I am a lucky man. 

I ended up nodding off on the sofa last night, just went up to bed before 2200, I missed any news last night. I woke up on Sunday morning, went down stairs, made a nice, freshly roasted, freshly ground, Ethiopian coffee, yes, I can be a bit of a coffee snob as well, put on a new CD that I got myself, from a guy called Sean Rowe and put the morning news on. This would be a pretty normal Sunday morning for me, providing I’m not at work. 

But, of course it isn’t a normal Sunday morning. 

Three men, used a white van to run people over, got out and went on a sustained murderous rampage on London Bridge and then on to Borough market, all overlooked by the famous London landmark, the ‘Shard’. They were wielding knives, large blades and they were also wearing ‘fake’ suicide vests. Seven people have been confirmed dead and forty eight injured at this moment in time. All innocent people, killed and injured by radicalised extremists. Luckily for the people that were there, the police had terminated the threat within eight minutes, stopping them in their tracks and not being able to carry on with their attack, with who knows what the outcome could have been. 

It is so sad that again, there are at least fifty five families out there that are worried, not knowing if their loved ones are safe, or, of course, in mourning. Then, there will be the people like me, that were there to help, I’m sure that there will be many, not just the paramedics and police but passers by, doormen, taxi drivers, bus drivers, bar workers, whoever helped anyone in need, with images that shouldn’t be seen, imprinted on their mind! I believe that people inside the bars were throwing chairs and bottles at the attackers to try and get them to cease. 

This is the second attack on our soil in less than two weeks, the third in three months! This is a horrible terror campaign on the streets of our country, affecting people from allover the world, from all race, religions and nationalities. 

The police are already stretched with dealing with the arena attack aftermath, they have drafted in police from allover the country to help, this is just going to add to that stress now, with the memorial concert going ahead today in Manchester and the football as well, 135000 visitors to Manchester that need policing, the extra policing, the election coming up and now this in London… The two officers hat I gave my statement to the other day were both from London. They’re going to be busy, rest days cancelled kind of busy… maybe..? 
Today as I briefly mentioned, is the charity concert in Manchester, at the cricket ground! I hope it goes well, I’ve had messages off a couple of people that are going, that were also at the arena on the 22nd of May, they are the brave ones, I take my hat off to you all! I hope that you enjoy it as much as you can do and put the 22nd behind you, at least for today!
I could go all political and say that with the cuts on policing, in our country, in our little towns and villages all over the country, where these threats could be snubbed out before they even get started could have possibly prevented these attacks. Was eight minutes a quick enough response time..? I’m not having a pop at the cops by the way, I am definitely pro police and always have been. But, if the attackers had firearms, automatic firearms, fifty five people could have been easily multiplied three or four times and that doesn’t bare thinking about, thankfully that wasn’t the case. We need more police, attacks aside, we need more police!

Again, I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, you are a person, you’re your own person, but please, think about how to use your vote! And do USE your vote, don’t think you can’t be arsed, your word means nothing or whatever! You’re wrong, YOU can make a difference to YOUR country. Don’t vote for the person with a nice name, or the one that you know won’t get in, just because you don’t like the others… think about it properly!

These vile terrorists hate our democratic values, hey hate our freedom and ‘western ways’ don’t let them dictate to you and make you feel like a prisoner in your own country. 

Again, this is a political attack, as was the arena attack, they have tried to create panic in the country, they have definitely caused race related crimes go up, even over night, I believe there have been a couple of ‘attacks’ locally to me. 

 I said the other day, This was one man, ONE MAN, brainwashed by a ‘cult faction’ of sorts, that happens to ‘follow’ one religion, it does not mean that everyone ‘genuinely’ following that religion is the same… they are quite the opposite and in the eyes of this ‘cult’ they are also the enemy. This was about the arena attack, Obviously this attack was three men, and it may not be directly linked to the other two attacks but they’re still the same, they’re still part of this extremist cult and it still needs to stop. 

 We are hearing things about people possibly knowing the attackers and the possible accomplices that have been subsequently arrested this morning and that they were normal people, played with the kids, gave them sweets, was an active member in the community and even with his middle eastern looks, had a local London accent… these people walk amongst us, as one of us, which is a scary thought. This is what is going to cause rifts in the country, this is why people are going to be persecuted. On the 4 Jun 1940 we said “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We will never surrender.” And on the 4 Jun 2017 we are saying, Run, hide, tell. You could say how times changed, but the war has also changed, like I say, these people are amongst us, we need to find out who they are, gather as much intelligence on them as possible and crush them. 

I didn’t really want to be seeing this, none of us did, this brings all the memories flooding back, I know it is totally different but I can just visualise the scene, bodies lying on the floor…

How can we move forwards from this..? We need to go on, doing what we normally would be doing, just keeping our whits about us. As a country… well, I’d like to see more police, more armed police, the people that have popped up on a suspected to be linked to terrorism list to be arrested, rearrested if necessary to gain the correct intel, this in itself could prevent more attacks and also potentially link back to the previous attacks. It amazes me how Abedi was freely able to travel through so many countries. Counter terrorism needs to be upped and use more. 
Anyway, I decided not to take my daughter swimming this week, I didn’t want to make the instructor feel uncomfortable like I did last week, I didn’t feel it was fair really. So I pottered about at home, watching the news, it was making me get wound up, angry and upset… we had discussed about going somewhere, the three of us, maybe for an icecream, I am a connoisseur of them too. I couldn’t wait to get out of the house in all honesty, I put the CD on in the car so that I didn’t have to listen to the news. We set off, undecided as to where we should go, I naturally gravitated to one place, by the route I had taken from the door. We were on the motorway, unaware, oblivious if you will, then we started to see signs for Castleford, near to where we were aiming for… then I saw Pontefract… the next junction along… also the same place that a couple of ladies I sat with for a long time last Monday were from… I began to think of them, how they were… how their family was, I got a little upset again in all honesty. Finding a parking space sparked the rage off again, I know that parking can be a pain in the arse as it is, but I was feeling that little bit extra angry, it didn’t help. 

It was funny, whilst driving along the road on the way there, my little girl pipes up from the back of the car, ‘daddy, have you got a new tattoo?’ ‘It looks like a bee’. Made me smile a bit. 

We did manage to get an ice cream in the way back, from a small place in Huddersfield, one that I’ve never tried before, I had a flavour called ‘twixxy’ which was exactly like the chocolate bar, Twix if you’re ever near Huddersfield, give Dixons a try! 

The evening was rounded off with the three of us, sat on a rug in the living room having a little bit of a Funtime family picnic dinner, listening to some music and spending quality time together. The music was on random play, I can assure you that random is the correct word to use 😂 but then, ‘I am a lucky man’ by ‘The Verve’ came on… I don’t really need to emphasise that point! I really am a lucky man! 

Embargo my behind!

I didn’t have the best nights sleep last night…. mainly because of the tattoo in all honesty. I put some tattoo goo healing cream stuff on it and to save any earache from manangement, I wrapped it in cling film, it isn’t the most ideal thing to do…. I got up, took it off and put a long sleeve shirt on instead, so that it can still breath! I woke up to glorious blue skies and a phone full of notifications! Yesterday, a good friend of mine shared a post on Facebook and twitter, naming my two colleagues and myself as being part of the first responders on that Monday. As I have said before, I don’t want to be classed as a hero, I’m not a hero, I did what any decent human being would have done and ran to aid those in need! As we have had a bit of a media embargo thing slapped on us, she made this post, the response has been staggering, to say the least but, there are literally thousands of people using the term heroes to describe the three of us…! We don’t want a pat on the back and out pictures splashed everywhere, it took us a long time to decide to contact the Manchester Evening News in the first place and then when they asked for photos, that was another long conversation between the three of us to see if we were all happy and comfortable with it. The whole thing isn’t something that we have taken lightly. I don’t know why we aren’t allowed to talk to the media, but I had a phone call from my regional manager, he’s new to the company (as am I for that matter) and I only met him on hay Tuesday morning, but he seems like a decent bloke by all accounts. He wasn’t aware of the media debacle and is more than happy for us to move forwards and get our story out there… but it isn’t him that is stopping us from doing it, he said he will try and sort it and help us in anyway we need. So we have got support from our company and they’re just giving us our space, which is honourable. 

This was all made worse when we were told that the rest of the lads from the counciling course had all been interview for sky news, were invited to a nice event with prince William and had told their story. Why weren’t we invited? Why, more importantly, were we not allowed to speak to he media..? Is it because we won’t be wearing a uniform with their logo on it..? Are we just expected to take it on the chin and act like we weren’t there..? As I have mentioned ed, there were arena staff as well as parents of children that had been contacted and were safe, all helping out in that foyer, none of them will have got their story out either. It is quite upsetting really. Probably made me a little angry in a way as well. 

I like gin… I think we have already discovered that… for Christmas, my wife surprised me with some ‘Gin festival’ tickets as a gift. We had said that we weren’t going to go anymore as they were a bit samey samey and I knew a lot more than the people giving the talks, so it was a waste really. But this one is local, in a village just up the road, so it has a bit more of an appeal and could be totally different. We will give it a try. Anyway, fast forwards a few months, I get a new job and I am rota’d on for this Saturday, it is highly unlikely that I will get the day off as no one seems to get Saturdays off… ever! So we had come to the conclusion that it wasn’t going to happen, management spoke to a couple of people about going, it fell through at the last minute. I am going to go… I feel guilty about doing so, for a few reasons, enjoying myself, when there are still folks in hospital, some still in a very bad way. I know that it shouldn’t really, but that keeps popping into my head, I feel… responsible in a way for all those people, I can’t explain it really. I’d really like to know how the people in hospital are doing, especially the ones I helped in some way, to put my mind at ease I guess. Plus, it doesn’t help having the hormones of a 14year old girl again, good mood, bad mood, angry mood, emotional mood, all in the space of 2 minutes.

Another little thing that I have noticed, not using certain words, orally or verbally. Yesterday, I so wanted to say something, instead of over the moon, something that would normally be in my vocabulary, yet I avoided it, some things just don’t seem right, if you get what I mean..?
We got a taxi to the place, we were early, so we walked around a little, chatting, in all honesty, this was probably the first time where I have had a proper chat with my wife, just about random things, it felt good. When the hall opened, we were there straight away, when we went upstairs, to where the festival was being held, there were already a lot of people up there, straight away I felt a little anxious, small place, lots of people… We had a walk round, up and down, through the people, definitely made me a little more relaxed, especially seeing as though we had seen a few familiar faces. The festival was t all that bad, basically tried a couple of gins that I’d never had before and just chatted with my wife, which like I say, was a good thing in itself. 

It was a nice day.