Black Friday….or next Friday hopefully

Another fine tradition!

Yesterday across America and increasingly more areas of the world many families gathered around their dining table and shared a meal in thanksgiving for what they had received for the previous year, health, food, love etc etc.

But no it is not that tradition that has worked its way across the pond to our small rock here in the North Sea. But today this normal Friday that has become known as ‘Black Friday’.

Yes that’s right this sad day does not celebrate, any mass loss of life in a war or natural disaster, it does not commemorate a fallen hero. No this day can trace its origins back to the 1960’s  where every body heads out on mass to do one thing and one thing only, SHOP.

That’s right the day after the whole of America celebrates the things they have. They then queue outside department stores eager to get the latest thing they haven’t got for a knock down price. Woe betide anyone else in their way, they will trample over the fallen, shove the weak out of their way and manhandle the smaller to one side so they can ensure they have what they want.

Over this side of the pond we don’t…. is the right word ‘celebrate’. please don’t say it is, Black Friday on the same day. Ours is the last Friday before Christmas, that is the only difference. I have mentioned before about our consumerist society. Such a nice word isn’t it, consumerist. Another phrase we could use instead is ‘greedy’ or ‘I want’. But oh no that might offend someone, or be against their rights. Well prepare to be offended. Not by words but as the saying goes ‘one picture speaks a thousand words’. So here is two!

One picture shows our ‘consumerist society trying not to offend anyone hands out grabbing something they desperately want.

We will call it BLACK FRIDAY

The second picture,

well lets just call it ‘Probably won’t be alive next Friday’

Awww look at that the same stretched out hands, the same needey look in their eyes, that look on their faces saying they would ‘literaly die if they don’t get it, the clamouring in the background, the sad dissapointment of those that couldn’t get what they wanted. And the same goes for the second photo!

Hope you all have a really nice Christmas and get what it is you ‘want’.

Jamie

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Not being picky or anything …But!

image

Is it a bird..? Is it a plane?…no it’s……….

 

I do enjoy a good film sadly I can only watch it once and enjoy it for what it is meant for.

The following times, I will than continually scan every scene for mistakes and pointlessness. Sometimes I can spot the mistakes straight away ‘Twilight’ for example I could see the mistake while it was still on the shelf unopened. Others take a little more time. Some are continuity

mistakes in one shot they might be wearing a blue jumper and two seconds later wearing a black one. But those are boring. The opening quote is from the original Superman, the obvious mistake here is why were the first two people so excited to see a bird and a plane?

 

I do get geeky sometimes when it comes to technical details in some films. The latest Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, for example. When Mendel uses the garage phone to help Peter, while he is in the circus. The fluorescent tubes in the background were of a kind not made until the end of the 90’s. While I am in no doubt this does not distract from the originality of the story, or the pain staking time taken to ensure that everything is from the early 1970’s. It just brings a smile to my face to be able to spot a mistake like that.

 

I also enjoy finding those little mistakes in books. (I know I must be fun to live with). While films, TV series, books are generally pure fiction and mistakes have no adverse effects, apart from on my sanity. J. K. Rowling mentioned she ended up keeping extensive archives on all her characters to ensure that over the seven books she didn’t make mistakes. Even though in the very beginning of the first one she did make a little mistake that rendered the whole of the third book a mistake. I will let you go and find it, if not ask me nicely and I might let you in on it.

 

The same is to be said for supermarket shelving labels. The internet is awash with pictures of Bananas labelled up as broccoli, and such things. But to me it is the innocent mistakes that make me tick. In my local boots all the baby creams and Calpol etc are right next to the birth control, I don’t know if this was on purpose or not but the humour of it tickles me.

Now my biggest problem is spotting mistakes in grammar and spelling, before you get to read this the above text is full of red and green underlining squiggly lines reminding me of my inability to remember anything my English teachers tried to teach me. The little paper clip on the screen has thrown in the towel and left. When at school I was able to hide my bad spelling with my even worse writing but in today’s age everything is typed and on view for all to see. Never mind I am sure that people have better things to do than spend ages looking for mistakes in my work.

 

Now it Friday night my eldest daughter has offered to put the little ones to bed, so its film night for me and my wife. Lets see how many mistakes we can spot in tonight’s film.. Star trek into darkness. Apart from Scottie’s hair line that seems to be even more receded in his youth than he was in his later years.. oh and apparently we have stopped using suspended animation since 1959 and using warp drive ever since.. (do the maths it all works out it is set in year 2259 and Doc says they haven’t deep freezed people for 300 years.)

 

Anyway night all enjoy your

Jamie 

 

Machiatto Anthropology (part three)

I have a confession to make, I am not loyal.

 

Before my wife comes over with hands on hips and lips so thin (where do they learn that look). Let me clarify my statement. We have a new coffee shop in our small town. While at the moment I still prefer Café Nero, Coffee #1 is calling me. It has a cosy interior, I like the eclectic collection of furniture sourced from chapels, while the fire place is false the ambience is not. The only down side is a lack of WiFi. Before anyone accuses me on my fickle nature, Café Nero supplanted Costa Coffee. I will openly plead guilty to the charge set before me. But I will still argue my case, I seek comfort. I prefer a big soft settee that moulds around me to the fashionable leather couch that adorns executive apartments. A meal of stew and dumplings will always be chosen over exquisite cuisine. Lastly you will more often find me in warm jumpers and loose jeans than tailored suits, and highly polished shoes. (Another blog on polishing shoes to follow soon).

 

It is this that brings me to today’s observation, While sitting waiting for my dear suffering wife to bring me my coffee, two ladies in their late twenties early thirties vacated their table. Both were dressed much like a winter Next or Boden advert. As one of these ladies walked of to powder her nose, her companion cast a critical eye over her as she walked away. The raised eyebrow and slightly thinning lips told me that she did not either approve of her friends choice of clothing (a hip length chunky knitted jumper, jeans and a whisper thin scarf). Or more likely in that glance she took in her friends physic, judged any weight loss, or gain. With that glance was probably able to tell her exact measurements. She then stood a little straighter in the back. Smoothed down her own jeans and buttoned her coat. I caught her looking at her reflection in the glass of the window, and then the adjusted her hair, and smiled as her friend returned. The smile spread across the face she became animated as they kissed on the cheek to say goodbye to each other and they both left the coffee house.

 

I had good look around the rest of the customers, to see if any of the others displayed similar habits. One group of suited business types were gathered around a table showing signs of tension, an elderly couple in the easy chairs wrapped up against the cold even in the building. A couple of mothers relaxing in the leather settee as their offspring slept in pushchairs laden with bags. I suppose they all spent time choosing their clothes that morning, all for different purposes and choosing what they wore for different reasons. The two ladies earlier mentioned conscious of their appearance and the unspoken opinion of their coffee date. The elderly couple for warmth, the business type were probably the easiest choosing the unofficial uniform of suit and tie. Then I thought about my own attire, why am I wearing what I am? Did I consciously choose my shirt, and jumper combo? Or as is the case most of the time I pull clothes out of my wardrobe I know I will be comfortable, clean, and will fit. Why am I wearing this coat, I have four or five coats to choose from why this one?

 

It was then my wife arrived at the table, with my coffee brining me out of my thoughts an into the real world, realising that it really did not matter what I wore because unless you in a lime green suit and a four foot purple hat you are probably invisible to everyone around you as they are more concerned about their own lives, than what a complete stranger is wearing.

 

 

See you all again

 

Jamie

Five………..

Ok so as Suzi has posted her first paragraph, This is the beginnig of my book. I have toyed with the start for almost a year now. Oh the characters are fictional, along with the views they hold this is fiction. The main character Is Ryan, you will get to hear more of him in the next part.  As for the title it will become clearer as the start of the book unfolds. 

 

 

Friday 17 July 20144:20pm  Pembroke Dock, West Wales

 

Ironically it was the chore he hated most that saved Ryan’s life. His late wife always turned the mattress and made their bed the day he left, refusing to sleep in it until he returned.

The centre of the explosion was three miles away but it was of such ferocity, that Ryan’s house was blown in from the front to the back. The plate glass window in the main bedroom that over looked the bay was blown apart, the mattress that Ryan at that moment was holding in front of him shielded him from the frame and masonry that had been turned into shrapnel, but the shockwave still lifted him from his feet and slammed him through the ply door of the built in wardrobe in the corner of his bedroom. He was knocked out cold and lay crumpled in the corner of the room with the mattress, wardrobe door and other items burying him.

 

 

 

Friday 17 July 2014 4:10pm, West Wales

 

Clive now in his late sixties, had been not feeling to well for a few days. He was currently behind the yoke of his pride and joy an Aero Boero AB-180vr light aircraft. Not normally found here in the UK. He brought it in Brazil, and spent four weeks flying it back in short hops through North America via Greenland, and the outer Hebrides. He had been using it as a way of topping up his civil servant pension by giving chartered flights over the Pembrokeshire coastline, mainly for dolphin spotters, and photographers wanting a different view of the beautiful coastline. The pains he was feeling had worried him so he decided that he was cutting this solo flight short and had turned around to head back to the small airfield ten minutes away. The heart attack was sudden and instantly fatal. The small plane lurched in the air as he fell back into his seat his hands still on the yoke pulling it up. The plane Climbed from the 3,000 feet he was cruising, The planes ceiling height was registered at just over 19,000 feet as Clive’s plane went past 21,000 feet in stalled the nose tipped over and it dove straight down, Clive’s body fell forwards onto the yoke and instrument panel his arm fell forwards and knocked the throttle into the fully open position, the engine with the rush of wind past the two bladed Hartzell prop, roared back into life and accelerated the small plane with the help of gravity past its 225kmh rated speed.

 

Joseph was used to seeing small planes pull some aerobatics in the sky above the bay. He spent hours of the day bored while sitting in his small concrete gate house. Today he was looking forward to his two week holiday starting after his shift finished at 8pm. His family was at home now doing the finishing touches to the packing, it would only take him fifteen minutes in the car to travel the five miles to his house and then a cold beer form the fridge, listen to his wife coo over their newborn daughter they spent years trying for. His attention left his planned holiday and was now concentrating on the small plane climbing well above what he though was normal. He could only just see it as it tipped over and started to dive. It was then as if for the first time he realised that the oil refinery was there, He had worked for the company for nineteen years, everyday in this small gatehouse, or guard house as it once was, Most of the refinery was hidden from view behind the man made hills designed to help the place blend in with the view. The one area he had a perfect view off, was the holding tanks. Each cylindrical tank held 255,000 gallons of oil. He twisted on the spot watching as the small plane plumetted getting bigger the engines screaming.

 

 

Clive’s AB-180vr had only used 30 litres of its 270litre capacity as it slammed into the top of one of the holding tanks, it tore a hole straight through the steel rupturing the fuel tanks, the scrape of steel against steel sent a shower of sparks in every direction igniting the planes fuel in an instant, which in-turn set the crude oil alight. With a now gaping tear in the storage tank allowing the oxygen in the air access to the fuel the tank exploded, the force of which tore apart the three surrounding storage tanks, immediately exploding and sending a fire ball thousands of feet in the air. The shockwave travelled out levelling all within its path for the first half mile, everything not re-enforced was turned to dust. The other twenty plus storage tanks ruptured spilling fuel into the whole complex before igniting.

 

Pembroke dock town was two miles away across the open bay. Everybody turned around as they saw the flash of light as the plane hit. The new super market whose front wall was two thousand square feet of glass looked straight down the bay, as the shockwave hit the car park it turned cars over and then it hit the front of the building instantly turning the glass into shards travelling at over 800mph it shredded everything in its direct path. The road deck of the suspension bridge high above the bay, full of traffic going home early on a Friday evening was torn from its stanchions sending everything into the water hundreds of feet below. Behind the shockwave, came the blast of heat wave. This superheated blast was over two thousand degrees Celsius, travelling a little slower than the shockwave. It set fire to the parched ground, the water in the bay for the first two feet deep instantly evaporated. The forecourt garage exploded as the blast and heat ripped pumps from the ground and petrol and diesel poured out along the ground igniting with the heat. The propane gas bottles now rolling around the floor expanding in the heat blew the regulators and launched hundreds of feet into the sky, flying through air they became missiles, smashing into cars and buildings as they came down still with jets of fire coming shooting out the top spinning wildly setting fire to tyres and melting the paint used to mark the roads.

 

 

 

North London May 2014

 

Mohamed Abdul Afuw, left his Mosque angry, he had argued with his elders again. He believed that they had become to westernised and not true followers anymore. He knew his destiny and would follow it through without help from those he thought understood him. They taught love and compassion, yet he still remembered seeing his mother and sister burning in their home, as the west rained down missiles from planes. He knew them to be cowards they dealt death from many miles away and could escape back to the carriers, to an awaiting dinner. He was going to show them the true meaning of terror.

 

Abdul was a plumber worked for himself he travelled through London weekly and knew his target. For the next two weeks he brought a plastic petrol canister and filled it with petrol everyday. He stored them in the small shed at the bottom of his garden. He then brought a small 7 kg bottle of propane gas, he repeated this five times each one from a different garage in different areas of London. With the scrap parts in his van he rigged them together and put a hand operated vale on the one end. After putting all the petrol canisters back into his van he rigged the bottles and cut through the bulkhead to allow access the valve. On Tuesday 14 July he was ready, when a TV documentary caught his attention, he was reminded about the pipe bombs from the eighties and the damage caused by the flying debris.  The local builders supply didn’t even question a regular customer stocking up on nails and screws, nor did the dozen or so others notice a builder buy 20kg of nails and screws. Many builders bulk buy their consumables to save a little here and there. Abdul arranged the gas bottles down the centre of his Sprinter van then he stacked the canisters of petrol around these, The nails and screws he emptied into plastic bags and stacked them on the shelving he fitted down each side. With the back doors locked he then pumped bathroom sealant around the edges of the back doors. Climbed out side door and sealed that from the outside. He sealed the hole he drilled through the bulk head and for good measure around the edges of that too.

 

On Friday the 17th July Abdul rose before sunrise. He prayed as normal then he just sat and waited. He had no one to phone and say goodbye to. His whole family were killed when he was just five years old within the first week of the war. At two O’clock he got into his van and drove through London By 4:30 pm he was sitting  In Nutmeg Lane, two minutes away from the Blackwall tunnel. He Drove out of the road turned left and then left again, straight onto the Northern approach, he was behind a minibus and in front of delivery van. Abdul purposely slowed allowing the minibus to pull away a little, he needed the space in front of him. He then opened the valve on the gas cylinders In the lane alongside him was a small lorry carrying bags of cement and other building supplies, at the 600 yard point he accelerated forwards in front of the lorry and leaving the delivery van behind, at the 700 yard sign where he knew it was roughly middle of the tunnel, he turned sharply to his right and pulled on his handbrake bring the van to a stop sideways across the two carriageways he then looked out of his side window at the approaching lorry, the drivers face showing shock and anger as he was stamping on his brakes, Abdul then pressed the small button he had installed setting of his blowtorch in the back of the van igniting the gas that had been filling the back of his van.