Writing Poetry - Why It's Better Late Than Never

I started writing poetry about ten years ago. Until then I didn't realise I could do it. I've met several women since who've said the same thing. One woman told me she'd read somewhere you become more creative when you get menopausal. Maybe that's supposed to make up for all the other horrible changes your body goes through, I don't know. I do know that first poem led to me write many more,a few of which you will find on my site. I've also written numerous articles, three books, and now maintain four websites and three blogs. They were a natural progression.

It happens to men too though, and often it is around middle age when people who've never previously shown any inclination for words take up the pen, or computer. Perhaps it's because by the time we reach our forties we've had sufficient experiences to stretch our imaginations and have something we feel is worth writing about. Also people do tend to take us more seriously as we should, after all, have grown up. Of course that isn't the case for everyone. Some people just grow old.

There is supposedly a book in all of us. Everyone is unique and we all have a tale to tell. Our observations of life are different and we can express them in various ways. A lot can be said in a few words, which is why I like poetry. However, for me, the verses have to rhyme.

My absolute hero was Rohald Dahl. I love all his work, but lately I've also come to appreciate many of the poems in our monthly free local village magazine. Here is one submitted by Iris Hesseldon. I've no idea who she is, but if she wrote it and ever reads this, "Well done". I think the poem is lovely.

I have a son with autism and he loves the Disney movies. One of his favourites is Bambi and I thought of that when I read this poem. There is a scene where Thumper's mum (the rabbit) says "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all", and it's one I try to live by.

In this poem the sentiments are that you can really make someone's day with simple gestures. I know it works. I've seen it happen, and it costs nothing to be nice to people. Try it and spread a bit of happiness. We all need it.

Evening Thoughts

If angels ask you what you did
What you achieved today
Would it be hard to answer them
And just what would you say?

We can't accomplish mammoth tasks
Small jobs we need to do
But maybe you just lent a hand
Or shared a smile or two

Perhaps you sent a greeting card
Or simply made a call
By lifting someone's heart and mind
You left them walking tall

So as the day fades fast away
And you lie down to rest
You'll hear the angels whispering
Well done, you did your best!

Is there a Poem or a Book inside you?

Learn how to write your book faster than you ever thought possible


Mercury Poisoning – Yes, Your Teeth May Indeed Be Killing You

I don't know about you but I consider myself to be fairly energy conscious. I switch off lights when not in use, don't overfill the kettle and never leave the television or computer on standby. However, I must confess I don't have many energy efficient light bulbs yet, although I understand in a few years there won't be any others. People are already hoarding them away. Maybe they'll become collectors' items. Just make sure you keep the box, as apparently that's the important bit. Well, at least it is on auction and antique shows.

Anyway, the main reason I don't use energy efficient light bulbs (apart from the expense) is they are too long and unsightly. They simply won't fit in my down lighters and in the fittings where I have a normal shade, or none at all, they look ridiculous. Also, they take a long time to get bright enough to see anything.

However, I now have another reason for avoiding them as long as possible, and that is mercury. It's recently been disclosed they contain this dangerous heavy metal and if one should break in a normal house, the advice is that everyone should be evacuated. That may sound extreme to some, but not to me. You see, I had mercury poisoning and now know quite a bit about it.

I know fluorescent tubes contain mercury and are considered "hazardous waste" by Environment agencies. The companies that dispose of them have to wear special safety clothing. I also know small domestic barometers are disappearing fast and already hospitals have replaced their mercury filled thermometers.

There are various sources of mercury apart from fluorescent and energy saving lights including, but not limited to, batteries, body creams, cosmetics, crematoria, diuretics, fabric softeners, felt, floor waxes, fungicides, pesticides, industrial waste, laxatives, paints, photo engraving, psoriatic ointments, seafood, sewage disposal, skin lightening cream, tanning leather, tattooing. However, the main culprits and the ones, which affected me, are vaccines and dental amalgam.

Mercury is the second most toxic substance on the planet after plutonium and it makes up 50% of every amalgam filling. Did you know your teeth could be killing you? Don't laugh – it isn't funny and unfortunately for many it's a very real situation. Believe me, I know.

I've had letters from people all over the world suffering from the condition and only last week I was speaking to a 54-year-old builder who was terrified because he'd just been told he had mercury poisoning. He'd had extensive filling replacement done seven months ago and his health has been deteriorating ever since.

He's very weak, incredibly forgetful and panics about silly things. They are classic early symptoms, but unfortunately as neither the medical nor dental professions acknowledge mercury poisoning caused by amalgam fillings, it often gets misdiagnosed. Usually patients are led to believe they are either losing their mind, or are written off as complete hypochondriacs. Both are wrong.

Mercury poisoning is very difficult to diagnose because no two people will present with the same problems, and unfortunately it is hard to test for. Mercury only stays in the blood stream for a short transit period so blood tests are inconclusive. As mercury is a fat binding toxin, it attaches itself to the fatty organs in your body, and depending on which one (or ones) it selects, the health signs and symptoms of something not being right will appear. Unless you are offered some form of chelation to get the mercury back into your blood stream, the only other real test mainstream medicine can offer would be by doing a biopsy. Needless to say there aren't many people wishing to undergo one of those.

I know of people who have been completely bedridden because of mercury poisoning, and many have wished to die. Some have.

As I said, mercury poisoning is no joke. If someone says to you they think their teeth are poisoning them, don't just dismiss them as being crazy. Believe them and offer support. What do you think was wrong with The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland?

Yes – Mercury Poisoning!

There are tests available and with the right help and support, mercury-poisoning symptoms can disappear. It's a long process though. Just don't give up.



Lie – Of Course I Don't Lie

I've always considered myself an honest person, but apparently I'm not. A recent survey revealed that each of us tells on average four lies a day, and what I'd always considered as simply being economical with the truth is, infact, a lie.

It seems the most common untruths are that we feel "fine" when actually we don't, and if someone asks our opinion on an outfit we are somewhat careful with our response. After all, how many men do you know who dare honestly respond to, "Does my bum look fat in this?"

Statistics are strange things and vary depending on whom you ask, but this survey said seventy-five per cent of men lied more than women, and overall, two-thirds of us didn't feel the slightest bit guilty about it.

"Untruths", "porky pies", "lies" or whatever you choose to call them oil the wheels of social discourse and we would have far fewer friends if we always told the truth. I don't know if you ever saw the film Liar, Liar with Jim Carey but certainly life was a lot smoother for him when he stopped telling the absolute truth.

Apparently we learn to lie as babies. I know that seems hard to believe, but the experts say when our little angels cry for no reason it's because they want attention and their noise makes us believe there is something wrong. They are, infact, lying to us. Who'd have believed it?

Anyway, we lie to protect our fragile egos but not everyone is good at it. Men fare worse as they demonstrate tell tale signs like sweaty palms, hot flushes and strange hand/face gestures; or they embellish their stories and give too much information.

Women can usually tell when a man is lying but it's far more difficult the other way round. Maybe, they just never suspect the female to be devious, or just don't take any notice of their partners' body language, etc.

Of course, that's assuming the lie is being told to your face, and I have to say there are some people who make a living out of lying. Having been the victim of two incredibly clever and plausible scams, when the "liars" looked me in the eye, shook my hand and then defrauded me of thousands of pounds, I often wonder how they sleep at night.

As the victim I felt hurt, sick and humiliated, and sadly I've reached the point where I don't trust anyone any more. It's a shame, but a reflection on our society.

In the newspapers and on the television there are repeated cases of vulnerable people being scammed, People lose their life savings, and often it destroys their health and will to live. Some people have even taken their own lives because of such despicable acts.

When I worked as a secretary for a lawyer there were many bitter disputes between friends and family because of money lent and never repaid. It ruined relationships, and whenever I came across them I always thought of my dad's wise words "Never a borrower nor a lender be".

Recently I heard of a young student who's had his university course blighted by some "lady" claiming to be studying medicine at Birmingham. It seems they met at a party and "hit it off", if you see what I mean and continued their "relationship" via the internet as he was in a different location.

A few days after the party she told the student she'd been mugged in Nigeria and had lost all her money. The smitten student cabled her his grant money, which she promised to repay upon her return to UK, and guess what? Yes, she disappeared along with the money. Unsurprisingly, the free yahoo e-mail address is no longer valid and the police can't do a thing about it.

The young male student is now finding university somewhat more frugal than he had anticipated and struggling to provide the course books he needs. Meanwhile, the medical student, if indeed she is one, is probably having a fine old time.
So, here's a warning. If you see a slim, brunette, white girl with a Birmingham accent and a free e-mail address, calling herself Jane Smith (I know!) who claims to be studying medicine and is pretty flush with cash, and free with her favours at parties, be very wary. She obviously cried a lot as a baby because at the tender age of twenty-two she's certainly a master at lying.

How To Tell If Somebody Is Lying To You Within 60 Seconds – Without Even Listening To Them

Food – What Can We Eat?

Recent surveys have shown that one in four of us are completely confused with the official guidelines on healthy eating.

Take red meat for instance. Does it cause cancer or is it good for us? Is alcohol bad or good in moderation and should you stop drinking if you're pregnant. How about tea and coffee – is the caffeine bad for us or not?

Then of course, there's chocolate. Do the feel good factor and antioxidant properties in some brands make it worth risking all those calories.

We all know processed food contains lots of saturated fat, salt and sugars, as well as colourings and flavourings so we shouldn't eat too much of it, but we're now told we shouldn't eat the good old English breakfast either.

Bacon, sausage, egg, beans and toast should be relegated to the dustbin apparently. Instead we should eat fresh fruit and cereal, but even that is often full of hidden salt and sugar.

It is difficult knowing what you should or shouldn't eat and most people don't have the time to read the packaging. Even if you did you'd probably be confused, as each manufacturer seems to have a different method of describing the contents. The simplest to understand are the traffic light symbols, which show red, amber and green, as most people understand that red means stop, amber means be cautious and green means go.

We should, for the sake of our health eat plenty of fruit and vegetables because they contain chemicals to prevent cancer. They also fill you up without providing too many calories which is great. If you can afford organic food it's even better because not only do they taste better, and have more natural vitamins and minerals, they are grown without harmful chemical pesticides and fertilisers. This means they don't add to the daily toxic build-up in your body. Unfortunately they are in the wrong price range for most people on a limited budget.

There is no question we are getting bigger and childhood obesity levels are rising. This will inevitably have health consequences and it is partly our modern lifestyle which has created the problem. Apparently we now live in an obesegenic environment.

When food was scarce we had to use a lot of energy to get it, but now we are surrounded by high-energy foods and labour saving devices so it's really hard to get rid of those excess calories.

Another problem is the lack of facilities to be able to exercise safely. Many of the school playing fields have gone and cycle paths are not traffic friendly. Few children are encouraged to go out to play because of the fear of muggings, gangs, paedophiles, drugs, etc, and that's in daylight hours.

I It seems to me though, there's no point getting obsessed with food otherwise you just end up miserable. If you like something, eat it but do so in moderation and stop when you feel full.

If you are one of those people brought up to believe you must eat everything put in front of you because of the plight of the starving people in other countries, then use smaller plates and eat slower. It may sound simple but it works. I've tried it.

You end up eating less, but feel full because you've taken the time to actually chew and taste the food, and also chewing releases a chemical in your brain which tells your stomach you are full. Clever, eh?

It also prevents food waste because even if you do leave something on your plate it unfortunately won't help the starving millions.

A True Weight Loss Story


How To Look And Feel Younger And Happier

Apparently seventy is the new forty. At least it is in Hollywood, and it's amazing what can be achieved with bottles, syringes, surgery and MONEY!

So when did all this vanity kick in and what's wrong with aging naturally? I always thought the nice thing about getting older was that you were expected to have wrinkles, and people just grew into their face. Aren't those lines supposed to be character forming?

Unquestionably we are drawn to attractive individuals. It's our basic instinct, even babies do it, but it's what's inside that really counts.

These days there's so much pressure to look young, and everyone is striving to achieve the youthful appearance of the airbrushed and digitally enhanced celebrities, who fill our magazines, that common sense seems to disappear as quickly as our cash.

Taking pride in your appearance is commendable and it is a fact of life older people are treated differently. Sometimes they can even feel invisible. It's such a pity our eyes don't appreciate the value and variety of people of all ages, instead of just judging their size and wrinkles.

Older people, myself included, don't feel what they see in the mirror. My reflection says I'm the age I am now, but inside I'm twenty years younger. It doesn't bother me, and I feel under no pressure to have botox, a tummy tuck or cosmetic surgery, even if it would make me look like the thirty something model who is supposedly using the latest in a long line of anti-aging creams. I like my laughter lines and if others don't, then tough.

Maybe if people don't like their appearance they should invest in one of those mirrors you find at funfairs, which distort your appearance.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Make my shape seem slim and tall
Cancel out that wobbly bit
Slim my thighs so jeans will fit
Tighten up my saggy chin
Lift my eyes and make me grin
Stomach needs a nip and tuck
Chest uplifted – tighter butt
Though age I may well try to hide
It's just the shell, not what's inside
I've changed my looks for all to see
But the truth remains – I'm still just me

If you want to look younger, then laugh. Smiling makes you feel good. You look younger, it's cheaper than surgery and it makes other people wonder what you've been up to!

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Blood Brothers - Well Maybe Not

On the television and in the papers the main story today has been about UK forces personnel receiving potentially contaminated blood.

Eighteen unfortunate soldiers suffered appalling injuries during battles in Iraq and Afghanistan and were given emergency blood transfusions using supplies from USA. It appears these may not have been screened properly and now these men and their families are facing an agonising wait to see if the life saving elixir has given them HIV, Hepatitis or Syphilis. My heart goes out to them.

Until this story broke I'd never considered what happened in wars. Of course I realised people got injured and sometimes died, but I'd never given any thought to armies actually taking their own blood supplies out with them. However, they do and it seems that under life or death situations, the injured are treated at the nearest available friendly medical unit, which is no different from being at home where you'd go to the closest suitable hospital.

The problem, which has arisen with the soldiers, is that the blood they were given in their various transfusions was not properly screened. UK blood is considered "clean" because the NHS screens it properly and treats it retrospectively, whatever that means. Obviously it's very important because the USA don't, (or didn't) do it, and that has put the men and their families at risk for potentially killing diseases. What a nightmare.

Donated blood lasts between 30 – 35 days, so supplies need to be constantly replaced, especially in war zones, and with fewer people donating these days it's a problem. Wouldn't it be great if the medical profession could come up with a safe alternative?

Clearly this is possible under certain circumstances as several operations and surgical procedures have been carried out on Jehovah Witness patients, whose faith prohibits the use of blood. Infact, this belief has caused them to be labelled as "murderers" in the past because of their unwillingness to allow blood transfusions.

Quite recently a young Witness died during childbirth and left her equally young husband with twins to raise. The newspapers of course had a field day, but the true events of the matter were never fully revealed, and I don't expect they ever will be, at least not with the blaze of publicity the original story had. A reliable person has told me though, that the circumstances of the tragedy were such that a blood transfusion wouldn't have saved her anyway.

No-one wants to die if they can help it, but equally most people wouldn't choose to have someone else's blood inside them either. Even "proper" screening has its limitations and there are enormous risks. Apart from the incompatibility issue, there is the increasing risk of AIDS, HIV, Hepatitis B and C, parasitic diseases and immune suppression.

I'm not a medical person and don't know the details, but as there clearly are alternative ways to save people's lives, maybe it's time for the medical profession to ask the Jehovah Witnesses exactly what they do. I know it's something to do with maintaining the amount of fluid in the body, and may even be using saline solution, but I don't know for sure. The thing is I've been told their sound medical practice ensures a shorter hospital stay, a better rate of recovery, lower costs and a better patient outlook, which is something, those eighteen worried soldiers could do with right now.

So the next time these well meaning, but misunderstood people come to your door, instead of shutting it in their face, why not ask them how it works? Their information could potentially save not only lives. but an awful lot of stress.

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What's The Connection Between Housework And Living Longer?

There are three things I hate doing - shopping, cooking and cleaning, which makes me somewhat different from my friends. Give them a credit card or a cookery book and they are in their element, but we all agree on the cleaning issue. It's so unrewarding.

Today, however, cleaning took on a different perspective because of a news item on breakfast TV. As I was encouraging my autistic son to "hurry up", an expression he absolutely hates, my ears pricked up at the mention of Cambridge on the BBC news. Now as this city is close to where I live it felt personal, so I told my autistic son again to "hurry up" and added, "please be quiet", another expression he absolutely hates.

Still, despite the "look" over his cereal, he did stop talking, and I managed to hear that researchers in Cambridge have, after studying 20,000 people over a period of 10 years, concluded healthy living can add up to 14 years to your life. It's not rocket science, just simple common sense!

Apparently there are four areas you need to address:
· smoking,
· drinking
· exercise
· eating fruit and vegetables

All of them are obvious. We all know smoking can seriously damage your health, and in some cases, kill so this should be avoided altogether. The same can be said for drinking in excess, but the recommendations are not to stop completely, just to drink in moderation.

We've all been told about eating up our fruit and vegetables and we should have five portions each day, which should consist of the different colours – red, green, orange, yellow and purple.

Exercise, of course, is important, but the researchers didn't suggest we all had to go rushing off to the gym every week, or buy fancy fitness equipment. Instead they said any activity, which made you slightly puffed, five times each week was fine, and before your thoughts turn to the bedroom let me tell you the examples they gave were hoovering and cleaning windows. That's taken the glint out of your eye and wiped the smile off your face, hasn't it?

It seems this extensive research was based on broad definitions and had something to do with the amount of Vitamin C in the blood. Anyway, the conclusion is people who are generally active and sensible about the four areas discussed, live longer and healthier lives.

Anyway this morning, armed with this new knowledge, I attacked my housework with an unusual amount of vigour, and I have to admit did feel good when I'd finished. Mind you, that may have something to do with the fact I had my favourite music on at the time. Still, it's amazing the difference a change of perspective can make and forthwith I shall no longer consider housework a chore but a life enhancer.

I wonder what I can do about shopping and cooking?

Jean Shaw


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