Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Pope and Thought for the Day

What a shame his Holiness has turned down the invitation to appear on the BBC  Radio'4's Thought for the Day.. Mark Thompson the Jesuit-educated Roman Catholic  BBC's Director General  must be feeling devastated.

However his Holiness may have been warned of the brilliant spoof entitled Platitude of the Day written by the Rev Peter Hearty  that is published on this web site minutes after Thought for the Day is broadcast. 

Platitude of the Day is brought to you by  Peter Hearty,  who admits to being 'a middle aged, overweight, atheist and life member of the National Secular Society'.

He feels that as the BBC's department of Religion & More Religion, recognises that only those who commune with their invisible magic friend can possibly have any morality. Atheists, agnostics, humanists and other amoral non-believers are therefore excluded from the pure and godly Platitude of the Day, broadcast Monday to Saturday at 07.45 (but obviously not Sundays). For your further edification and spiritual improvement, he therefore presents these concise, bite-size summaries of the wisdom of their presenters.

These spoofs can be very funny indeed and quickly put the pompous presenters firmly in their place but sadly not Popes. Here's one that is for Sex Education Faith School Style. Sadly the Rev Peter Hearty will not be given the opportunity he deserves. It certainly brightens up my evening and I dread the day that  Thought for the Day gets the chop as it will  before long as it is so silly in this day and age,.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Why Can't the English Teach Their Children How to Speak?

Roger Moore is so right! He was complaining in The Telegraph that nowadays received English is decidedly unfashionable!

Just what is wrong with speaking BBC English? Nowadays one  almost  feels discriminated against because one talks in a clear and understandable English.

I live in New Zealand where my English accent is not appreciated at all especially by my Kiwi daughter who finds it 'embarrassing' and yet when I hit New York I could dine out on my accent and on YouTube it is my accent that gets the compliments so do not give up on good quality English it is appreciated.

I refuse to be intimidated or rough up my English accent. My Scottish great grandmother  started life as the original Rutherglen fishwife and my English grandfather was a railway clerk in Gorton Manchester and rose from the ranks and by his academic brilliance to the upper middle class. They would be horrified if I let them down by 'not talking proper'.

It is so frustrating not being able to understand ones own language. I have to listen to BBC World Service and sometimes it is almost impossible to understand the strange English accents but as speakers  using English as a second language  there is some excuse but why when they are learning are they not taught a good accent. India with its call centers is especially bad.  

Good quality BBC English is a joy to hear and should be used by everyone. Why should one have to be ashamed of talking well.

Germany thump England

The English have just got to face it we are not good at winning games. It is not in our culture or nature. Coming second or last is our national trait.

The Australians are good at winning games and so are the Germans. Even if down  three sets and match point your average 'Aussie Battler' will pull him or herself together, concentrate and win after all Aussies are made to win. It is Australia's right!

The English are too nice to do it. We have empathy with our opponents. We know how awful they would feel if we beat them. We are just no good enough to win even if we are.

Some countries will go to any lengths to win,  France only got to The World Cup because of a blatant hand ball against Ireland. In the good old days of the Cold War the Soviet Union saw to it than any game that relied on subjective judging say gymnastics or Ice skating the judges were well on the Soviet side.

Some countries refuse to play other countries unless they are assured of winning. This surprised me until I found from experience it was true. For those who do not know me I edited the only magazine for devoted to women's sport so I had an insiders perspective.

The English have learned to be good losers. We have had too because we have had a lot of experience. We are the only nation that has hosted the Olympic Games and never won a medal of any colour. In London 1948 all hopes were pinned on the horses to provide the elusive gold medal. Suddenly my father who was an official  heard 'God Save the Queen' being played in the stadium for the winner and general rejoicing ensued until it was found that the Swiss had won and at the time shared the same national anthem!

Thank goodness England is out of the World Cup early. Now let us hope the BBC World Service can resume normal service.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Michael Jackson and Lorazapam

Michael Jackson and I have nothing in common but for one thing. We were both prescribed Lorazapam by our doctors. I survived but he died. If his experience is anything like mine with this drug he will have gone through hell in his last days on earth.

Lorazepam is a lethal drug for 3%  of population. For those of us who are allergic to it it has the most bizarre and appalling effects that are so unnatural  that they are practically indescribable. The most deadly aspect is that Lorazapam is so addictive. For me virtually one or two low dose pills made me an addict. The withdrawal effects are unlivable and the feeling that one gets just before the drug kicks in is unreal. A journey to hell.

I know. I have gone through this through no fault of my own. My GP misdiagnosed Clostridium Difficile as 'grief' and without warning gave me Lorazapam to calm my stomach! It had deadly consequences as I allergic  and I became instantly an addict,

Unlike Michael I was able to come off. In fact I was taken off Cold Turkey, a dangerous thing to do but my doctors thought any more  Lorazapam would kill me. The withdrawal, which is major lasted nearly seven years, Heroin is a 'dream' to come of compared to a Benzo, for three years my body convulsed every hour. I never slept, could not go out of the house, for a short period had uncontrollable anger and dozens of other symptoms. Over the years the symptoms fade but you are never the same again.

You have to be ultra strong to withstand a Benzodiazepin  withdrawal and I was helped by the thousands of people going through the same thing on the Benzo web forums daily. Many die including Michael Jackson.

I blame the medical profession. On the directions that come in the packet it  clearly states do not mix Lorazapam with any other drug but doctors still do! It is also addictive so a Benzo patient becomes a nice legal little earner for the GP for life. It is easier to stay on than come off.

My doctor got a medical reprimand. He could have killed me. He was not sympathetic either to the hell he had prescribed for me. He told me to 'Go away'!  Or this was the gist of what he said! Not this GP'S finest moment as for once he did not bury his mistake.

Michael I am so sorry this happened to you. Nobody deserves Benzo Hell You would have been a good little boy and obeyed your doctors. This is not a good idea.

Something new!

Just discovered Google Sidewiki. Looks interesting. Great for being able to comment without having to log in. I can never remember if I have an account or not!

I can even post a blog.Lets have a go at that.

It takes you to my Whales Blog! I used to eat whale! Shock Horror in 1947.

Well that's enough to get started!

in reference to: Facebook | Friends (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Awful Taste of Whales

Why on earth do the Japanese, Icelanders and Norwegians want to kill whales? Anybody who has had to live on whale meat for any length of time will tell you whale tastes awful.

How do I know ? After the Second World War those unfortunate enough not to have a black market butcher or be one of the mega rich who could afford to eat out each day had to eat the stuff. It looked so beautiful to those of use deprived of the sight of real meat. I say meat because children born in the war really had no idea that there were different sorts of meat. We never saw enough to learn the difference.

The steaks of whale meat looked so inviting red an juicy. They looked delicious while they were being fried and plated up. It was even enticing when one cut into the thick bloody flesh and put the juicy morsel into one's mouth and then.......ugh!

The taste is indescribable, but horrible, in fact uneatable, enough to make one throw up We used to throw the steaks away untouched and groaned when it was back on the menu as there was nothing else that week.

One really only eats whale when there is nothing else in the larder so why do the Japanese insist on their rights to slaughter these magnificent creatures? I read somewhere the Japanese never caught whale either until after the Second World War , it is not as though it is a cultural custom as the Japanese  make out like the Icelanders who should be ashamed of the way they massacre the poor creatures or the Norwegians who just don't seem to care or know about the whale problem and leave it to others to do the job for them.

The fact that one has a 'right to do it' doesn't mean 'it is right to do it' and in the case of whales, the actual taste is so ghastly I can't see why anyone should want the 'right'. I would pay not to eat the stuff!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wimbledon Stop the World!

Wimbledon Fortnight

Joy of joys Wimbledon is back again for two whole weeks. For me in New Zealand that means a complete stop to my daily life for I like watching tennis 'live' and that means sitting up all night!

The English produce this type of public entertainment so well even down to the ball boys and the strawberries.

What is it about Wimbledon that is so intoxicating? I do not get so enthusiastic over any other of the Grand Slams and although I could watch I never watch them but Wimbledon holds me under its spell year after year.

I think it is the green of the grass, the clash of the dark olive green paint with the horrible purple, the white of the tennis outfits and perhaps the greatest draw of all the men. They look like Greek gods!

In my youth I was taken to the early Wimbledon knockouts by my school. There are 32 courts in use and one can wander around all day. I only once had a chance to see a match on centre court as someone who was leaving offered me their seat but as I was appearing in 'Stop the World' I could not accept.

My first appearance on BBC TV was made at Wimbledon when my school was filmed as a 'cut away' and that was a thrill as very few saw themselves on TV in those days of only one channel.

I like male tennis as I find it exciting and I get involved in the match. Federer vs Nedal was five hours of sheer pleasure.

The world stops for me for this fortnight!

Monday, June 21, 2010

World Cup Football Fiasco

Today the unthinkable happened and New Zealand All Whites drew with Italy the last World Cup winners who are now in danger of being eleminated. New Zealand is ranked 78, football is not New Zealand's sport and Italy with all the hype, the money and supposedly the full professional players should have massacred little NZ and proceeded to the next round.

For the last three months the World Cup has received unprecedented media cover especially from the BBC. Every news item, every programme even religious ones seem to be focused on the Event. Thousands of European fans have made the 11,000 mile journey and on the whole have met with disappointment almost bordering on disillusionment.

What is wrong with World Cup Football? Maybe one answer is the way the game is run. For a start it seems immensely unfair. One example of this is the French team who by rights should not be there because of the way they beat the Irish with a blatant handball which was never corrected. The French got away with it as FIFA let them. The way the game is governed leaves a lot to be desired. The Togo team was completely ostracized by the African governing body for failing to play after three of their team members had been killed. Horrible!

Then in Europe the National Teams are not really teams. Each major country's club sides are filled with imported players from developing nations lured by the colossal money that can be earned. The wages are out of all proportion with the skill. Very few local boys make it.

So when a National Team has to be fielded where are the local players? Non existent hence a so called team is cobbled together but is no more a team than a scratch ring around for a local cricket team. Most of the team have never played together in their lives. The French Teams behavior and performance off the field is a pathetic as their game on it. Instead of being pleased to get there by a cheat they have let down their country is a less than acceptable manner.

New Zealand may not be a top football nation but it is a true national team. The players play together, know each other, are disciplined and love the game. They have worked to get to the World Cup and even to score a goal is a major achievement. It matters not a jot to New Zealand whether its team progresses they have done themselves and NZ proud.

They might have won against Italy but again for questionable referring when up against a scratch, cock sure Italian side. Never do to relegate the favourites too early in the competition!

Perhaps it is time for FIFA to take a deep breath and get its act together.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Canons Park Tube Station

The trouble with a blog is finding interesting things to write in it. Other people's lives can be so boring and so can one's own life. Mine was particularly boring and Canons Park Tube Station has taken up hours and hours of my youth.

I came across this photo of Canons Park Tube Station in Wikipedia. It actually has its own Wiki page! I was astonished at anywhere so uninteresting and ugly could be worth a mention in an Encyclopedia. I was wrong.

Canons Park Tube Station was about three quarters of a mile from my semi detached  house in Stanmore where I lived from the age of four to 21. The only way to get anywhere was to either walk or get the bus to this tube station. The  daily decision of whether to walk the distance or wait for the 18 bus which seldom if ever came and when it did was usually full up was source of annoyance for 16 years.

I have spent hours of my life waiting for the bus or walking to this station. In the 1950's the fog was so bad I could hardly see my hand in front of my face and I had to count to curbstones to find my way home. I had to do this in the rain and the snow and even in fine weather I hated it.

My father who had a van and later a car never once gave me a lift in all those years. I had to cart all my heavy school books and later ballet paraphernalia each day. Even when Mummy and I went to Brixham for our holidays Daddy never gave us a lift with cases and later dog. On this occasion we waited for the 18 bus. Even when I was performing Daddy refused to help and I had to leave at 6.30 am and do the walk before the TV recording of  'The Turn of the Screw' which was not the easiest thing to sing for a 16 year old. I had to get the train back after at around 11 pm and do the walk. In fact even after the Royal Gala at Covent Garden the train ride back at 11 pm took the gilt of the ginger bread and bought one down to earth. Merle Park was on the train too with me plus bouquet.

The 18 Bus is itself worth a blog. It never came! Once  waited for two hours for one and missed the first Act of 'Ondine' at Covent Garden for which I shall never forgive it. Its route went from Wembley Stadium through Harrow to Edgware Station.

Canons Park Station itself must be the ugliest station on the whole tube. It is, so Wiki says, the least used. It is just a bridge and two windy cold platforms which are high up and battered by the elements. Freezing sleet and snow in winter and  rain in summer.

A waiting room you may ask? Yes there was one but only held about ten people and in the morning one had to be right at the front of the platform to get a seat on the train as it was twenty minutes to Baker Street if you did not change to the fast train at Wembley Park. Again decisions should one change to the fast train and stand to Baker Street, sometimes the fast train sat in a tunnel for hours or sit and stop at every station and again be stuck in a tunnel.

The hours I have stood waiting on that platform must add up to months if not years of my life. Outside the rush hour one just never knew if a train would appear. There was nothing to do but wait.

My journey there and back during my London years must have taken up about two hours of every day. During my convent school days the school bus had a pick up point so I past it every weekday.

The last memory of Canon's Park is waiting at the 18 bus stop on the way home in the pouring rain as if I remember there was no bus shelter. The queues were long as there was the 114 that also stopped there. Sometimes I would walk the mile home as the chances of getting on a bus were slim and it was a long walk past dreary semi detached houses.

I vowed as soon as I could I should escape from the bleakness of the landscape. For me it had not one redeeming feature perhaps only the gasometers nestled in the elms trees was the only thing of beauty and I kid you not.

Now when I look out on the beautiful Auckland Harbour which I do daily I am so grateful that I never have to see Canons Park Station again because I doubt if I could ever afford a house in that area even if I wanted to.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Disaster Obama Style


We all have 'disasters'. They seem to be a major part of everyone's life  Some are worse than others but when a 'disaster' hits it can be devastating and ruin one's life but not all 'disasters' have this effect. Some people and countries get away with a 'disasters'.

It all depends on how the 'disaster' is handled. Desmond Morris in his book 'The Naked Ape' is very good at 'disasters'. Morris says that there are two ways of 'disaster' coping, not surprisingly the 'wrong' way where the 'disaster' spirals out of control and the 'right way where the 'disaster' although still a 'disaster' gradually gets sorted out and fades from memory and everything carries on as if nothing had happened.

President Obama and BP have a 'disaster'. No doubt about it The Mexican Gulf Oil spill is a major disaster for BP, the world but especially President Obama. His presidency will possible rest on it.

So how is Obama doing? Well at the moment not too well. BP on the other hand is starting to look as if it might get away with it. BP  is not really responsible for the leak, yes, BP leased the rig but the fault may lie with the bad legislation that the previous Bush oil friendly administration allowed .
The spill was a disaster waiting to happen. It happened on Obama's watch. Unluckily for Obama he had just caved into the USA oil industry and allowed off shore drilling thus going back on an election promise and this fatal miscalculation has come up and hit him as he no longer holds the moral high ground.

BP got off to a fine start by accepting liability when no USA company would do such a thing. Transocean has taken off to Switzerland  and Haliburton who should have seen the rig was safe has kept quiet. USA companies learned from the Bhopal disaster that masterly inactivity pays.

But Obama did nothing and now it is too late. Instead of  immediately helping out with the full emergency resources that only the USA administration can offer in a

'Well its happened, nobody really knows what to do but somehow all of us together have to sort this out and we will argue about the right's & wrongs later lets all get on with the clean up. Follow me chaps!'

Obama has decided to go for the outsider 'British Petroleum' by putting the full blame on a foreign company while letting the USA companies off the hook  thus annoying the USA's greatest alley Britain  and damaging countless thousands of investors and pensioners in one swoop. Obama forgets that the public is not stupid. They know that the blame lies evenly distributed. The public knows it was the USA administration that had not the foresight to see that drilling at such extreme depths was dangerous to the health.

The way things are going BP  as a company will be a goner and President Obama will be to blame. Obama's constant attacks seem ridiculous and a diversion when the clean up is the main item on the agenda.   BP's reputation for fairness although a defunct company will eventually be recognized, as it did the right thing and owned up immediately but Obama's hounding to death a company  and a managing director who is doing its best under horrendous circumstances will be remembered for the unfair, petty and one sided.

Regretfully as an admirer of President Obama I must admit this is not his finest hour.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Royal Opera House 'Depouillement' Creative YouTube project 'Songs of the Auvergne'

The Royal Ballet London has asked for creative suggestions for music for 'Depouillement' a dance choreographed for no music  What an opportunity! For me who loves doing this sort of thing it is a gift. 5 minutes of best quality dance footage to play about with for free.

About two years ago I learned how to use Garageband and the 'Songs of the Auvergne' is the outcome. May not be perfect but I am very proud of it. I do sing but I have no formal musical education, well neither did Wagner, but I had even less so just to be able to orchestrate this music in my own key and make a commercial CD for me is a miracle.

To be able to add dance even to one item is a gift. This is done very simply on iMovie 6.3 and took just a couple of hours. It is not perfect for iMove has its limitations, I cannot centre or layer or key.  A couple of hours on my Final Cut and all the letter boxing would go so this is a kind of 'draft'. Also the dance is really abstract so it is difficult to make it 'fit' but in the absence of any other footage it will do for me.

I do everything on a very basic computer, well mac computer, using a very basic old  tape camcorder hence the ghastly 'letterboxing'. I have no sound recording equipment at all. I use my camera!  The sound is fabulous on A1 speakers by the way.

'Bailero' is one of 'The Songs of the Auvergne' by The French composer Canteloube. I have always loved them but never found a pianist up to the accompaniments which are horrendously difficult for anyone less than St Peter! So when I found out I could write out anything musical in Garageband by hand, I do not  play an instrument,  I took my opportunity and I am proud of the result.

My musical friends, sadly most of  whom are dead, would be astonished. Singers of my ilk spend their entire lives being told we are not musical which was not true.

In fact if I were younger I could even have done the dance as I trained as a ballet dancer and made my debut with the Royal Ballet as a child in 1957. I have been working my way down ever since!

I have learned to do everything myself because in my life nobody was going to give me the opportunity but no matter if you want something badly enough you just do it. May not get to the top of Everest but half way is good especaily if you can't start half the way up as many of my male peers did. Oxford was a BIG advantage! So was being male especially with the BBC!

Th Royal Ballet did give me an  'opportunity' after seeing my production of 'Erwartung'. They helped with the promo of 'Dance Tales Story Ballets' which made it to the BBC for which I shall be eternally grateful.

For me the freedom to be creative has been given to me in my later years. I longed to do this at 17 and in fact  I could but was never allowed to play with the boys  and that is what it is all about. Playing and making mistakes.

I am going to have another go at an abstract more conventional approach with my first effort using loops on Garageband and also add the one musical masterpiece Eric Satie's 'Gymnopodie 1' that I think fits the best but that is a true masterpiece and very difficult to 'top'. Not even going to try.

I am not sure my mature age group was exactly what the ROH had in mind but  what a brilliant idea. Why did nobody t think of it before? I look forward to seeing all the other creative videos.

Here is my first effort below. I have only 4x3 format  The Royal Ballet's plain version looks dreadful on this site owing to the width of the column which I have not way of changing   so here is the link 'Depouillement'. It actually needs 'Gymnopodie 1' by Eric Satie and I shall do this version too but that is not what the Royal Ballet is after!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Elena Gerhard's Brother Reinholt

Elena Gerhard's Brother Reinholt

After I had worked for Benjamin Britten my mother thought I ought to learn to sing properly and I ended up as a singing student at The Guildhall school of Music and Drama with a Herr Reinholt Gerhard as my professor. I was totally overwhelmed and very impressed. I was 16.

I have never thought of him until yesterday when a writer who is researching and translating a book about Mr Gerhard's famous sister the Lieder singer Elena Gerhard got it touch. The writer was researching into her family and was trying to find somebody in fact anybody who knew anything about him.

The mentors you meet usually by accident during your teenage years have a profound effect on one's outlook on life. I was lucky to meet Mr Gerhard. He was eccentric and old and German but I admired him tremendously and was even I am afraid to say a little scared of him too. He seemed so wise and knowledgeable about the theory music of which I knew very little although I certainly knew more about music written after 1836 than he did. I don't think he had even heard of Benjamin Britten and when he had to go over my 'Dolly shall sleep" Mr Gerhard was well out of his depth.

Before the war in Leipzig Mr Gerhard was a lawyer. That was his profession. He had a famous sister and he played the piano adequately but if he had not had to flee Leipzig he would never have taught singing.

Mr Gerhard fell head over heels in love with his wife Claire 'Mutti' who was a famous singer and very beautiful. She was already married may have had two sons by her first husband but when I spoke to her during the many nights I spent with her in the flat in Finchley she only talked of one son. I think Mr Gerhard was much younger than 'Mutti' and she eventually agreed after a long courtship to marry him.  They had no children of their own.

I feel sure that through the war Mr Gerhard had been a true German, he adored his country. He and his wife would never have left but the Russians on the doorstep meant he had to flee and Elena had friends in London who were prepared to help.

Obviously as Mr Gerhard could not practice law in UK but he could trade of being the brother of a famous singer which he did with success. Singing teachers can be 'charlatans' in my experience with the exception of a famous nun, Sister Leo here in Auckland who did know how to teach singing. Kiri Te Kanawa is just one of her famous pupils.

Although Mr Gerhard had no musical credentials he looked the part, spoke German, could play the piano and his method consisted of not letting the pupil actually sing a note for months. The lessons were very expensive and he could fill out twenty minutes very easily and he was always late. I think I at 16 did not sing at all for the first two terms. I could see my money ticking away.

I stayed with Mr Gerhard for four years as I knew no better.  I was as I said young a naive and very pretty but so obviously virginal and Mr Gerhard had an embarrassing way of telling me how wonderful my first encounter with sex would be. He would go on and on about it especially when he was teaching me 'Susanna' in 'The Marriage of Figaro'. Today this would not be allowed me thinks!

On the day I received the GSM&D Production Prize  Mr Gerhard was made an honorary Dr of Music GSM&D He earned his musical credentials.

Eventually I grew out of Mr Gerhard but I have never forgotten him and the love of Lieder he instilled in me. I had a tiny voice, unfortunately not operatic in anyway but he and Britten said one day if I stuck to it I should sing Leider well if not in German! I try to do my best.

'Songs of the Auvergene' Janette Miller

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Peter Goodwin Master Bookbinder 80th Birthday

Peter Goodwin is eighty today. Master bookbinder, philatelist, speciality Egypt and Denmark, Freemason, prison officer and according to his thousands of fans on the internet and 'NZ National Treasure'. Goodwin has reached an age when he should be slowing down but he is still as active, if not as agile, as if he were twenty.

I first met Peter Goodwin at a stamp club and later at a book club. Peter had been president of both. He was very aloof and seldom if ever noticed me among the crowd.

Then the Book club closed their bindery and I had no where to gild and emboss my books. I was told that if I ever needed to gild in future I could use Peter's bindery and so it happened.

Eight years ago I  nearly died. I had caught  Clostridium Dificile, CD the hospital super bug and it had nearly killed me. It had eaten all my nerve ending and I was a mess. To help me get through this nightmare I started book binding again and I needed to do the titles so nothing for it I had to use Peter's bindery.

I was met with a room absolutely packed to the rafters with books and as I needed an unpaid job I asked tentatively if I could come each morning and do the donkey work.

To my eternal gratitude my offer was accepted and for three wonderful months I became possible the worst apprentice Peter has ever had.

Watching this master bookbinder, the last of his ilk, at work made me reach for my video camera. I was being selfish as I wanted a record for myself but iMovie had just begun and I learned to edit video and the result is our successful DVD Series, Bookbinding with Peter Goodwin sold on CreateSpace and

So 'Happy Birthday' Peter Goodwin and many more of them!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Glenda Jackson MP Movie Star

Glenda Jackson MP Movie Star

I first met Glenda Jackson in 1962 when I was an unpaid ASM for Ronald Hayman who was producing and directing Goldini's 'Beware of your wives' in Welleyn Garden City of all places.

I recall Glenda told me off for not calling her 'Miss Jackson' over the tanoy when calling her to the stage and I cheekily remarked 'When I get paid you get called Miss Jackson'.

I remember the conversation we had in the pub on the way artists were exploited. I was being totally exploited on this occasion as she could see. I admired her position but I never imagined that this £9 per week beautiful rep actress would go on to be not only a Movie Star Oscar winner but an British Labour MP.

Our paths have crossed twice since. I was a dancer in 'Women in Love'. I so admired Ken Russell the director and wanted to see how he worked and she was the star. Considering I had been so rude to her I never made my presence known. She was suitably aloof!

Next I wrote to her as a Labour MP. I had seen a Panorama programme in UK on our then Prime Minister Jenny Shipley who had proudly stated on camera that she was 'proud' to have lied to the New Zealand electorate. I felt this was something NZ should see but try as I could I could not get the BBC to part with the footage.

Glenda Jackson did. The incriminating tape was duly sent and for which I am extremely grateful.

Amazing women! We need more of her ilk.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Race vs Religion

Over the last few days some of my friends have criticized my reaction to the Aid Flotilla for Gaza. It seems that they feel that I have an anti-Jewish bias that is not politically correct and that the Israelis had the right to board and kill. They covertly accused me of being antisemitic which I found unpleasant.

Being a good 'Catholic Girl', 'guilt' is my second name I have considered their criticism seriously and after much thought I have come to this conclusion that may clarify my position.

I am 'anti' the religions based on the bible and what is done in their name. I am 'anti' all forms Judaism, Christianity and Islam. I have no favorite biblical religion to dislike. I can be equally harsh on all. I usually restrict myself to my main religion that of the Vatican as this appears to be less offensive but I am highly critical of all the others.

However I am not anti the Jewish 'Race', Arab 'Race' or any 'Race'. I just dislike intensely their religions that some of their 'Race' follow.

It is very difficult for Jews for one cannot escape being born into the Jewish race so Jews are apt to take criticism personally.

Even if a Jew does not believe in his religion he is still of the Jewish 'race' and in some ways obliged to defend what is done in the name of his religion usually by not speaking up although I see some very brave orthodox Jews did in London. This must have been a courageous thing to do under the circumstances.

Zionists play on the past history of antisemitism and make any one even slightly critical of Israel's actions feel guilty which I did yesterday, oblivious to the fact that what is happening in Gaza is comparable with what happened in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Lastly not only did I go to a Roman Catholic school I attended a secular C of E school and a Jewish school. The friends I made at each I still have regardless of their individual religions.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

DIYTV Janette Heffernan LIVE CV YouTube

 This is my first 'go' at adding a YouTube to my blog so it might as well be my 'Live' CV.

A few years ago  I had this passion and wish that everybody who had a camcoder and a computer should be able to do this as iMovie was really good in the old version. It is not so good today and I still keep iMove 6.3 instead of the upgrade.

Now it is not so easy to do this at home! I soon found out very few want to make their own TV programmes anyway and that is a pity as the current batch are so infantile. However the demise of iMovie 6.3 has now made this impossible without a more complicated video editor like Final Cut Express or something.

Now I am supposed to embed the code here so here goes

Fingers crossed!

Here is the link to my DIYTV web page on this subject if anyone is interested in making a Movie for sale at home.

The DVD 'DIYTV - Learn TV/Movie Production in 44 Minutes' can be bought from That's really all it takes! It is back of the envelope stuff as I found out when I produced my first professional expensive TV programme. Five minutes with a very patronizing TV director and I was educated.

That's enough to do the test!

Crowns in Progress Don't look if under stress!

This  is my first attempt to put up an image. The html code is strange to me too so placing is ho hum. I'll learn it eventually.

Not a very pleasant one I grant you but see what you can accomplish with no anesthetic if  you have a laser dentist! Dr Hisham Abdalla.

I can hardly believe this is me! This one is with the old mercury filling removed. The worst bit! Showing all the decay.

This second  is with all the decay removed.

I am so proud of myself.

Hisham Abdalla - The incredible Laser Dentist

One Crown,No Local injection, NO PAIN = Laser Dentist. Well Dr Hisham Abdalla of Laser Lifecare Institute Auckland,

Yesterday I did something I never thought I should be able to do. I had a crown fitted by Hisham with no local anesthetic or pain relief of any kind. This is because I am one of those unfortunate beings who experience severe adverse reactions to many drugs. The reactions are so severe that I am not prepared even to 'give it a go'!

I either have to go to hospital and have the tooth taken out under the old fashioned gas or brace myself and put up with the pain. I know about this being of an age where the dentist held you down with one hand drilled with the other and powered the drill with his foot.

Hisham thought he could do it for me with not too much pain and in fact there was NONE! I felt nothing. I was amazed and thankful that I live in the age of Laser Dentistry.

It was worth it. Watched Mama Mia and it was all over! What I cannot understand is why people put up with the old sort of dentistry when this is around.

Why do my friends put up with old fashioned dentistry when they can have this I shall never understand.

Watch this YouTube and marvel

Friday, June 4, 2010

Laser Dentistry

Laser dentists! Most people have never heard of such a thing. For many of us who cannot face an ordinary dentist they are the best thing since the invention of glasses!

Laser Dentistry it just means no injections, no infection, and once the old filling is out no pain!

I am of an age to remember real dentistry. The sort where the dentist held you down forcibly in the chair and drilled away with a foot drill, rather like riding a bike. No injections of course and the gas bottle was standing helpfully in the corner for a whiff of gas to remove a tooth.

Two whiffs and thirty seconds later you hopefully woke up minus the offending molar. Unfortunately rather a lot of patients didn't wake up!

My own particular torture was at the age of four when I had to have an impression taken for a gum shield. No advance warning was given. I was just grasped by the huge burly torturer and a metal spoon filled with a raspberry blamanche type mixture forced into my mouth and held there for four minutes.

This nearly chocked me as the plate hit my tonsils and though I struggled to breathe and put up quite a fight the dentist won hands down. Eventually I was released only to have the bottom teeth impression taken.

After what seemed another lifetime the spoon was removed and I, to my great satisfaction, bit him hard on his finger. The dentist's reaction was so pleasing. This great bully withdrew to the back of his surgery crying out in horror and pain 'She bit me!'

I am extraordinarily proud of my achievement but sadly I cannot look a raspberry blamanche in the face to this day. I choke at the sight of it.

Because of my sensitivity to all anesthetics I have to face a crown without a local! I know I have to put up with seven minuets of hell to get the old filling out but it is better than losing a tooth. I tell myself if I put up with worse during my childhood I can do this today.

Wish me luck! I may not be here tomorrow!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

BBC World Service Radio

You never realise how much you depend on something so ordinary until you haven't got it. Last night BBC World Radio Service which is broadcast on AM in Auckland went off the air all night.

Living in New Zealand I miss Auntie BBC. I grew up with it. I found the BBC and still find the BBC infuriating to deal with but I cannot live without it. It just keeps you up to date with what is happening in the world in a fairly unbiased way.

The BBC is not what it was. Nowadays goes in for lots of regional dialect accents in news readers in an attempt to be 'with it' and 'inclusive' but my grasp of African and Indian accents is very poor. I need a translator half the time.

BBC World radio is heavily spiced with religious programming. 'Heart and Soul' an hours worth of religious propaganda airs for an hour on Wednesday's but is repeated sometimes as much a five times over weekends. It is bad enough not being able to refute or answer the blatant proselytizing but to be forced to listen to it over and over again is unfortunate.

The BBC goes in for hours and hours of male sport. I ought to know all about football and cricket as I am forced to listen to so much of it. It seems one half of every news bulletin is devoted to it. Sadly sport washes over me like paint.

The other gripe is Asia Business report. When living in New Zealand who cares! Hours are devoted to this too.

But when the BBC World Service disappears I miss it so much. It sends me to sleep at night. I only have to concentrate on the football results for a minute and I am off to sleep. Then when I sometimes awake in a panic, people do this, if I concentrate hard on Asia Business report in the first seconds of waking all is well with the world again.

BBC World went 'off air' last night. Was it my radio? Was it local provider who had not paid the bill? Was it the transmitter? It was so worrying I even got up in the middle of the night and tried my car radio to see if it was me! It wasn't.

I had a long sleepless night with Radio New Zealand. It was OK but not the BBC!

This morning BBC World Radio Service was back on the air. I live and breathe again.a

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Israel and International Piracy

'So we have a country that shows no regard for international law. A country that has invaded and stolen land from many of it's neighbours, a country that sends tanks and aircraft against unarmed populations, that ghettoises those it feels 'don't belong' or have a right to be equal. This country is now the most heavily armed in it's region, and now is attacking civilian shipping in international waters.'

Read more:

Sometimes in life it is easier not to look. The Western World has not been 'looking' at Israel for some considerable time. Because of the Holocaust and the collective guilt associated with the tolerance of the Nazis to exterminate a totally innocent race in the most horrendous manner Israelis have been allowed behavior that would not be tolerated by any other race.

The world sat back and let the Warsaw Ghetto happen. Hundreds of thousands of Jew were herded together and virtually starved and terrified out of existence. The Polish Jews eventually rebelled but were not helped by the allies who under Stalin held back Soviet Forces for three weeks to let the Nazis finish the job.

Now the Zionists feel as the 'Chosen People' they have God's permission to take the Holy Land in anyway they choose. God gave it to them and because of the Holocaust nobody is going to stop them. No matter that the Zionists are behaving inappropriately to the citizens of Gaza.

I went to a Jewish school in London. Most of my school friends were Jewish. They are a proud and intensely tribal race who do not want outsiders. I was called a 'Goy and definitely inferior'! It was impossible for me to marry my Jewish boyfriend because he would have been ostracized by his family and lose his job in the family firm. I understand their worries and I usually keep quiet when anything pertaining to Israel is mentioned. It is just not done to criticize Israel.

However on this occasion Israel has gone too far. Boarding the Aid Ships for Gaza on the high seas is an act of international piracy on par with any Somali pirate. Ship owners have the right to repel borders. Why should one stand by and let pirates even in the guise of the Israeli Army board a ship illegally and the the Israelis complain bitterly that their soldiers encountered force. The soldiers knew what they were doing.

Now it seems the Israelis because of their 'hold' on the USA are to be allowed to hold the 'independent inquiry' themselves. Bit like putting the Fox in charge of the turkeys!

It is very small world these days and we are all citizens of it. No longer does one race or nationality have the right to imprison and starve another race to death because God told them they could.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Football World Cup Media Run up

Football World Cup 2010

There is no easy way of saying this but I hate football. I have always hated football since I first saw it on BBC. It was anathema to me when I was four and it still is today.

During my life I have had to put up with hours and hours of football on radio and TV and I can honestly say all the media indoctrination has made no mark on me at all. I still hate football.

My grandfather knew only too well that football was wasted on me. He ran Wembley Stadium, he once almost bought it in 1925 for £10,000, he had all the Cup Final Tickets he required but he said a Cup Final Ticket would be wasted on a girl and he was right.

Women do not enjoy sport! Evidently market research shows that only 2.5% of women enjoy sport and having tried unsuccessfully to sell New Zealand women a specialized womens' sports magazine I should say the research was correct.

Yet women are bombarded by sport every hour of the day. Half the news in most countries is devoted to a subject that half the population has no interest in whatsoever. On Sundays that is all the BBC serves up for hours at night.

The BBC World Radio Service actually  broadcasts live sound commentaries of local football matches to New Zealanders who have no idea who Queen's Park Rangers is.  This is followed by discussions  from Africa where the telephone reception is less than great by fans who heard but did not see the match. Three hours is devoted to this.

Now for the next six weeks women have to suffer in silence the Football World Cup media coverage. Boring!