The Caramel Crunch (18 January 2020)

Over at Caramel (Learner at Love), CARAMEL has started a new prompt. I’d like to see her prompt do well, and I had some time today to write a post, so here we go…

The prompts are called the Caramel Crunch and so far are centered around a moral question. Her question this week is here, but for your convenience I shall repeat her question.

You are out with some good friends having drinks. One of your best friends makes a joke that seems racist. Your friend doesn’t normally seem to show any attitudes that indicate racism. Do you let it pass? Or do you speak out against the offensive joke?

That’s an easy one. You say something. You don’t need to be nasty, but it needs to be clear (a) that you don’t find their comments acceptible, and (b) why. If they’re as reasonable as CARAMEL says, maybe they’ll go away and think about why you got upset? Either way, they’ll know not to speak like that in your company again.


I’ve actually experienced this. Not exactly the same, but similar. Not about race – fortunately for a white guy in the UK, it isn’t normally an issue – but picking on physical characteristics to imply that a person isn’t as good. And not with friends. There is a comedy-news programme in the UK called Have I got News For You. And, not long before he won a General Election, Boris Johnson won an election to become the leader of the Conservative Party, and therefore Prime Minister. As part of that election process, there was a series of debates among the contenders.

At the time, I followed Have I Got News For You on Facebook. The day after one of these debates, this photograph appeared:

I took a screenshot because I wanted to include the caption. I hope you can see it okay – it reads

I can lead the UK, insists man struggling to sit on stool.

The picture is of a guy called Sajid Javid. It obviously didn’t harm his career that much, as he is now Britain’s Chancellor (Finance Minister).

I complained. The implication of the caption was that Javid was sitting on the stool wrongly (no, I never knew there was a wrong way to sit on a stool, either) and that this physical characteristic made him unfit to run the country.

I am absolutely sure that running a country requires many exceptional intellectual talents, but somehow I doubt that how we sit on a stool is one of them. The particular problem here is that there is very real discrimination against physically disabled people in the UK – that their physical disability means they lack the intellect to do a particular job. So all this post did was to reinforce a stereotype.

As you might imagine, 99.9% of the responses to this complaint were this is a comedy feed – get over it. But I could see the problem, even if 99.9% of people could not. And when something is wrong, you gotta say something, don’t you?

No, I don’t follow that feed any more. I’m sure it makes no difference whatever, but I don’t want to see that nonsense when I log on.

Determination (Fandango's Friday Flashback)

Fandango posted about how he is getting ready to move house, so his WordPress activity will be hit and miss for the next few months. But he made it today and has posted his Friday Flashback.

I have always liked the idea of his Friday Flashback, so shall also post my own. As much as anything, it reminds me of where I was. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining too. Whether he gets to post or not, I’ll continue to post under the Fandango’s Friday Flashback tag, just to stay consistent with my previous posts on the theme.

I picked a post today from exactly two years ago. It’s about my voluntary work. I’d been volunteering for maybe a year – in the beginning I just walked around the beds and talked to anyone who fancied a chat. In my post, I talk about an idea by the therapists, that rather than having a five-minute chat by the patient’s bed, the staff could bring out the most suitable four or five patients, and we could all chat in a communal area for maybe an hour or more.

It was a good idea, but of course, it required some input from the therapists, identifying the suitable patients and often bringing them out to the communal area. That particular idea ended after the main therapist herself became pregnant and went on maternity leave. After that, it fizzled out, although there have been a few attempts since to put something structured in place.

At present, we have a kind-of halfway house, which seems to work well. During the week, the therapists will put the names of suitable patients onto a whiteboard. By the time we come around, there will be seven or eight. We find which bed each patient is in, and visit them at their bedside. The advantage of doing things this way mean that the therapists don’t need to be present at the time we visit. Whilst I am a volunteer and just happy to spend some time up there for free, the therapists are paid by the hospital and need to justify that talking to patients/relatives is the best use of their time.

Stroke Survivor

I had a meeting up at the hospital with some of the staff. The subject was getting a kind of peer group up and running. The kind of thing I do already (on my own) at my drop-in, but they wanted some more survivors involved, plus current patients. The hope was to bring the peer aspect to the patients.

Overall, it seems like a good idea. I pointed out though that for any stroke survivor, there is a need to have a pro-active attitude, first and foremost. To want to recover. So even though all the patients might be close proximity, a patient with that kind of attitude would benefit the most.

It is easy just to use myself as an example here. Attending something at the hospital also implies that I:

  1. Get myself washed and dressed, and out of the house at a certain time. OK, this is easy…

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Fandango's Provocative Question (15 January 2020)

In this week’s Provocative Question, Fabdango asks:

What’s something you consider to be terrifying that you have come to accept as a fact of life?

Actually, the question came originally from Melanie at https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/, from this week’s Share Your World post. I must admit that I prefer to share my world at my own pace, but I nevertheless enjoy reading responses from other bloggers whom I follow.


Okay, a mega short one today. If you can, have a listen to this:

If you managed more than 10 seconds, you did better than me. As you see from the link, this is in some kind of playlist entitled the best rap songs of 2019.

Now, did someone say something about terrifying things which have gained popular acceptance? I mean, bitches? Come on, if you don’t respect other people, why should you think they will respect you?