Fatal Effects

This evening someone felt the need to end their life. Underneath the wheels of a train.
I don’t know what was happening in that persons life that made them feel like there was no other option but suicide, but whatever it was, it causes my heart to ache.
I understand depression all too well. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing the battle, sometimes I feel like I’ve conquered it, but mostly I feel like I’m doing ok. I’m very lucky to have a very supportive husband and doctor, unfortunately that’s not the case for some people.
But this post isn’t about that.

Tonight someone in my twitter feed asked this question.

 

 

 

Majority of people (myself included) responded. The common answer from everyone that responded was pretty much this – “No, it’s disrespectful

I REALLY do not understand WHY someone would do such a thing. Normally when an incident such as this occurs there are a lot of unhappy people because they have been delayed through no fault of their own. Some people are so unhappy that they tweet things like this;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have purposefully removed the user names from these tweets, although really I should have left them in and let you all descend on them like a pack of rabid wolves with a deer carcass, for obvious reasons.

Why? Are these people really that selfish and uncompassionate? Whatever happened to being empathetic?

I’m issuing you a challenge. The next time your train is delayed because of a fatality, before you complain about being delayed, or having to be squashed on to a train, or not having a seat, or being stuck on a train or for whatever reason, THINK.

Think about that person being your mother, father, sister, brother, child, best friend. Think about the people who were minding their own business and then witnessing something such as that. Think about the driver of that train, think about what he or she see’s when that person jumps or falls and is killed. Think about the fact that someone, somewhere will shortly be opening the door to two police officers asking if they can “come in” and then being told that their loved one has been killed.

Just for 1 minute THINK. Just for 1 minute of YOUR life have some COMPASSION for a fellow human being who has just DIED.

Suicide doesn’t just affect your journey home or your journey to meet friends for a night out. Look at the bigger picture. It affects the driver of that train. It affects the people who witnessed it. It affects the police officers and the emergency services workers who have to attend the scene. It affects that persons friends and family and co-workers.

I’m going to leave you with a story, told to me by a friend, who just so happens to be a train driver.

One day he was driving his train when all of a sudden there was a huge bang and a sudden splatter of blood on his windscreen. He hadn’t been driving trains on his own all that long and his heart hammered away in his throat for a millesecond before he realised he had hit a pigeon and that was what had exploded on the front of his train.

A pigeon weighs approximately 1lb. An adult human being weighs between 130lbs and 220 lbs (on average). Now image what would happen if you threw something of that weight in front of a moving train.

The next time you’re delayed because someone didn’t think they had any other option in life but to die under a train, think of that story.

 

If you are having suicidal thoughts, please do not think there isn’t another option. There is. It may not seem like there is help out there or that there are people willing to help, to listen or to lend a hand, but there is. Please get in touch with the Samaritans or with Mind. Please don’t end your life. There are people in this world who care.

 

 

Family Holidays part 2

I am on holiday with my family for the first time in 13 years.

The first holiday in 1999 was with my parents, my 3 siblings, my aunt, her 2 kids and my grandmother. We went to Ibiza. It was a disaster. Everybody argued. Our hotel was filled with old german people. There was nothing to do because we went at the end of the season (which was cheaper) and everything was closing down. My mother made me sing Patsy Cline’s Crazy in a karaoke session. I didn’t know most of the words, thankfully nobody boo’d me.
I swore after that 2 week holiday that I’d never go on a family holiday again.

Yet here we are today. I’m sitting in one of our deluxe 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom caravans, on the Costa del Weymouth. With my parents, my husband, my siblings, my brothers partner and their kids.

So far no-one has killed anyone. Although we’ve already managed to spend £335 on food for the week. Quite possibly we have already killed the majority of our finances. However I’ve got 6 bottles of wine and a bottle of champagne out of that, so, you know, at least if a family argument breaks out I’ve got wine. I’ll be the one sitting in the corner swigging wine from the bottle and ignoring everyone.

Christmas – the busiest time of year!

Christmas break for me starts officially at 5pm on Friday the 23rd and then ends on January 2nd. That’s 10 whole days of not having to work. I think it is going to be the busiest time I have ever had.

Normally at Christmas, I eat, watch Christmas TV and cheesy films, and spend a lot of time doing nothing. Getting up late, going to bed late, drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate and fresh delicious coffee. I eat sweets, and cakes, and cheese, and more sweets and pastries and biscuits. I drink wine, and champagne and more wine and whiskey. Truth be told, it’s not really a huge amount of things to be doing. Despite the amount of food consumed last year, I didn’t even gain any weight!

This year, well it’s going to be different. I’m not sure if I am going to like the difference or not. I shall probably need a vacation to get over my Christmas vacation!

It starts this Thursday (22nd). Food shopping. For 12 people. Just my sister-in-law, me and a shopping trolley. It’s likely to be dangerous. And hilarious. We can’t even go regular shopping together without drama and laughing.

Then Friday (23rd) I have to get everyone’s presents to my mother-in-laws house. I am hoping that just 1 car trip will be sufficient.

Christmas Eve means an entire day of preparing, baking, drinking and general misbehaving.

Christmas Day means a day full of cooking, eating, drinking and making my niece and nephew laugh.

Boxing Day, we are hosting a meal for my father-in-law, his mother and his partner. Yay for Roast Beef!

The 27th, I get to go to my mother’s house for a family Christmas “do”. More presents etc, more food, more drink.

The 28th we’re having a Christmas Party at our house, with nibbles and drinks.

The 29th we’re at the father-in-laws for another Christmas dinner and alcohol.

The 30th it’s back to the mother-in-laws for another Christmas dinner and more alcohol.

The 31st, it’s to the brother-in-law and sister-in laws for a Cheese and Wine party! (Love cheese)

The finally on New Years Day I can relax. Spend the day in bed with coffee and books and very minimal food. I’m pretty sure I would have eaten so much Turkey that I’ll look like one.

I think this is the busiest I have ever been over a Christmas period. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Merry Christmas All!

PUSH!!!

Last night my cousin (see also best friend/sister from another mother) went into hospital. Hopefully in a few hours time a child will wrestle its way out of her nether regions into the world, all pink and crying, demanding to bed fed, clothed and cuddled.

I wish I was there. Mainly because I never got to meet my god-son (her 1st born) until he was 3 months old and my god-daughter, who knows when I’ll get to meet her. You see my cousin lives almost 6000 miles away from me. I live in London and she lives in Grand Cayman. The airfare is stupidly expensive.

Most of today we have been conversing on Facebook. She is currently on her own, as nothing is really happening, so everyone has gone to work as normal. The whole story about your second baby coming quicker than your first is apparently a lot of newborn liquidy poop. This baby is taking a long time. In fact I’m pretty sure she is hanging in there, arms and legs splayed against the sides of the womb screaming “I won’t come out! I won’t! You can’t make me!”

The last update I had was that she was in a lot of pain, only 2cm dilated and her waters still hadn’t broken. Her ObGyn is currently performing a caesarean and once he’s done that he will come back and break her waters (if they hadn’t gone by then).

She is bored. She also has NO pain relief.

If I was her, I would go mad (and be demanding the drugs). Thank god she has her husband’s laptop so that she can work on her Cafe World and her Farm in Farmville. Or watch clips on YouTube of crowning baby heads.

To keep her mind off the labour, myself and our mutual friend (2nd Fairy God-Mother) Kim have been trying to keep her occupied. We’ve come up with a few things.

1) Tell Jokes – jokes make you laugh and be happy, they can take your mind off the pain. Unless you don’t get them. Then you’ll just be in pain and confused.
2) Share the drugs. I don’t mean like “dude, pass the joint, dude” more like “want to have some gas and air *giggle*” With gas and air the possibilities are endless and could provide a lot of entertainment for the mother-to-be. Just don’t let the nurses or doctors catch you!
3) Giant Pilates Balls – these could be great fun. Play football. Or bowling. Or, if there are 2 balls, get some duct tape, tape yourselves to the balls and have a race down the corridor. However if the mother-to-be is going to sit on it, make sure you support her. I’d imagine having a small child wrestle its way out of your nether regions whilst nursing a fractured pelvis/spine is rather painful.
4) Interpretive Birth Dancing – pretend you’re a baby. Lie of the floor, wiggle around and pretend that you are travelling through the birth canal. One of you can be the mid-wife/nurse/stork.
5) Go on a treasure hunt. Do not however take someone else’s baby. That’s illegal and you will be arrested. Staplers and chairs are ok. Do a points system, the bigger the item, the more points you get. Remember, don’t take any babies.
6) Go the viewing gallery, look at all the new babies. Give them all nicknames and goals in life. Write it up on a tissue and deliver your ideas to the parents. Add them on Facebook so that you can check how their kids are doing with their goals in 18 years time.
Hopefully baby Isabella will make an appearance soon, or at least if she decides to take a lot longer (girls are fashionably late you know) then the ObGyn and Nurses provide some drugs.

Wired

So yesterday was a pretty eventful day. I woke up with a cold sore. It’s a combination of “feel good” and “attractive”. Cold sores are the new black. For reals.

My sarcastic streak is on top form today. It’s like it had extra caffeine with breakfast this morning! Except it’s after midnight and I’ve not had any coffee yet. Perhaps it’s cranky.

Yesterday evening my brother-in-law Alan asked his long term girlfriend to marry him. To be fair, it’s about time. We’d all been saying they should get married for ages now, so often that I even created a Facebook page called “Alan should TOTALLY marry Tash”
Anyway, so they’re engaged and I couldn’t be any happier for them (unless of course there’s also a baby on the way, cause that’d just be freaking awesome).

So they’re getting married!!!! I wish them all the happiness in the world and can’t wait to celebrate their big day!

After that excitement, the hubs and I settled down with some tv. The hubs put on a new series of 24.

Between the excitement of the engagement and the suspense of tonight’s viewing, I’m fully wired.

Hubs is fast asleep. I’m laying in bed, writing a post and wishing I didn’t have a stupid cold sore and also wishing that our bed was a king size rather than a double.

Hopefully sleep will claim me soon and I won’t fall off the edge of the bed where I’m perched.

The Wrong Santa

We live in an apartment block that contains 8 apartments. There are 3 on the ground floor, 3 on the first floor and 2 on the second floor. We are on the second floor. It’s a nice flat, very homely and just right for us. After all, there are only 2 of us, and we don’t need THAT much sq footage to live in.

We only really know 1 of our neighbours, the rest we see occasionally and say hello etc, but that’s it. The neighbours we know live across the hall from us. They have a toddler and a baby, there are Saturday mornings where I can hear kids TV playing through the wall and small excited screams. Turns out Flams went to school with the guy across the hall. So it’s pretty cool.

A while after we moved in (we moved in March) we noticed a horrible smell in the building. It was a mixture of sewage/stale urine/unwashed human. It was awful. We soon discovered where this awful stench was coming from. It was one of our neighbours. Oh.My.GOD. It was so bad we held our breath when we entered/exited the building. Ever tried to hold your breath whilst rushing up two flights of stairs? It is HARD. Going down the stairs, not so much. Sometimes the stench isn’t too bad, but other times it is unbearable! Both myself and the neighbour across the hall from me often Fabreeze the hall and spray air fresheners and deodorisers.

For those who read my twitter stream, you will see I’ve previously spoken about Dirty Santa. This is what I call this neighbour. Mainly because that is what he looks like. Imagine Santa Clause, big round belly, bushy beard, glasses. Now imagine that, but in a dirty, stained, smelly red t-shirt, dirty stained (used to be beige but is now brown/black) cargo pants. That is my neighbour. I’d put him in his 60s.

A few weeks ago I noticed that the smell was getting stronger, so I knocked on my neighbours door and asked her if she’d seen the guy. She hadn’t. My head suddenly filled of images of this guy lying dead in his apartment. I didn’t have a clue what to do. I mean, you can’t just call the police and say I think my neighbours dead, can you?

So I left it. Besides I didn’t even know exactly what apartment he lived in.

Recently the smell has become even more offensive. I didn’t think it was possible, considering that it’s cold out, and usually bad smells aren’t as prominent in the cold, as opposed to the simmering heat in the summer. I was WRONG.

Again, no one has seen this guy, in fact no one has seen this guy since a few weeks ago. I can’t ignore it. What if he IS dead? Oh God. What if Dirty Santa is decomposing and that’s what we’ve all been breathing in.

I called our Police Safer Neighbourhood Team, left a message explaining my concerns and asked them to call me.

I called the local Adult Social Services Team, voiced my concerns, and I took a random guess at the apartment number. Turns out I got it right, and the guy is known to them and has a social worker. I called the social worker and left a message for him to call me.

After I did all of this (and put a complaint into the building management about the smell) I started to feel a bit guilty. This guy clearly needs help. Where are his family or friends? How is it that a guy in his 60s, in dire need of clean clothes and a good scrub has been left like this for so long? We have lived there since March, which is 8 months. For all we know it’s been going on a lot longer than that. The guy has a social worker, for how long I’ve no idea, but surely he should be getting some sort of help? Maybe he is? Is it enough help?

Perhaps he has family and friends and has shunned their help. Who knows!?

But I find it incredibly sad that this guy is living in such a state. I can’t ever imagine having a grand-parent or parent living like that. I wouldn’t allow it.

Was I right to interfere? Maybe not, Maybe so, but I can’t stand by and not do something.

Also, I seriously hope he’s not dead. I should have made those calls weeks ago.

Bad MrsFlams, no cookie.

______________________________
UPDATE

Social worker called me back.
Turns out the guy died and his body was found 2 weeks ago.
I knew I should have called. I knew it!
Feel terrible.
RIP Dirty Santa.