Photo Diary

Archive for November, 2009

Fort Hood

Friday, November 6th, 2009

It is terrible to hear about the guys shot at Fort Hood. I’ve no idea why the man decided to murder his own colleagues. It seems inexplicable that in an organisation built on mutual trust and support, a man could go berserk against his own kind.

It’s been suggested on the BBC that he was a moslem himself, that he has railed against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and had just heard he was going to be sent to Afghanistan.

I am sure that the BBC is regurgitating information being given in good faith – but whether this story’s true or not, is irrelevant. If the man wanted to make a protest, he could have refused to go as a conscientious objector. He’d have been dishonoured, but no more than he has been. More to the point, if he wanted to punish someone, the people to punish are those in government, especially the ones who have profited by contracts on security, rebuilding and others in which they have an interest.

The only guys entirely innocent in this are the poor fellows this madman killed. They had nothing to do with it. They were to be sent there, like him. It’s shocking to think that a trained soldier/doctor could do such a terrible thing and my thoughts go out to the families of the soldiers killed  – or wounded – in this week before Armistice Day.

I don’t know why I bother, sometimes

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Last week I was happy to be able to write about the delightful gentleman who wrote on Facebook to enquire whether I was related to an unhappy Mr Jecks who had died a little while ago, and perhaps I was the heir to his millions. Sadly, I felt I should decline his generous offer to send me the money.

Today I’ve been working moderately hard, and YES I FINISHED THE DARNED THING!

At 150,000 words, it means my estimate of 120,000 was slightly out – but the story needed the extra length, I am afraid. Some big topics in this one. Still, I was lucky enough to be saved from terminal time-dislocation by the arrival of several nice little emails.

They’re private, so keep them secret, won’t you?

First was from a very helpful lady, Amanda Mcclain (sic), of She had to ask me to collect my parcel personally, by printing the label at the bottom of the email in the handy Zip file attached. I didn’t feel I had time to look further.

Then, there was the nice Mr Ibru Valentine, who had to send me a FINAL NOTIFICATION, and asked me to contact Mrs Anita Dada immediately. Mr Idi Amin Dada’s widow, perhaps? I was intrigued. But no. Apparently, I am a “Friend”, and my ATM card has been deposited with “below courier company for safe keep”. The company was Del Courier Service, and they sounded very reputable. Where are they? Bp 1009 Ste ceciles carreffour, Cotonou Republic of Benin. Well, I’d like to contact her, to supply her with “more information’s/clearification”, but I did have the book still to finish. Ach, shame, but decided against. There was something about Mr Valentine’s email that put me off. It was Don’t fancy food poisoning via mail, thankyou.

I worked on, and a little later, there was another email. This was sure to be good. Third time lucky, after all. It was from Bruce Jacobs. Hmm. Don’t remember him.

This one was really good. It said, “Congratulations Beneficiary”. A good opening, I thought. And you know what? Wow! The United Nations Organization (UNO) has selected 3000 lucky individuals from the 30 member countries . . .” Hold on. I don’t remember any part of the UN’s mandate as authorizing a lottery from their recent “economic empowerment programme”. Still, it was for “Six Hundred And Fifty Thousand Five Hundred Great British Pound Sterlings each”. I liked that.

What was really nice was, my mail came from the “United Nations Trust Funds, United Kingdom Department of Humanitarian Affairs, Baley House, Har RoadSutton, Greater London SM1 4te.

I think this should have read Bailey House, Harrow Road. Oh, and there is no lower case in a post code, but hey – they live over here, so . . . oh, hold on. They want me to respond to their “corresponding office in the (AU) African Union”. Oh. And another Oh. They want my name, address, date & place of birth, phone numbers, next of kin, sex, occupation, marital status, nationality, and, just in case, a copy of my ID card and passport.

I think I can give that one a miss, too.

Which leads me to wonder just how successful Africa could be, if these fraudsters, scammers, crooks, liars and thieves would actually spend a little time trying to make a living by working rather than trying to thieve my hard-earned dosh.

I wonder who’ll be writing to me tomorrow, though!