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!” /But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot; /An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please; /An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!’


Posted by: madkentdragon | August 1, 2015

Finally, The Government Recognizes Operation Stack!

Wow! This Government has finally opened its eyes and recognized that we have a problem on the M20 in Kent.

I’ll be honest here, as it’s been going on since 1988, it’s all governments who failed to recognize we have a problem!

In the beginning Kent was the Garden of England, but then successive governments changed it into the through road of England, quickly followed by the fast train track of England!

I know that we have so many people and lorries and cars all wanting to get out and about and for most of the year our motorways and A-roads cope. But what happens when they don’t?

It only takes a strike over in Calais and there are no ferries – and the French strike frequently! Farmers blockade the port, ferry workers, port workers – even French lorry drivers have gone on strike and blockaded the port of Calais.

All British Governments have ignored this problem – local MPs have shouted themselves hoarse, but it was all in vain! In the first 20 years of Operation Stack was implemented 74 times!

OK, some of these were for bad weather, but most were because of industrial action, but no government has ever helped; Kent County Council have had to fund the police action and other costs from the council tax.

The modern phenomenon of the refugees/immigrants has made this problem so much worse and, combined with the My Ferry Link redundancies causing more problems, operation stack has been implemented so often that it is known locally as Operation Stuck – and there’s still no answer!

Highways England have refused to implement a contra-flow on the London bound carriage way – it has been used successfully before – but as yet they have not come up with another solution. Remember, the Motorways are not the responsibility of the County Council, even though they have to fund the fall out policing etc. If operation stack was on the M25 would they be so slow to sort it out?

What about the lorry drivers’ rest time? How can they, when they are sat waiting on this stretch of road which could move forward a few yards every 20 minutes or so? Come on Highways England – you are compounding tachograph crime!

One last point, whether the people in Calais are illegal immigrants or refugees, what happens to the under 18 unaccompanied minors? They are not taken into care in France or Italy – or if they are, not many of them – there are over 500 taken into care this year alone – all in Kent, all in the care of Kent Services – and these and the 100 or so each year since this problem started are all looked after and funded again by KCC with no government help!

This is not a local problem, there are national and international consequences with transport and other concerns, now you’ve woken up Government, help the people of Kent who are doing your job for you – and paying for it, now – not sometime in the future!


Posted by: madkentdragon | June 20, 2015

Don’t Put Her Down

I’m not talking about carrying someone here, but the art of some people to belittle or put someone down.

I help Silver Surfers get the confidence to get on line, surf the net, send emails etc. As I’m not a qualified teacher, I do this voluntarily – it’s as good for me to be useful as it is for them to learn.

Many elderly ladies come along, sometimes with hubby in tow, and manage to learn quite easily – often hubby joins in as well and we laugh at the mistakes together, and sometimes I find I learn something new as well.

I had one lady come to see me and I quietly thought of her as an air-head – how wrong I turned out to be. She was totally lacking in confidence and would poke at the computer as if it was a wild animal that was going to bite her.

It took several weeks to get her confident enough to start writing emails, but as “homework” I had challenged her to send me one during the week. Well she did and I congratulated her on her achievement.

She gave me a beautiful smile and what she said next actually made me want to scream! She sat at her husband’s computer, I had set her up her own account on it, and her husband and son with grandchildren who were visiting all stood round her laughing at her, saying she would never do it.

I would have loved to see their faces when I replied saying well done! This made me even more determined to teach her, and now she was over the first hurdle, she progressed slowly but surely.

Her husband then decided that she couldn’t use his machine, so she asked all who would normally give her presents to give her cash instead and put it towards a laptop of her own, which she brought down to me to set up.

There was no keeping this woman down and at her last lesson, she came to me with a grin on her face, I had shown her the local Streetlife web site and the previous evening, she had complained that the local drycleaners was closing down to be replaced by yet another takeaway.

Her family were so amazed that she was now telling them things that they didn’t know that they actually admitted to her that they never thought she would do it.

As I said to her “My work is done” – so don’t put her down, encourage them, you never know when you may need them to help you.


Posted by: madkentdragon | May 28, 2015

When Life Throws You Lemons

Now let’s get this into perspective, I’m 67, overweight with COPD & Diabetes. Oh, yes, last September (2014) I gave up smoking and was over the moon when I could walk up a steep incline to my local shop without stopping – in fact I was so thrilled that I rang my kids to tell them!

So when I started puffing & panting, I thought I wasn’t clearing my lungs completely and that my heart was echoing through the junk in my lungs.

I went for my regular appointments with both my nurses, Helen who deals with my lungs and Cherry who deals with my diabetes; the girl who made the appointments sort of messed it up & I had to leave Helen to see Cherry after I’d only seen Helen for a couple of minutes – no time for anything to be discussed as both appointments had been booked for the same time!

Anyway, I arrived in Cherry’s room and the first thing she did was slap the blood pressure cuff on – first it didn’t work – so we made the usual zombie or ghost cracks, but then it all went pie shaped – my pulse rate was 127 beats per minute!

With both Helen & Cherry & then a GP dancing attendance on me, an ECG was performed which seemed to indicate that I have atrial fibrillation but I had to have more tests.

I left complete with Warfarin and some other tablets in a taxi – my head was spinning, the anguished cry from Cherry about it not being fair after I’d managed to give up smoking echoing in my ears and I sat at my table and cried – at that moment, I could have definitely done with a cigarette!

I had originally started this as a whinge fest, but that’s not me; I’m no one special, but I’m a fighter; so I went to all the appointments for tests and eventually came out the other end sitting in front of a cardiologist who told me that I have atrial fibrillation and gave me a prescription for yet more pills and told me he would write to the surgery.

The wonky beat of my heart is not life threatening but is a bit life limiting; walking up hills will have to be taken one step at a time – ha ha! But with the use of a friendly taxi service, I’m getting there. I know taxis are quite expensive, but as I can’t use the ancient one’s bus pass before 9.30 am, and most appointments are early – a taxi door to door for £3 each way is justifiable when the bus fare plus a walk both ends is £2 each way.

As many know, I have been helping silver surfers get on the net and have the confidence to email and basically surf the wonderful world of the computerised window shopping; this hasn’t stopped – it can’t when you have finally got someone who poked at a computer with one finger – a bit like poking a wild animal – now emails and has just identified where she wants to go on holiday next; but she has to get hubby’s agreement over that!

Now we’re opening an internet café – nothing fancy, it’s in the local youth club and will only be open a couple of mornings a week to start with – and I’ve more and more students wanting to come along – yippee.

Yes, I’ll take it easy, but I’m not going to sit and wait for another part of my body to break – that way madness lies – but life goes on and if you want to live it, you go on with it.

Thanks for reading this and remember when life throws you lemons, grab them and make a lemon meringue pie. x


Posted by: madkentdragon | May 9, 2015

2015 Results

Well, the polls certainly got that wrong didn’t they? Have often wondered who or what or where they question people and if those people actually say what they think you want them to say. 

To me it wasn’t really surprising, the Lib-Dem result was the only real shock – I knew that they would lose seats, but that was more than expected – why? 

OK, let’s go back to 2010 – this was the first election that I really had time to take time to study it all as I had just retired. Firstly was this new “kid on the block” – Nick Clegg, a great orator (perhaps he could now go on the public speakers’ circuit), there he stood on his little molehill promising free tuition and it worked, suddenly there were a lot more Lib-Dem MPs in the house. 

However, when the opportunity to help prop up the Tories in government, Nick grabbed it with both hands! Bye-bye free tuition fees, it’s so different being a party of protest in the House to being in power. 

The shoes are so much bigger and it’s not your hand they want to hold, it’s your shoulders they want to climb on to get their policies through. Yes, you did raise tax thresholds and other good deeds, but it wasn’t in your name, was it? 

And the bright yellow colour you were proud to sport has slowly faded and has turned to a “lighter shade of pale”, so now you’ve got to go and regroup, why would they trust you again, the stain from those student fees will take a long time to eradicate. 

Then there’s Labour, sorry Ed, you are probably a great and intelligent man – but your publicists let you down, badly! Too many photo opportunities went wrong, sometimes it seemed as if you were badly briefed and there were two spectres leaning over your shoulder.

One was the bank melt down and Liam Byrne’s stupid note – he’s certainly kept a low profile since then – and the second was the SNP. 

Nicola Sturgeon vowing to back you and get Cameron out certainly did you no favours, Ed. It was every Englishman’s worst nightmare that this lady, who would not have even been sitting in the House, would have been standing on Ed’s shoulders directing more money over the border whilst our belts were tightened yet another notch. No free prescriptions and university fees south of the border, so why should we vote for Labour and let the SNP take more money to keep this going north of the border? Would we revisit verse 6 of the National Anthem? 

So you see, it wasn’t that we didn’t like you, Ed; we were just more frightened of the SNP, austerity as it is, is bad enough; but we couldn’t and wouldn’t discriminate against the rest of the UK to favour one part. 

I’m no political pundit and I’m a bit of a floating voter, but my thoughts were we’ve chosen the best of a bad bunch of options in the hope that “things can only get better”




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