Friday, 29 April 2011

And This is One's Medal for Having One's Trousers Pressed

Prince Charles in his Welsh Guards uniform.
One blog I read this afternoon called the Royal Family "benefit scroungers." A bit stronger than I was hinting at earlier, but I do get mixed feelings on these occasions.

No doubt my children will all label me "gaaay" but I have to say that Kate Middleton's dress met with my approval. Very plain, almost old-fashioned (one talking head on the Beeb said it was "medieval") yet with the lace arms etc. -- all very good.

I do wonder though what all the medals so many of the royals wear are actually for. Making one's own tea? Arranging the servants? Night clubbing? Cheating on one's wife?

Pip pip.

Royal Wedding: Mixed Feelings. The Good, the Bad (and I'm the Ugly)

The British Royal Arms
Yes I have succumbed.

I am not a monarchist by nature, but being married means give and take and so the bunting has gone up and I'm even watching the celebs going into Edward the Confessor's Abbey (yes, it was Catholic - and will be again! Hurrah!).

I have mixed emotions about today. Of course I wish the couple well (I am nothing if not a great believer in the sanctity of the Sacrament of marriage), and hope their marriage does better than some of the other ones in recent years (Anne, Andrew and Charles spring to mind).

I think if there were a Welsh royal family (last Prince of Wales, Llywellyn the Last, was murdered in 1282) I probably would be a monarchist. But as the Royals aren't Welsh in any way, and are seated on the throne via jumping through hoops so that legitimate Catholic heirs could be frozen out, I tend to be ambivalent at best...

Still, there is a sense of occasion, and if I were English, I probably would enter into the occasion a bit more.

There is something "nice" that an institution is hereditary, so that the politicians and media don't get their sticky hands on it, put their "place men" in it,  and twist it to their own ends (though perhaps I'm being simplistic and they already do!). Yet watching the people walking into the Abbey you get the feeling that this is the old 'school tie' brigade and so we have "celebs" there because they went to the same posh schools, or are married to minor royalty etc.

As the ceremony is taking place in the Abbey known to King St Edward the Confessor (and containing the shrine to the great English Royal Saint) I suppose part of me wishes that the royalty were more like him, devout, helping the poor (in a direct and anonymous way), striving for peace.

I do get a little annoyed when royalty surround themselves with rich chums, homosexual activists etc. As I was reading yesterday on the blogosphere, the royals have signed through laws promoting abortion and homosexuality, and these are the people who head the Church of England (no wonder its in a mess).

So, I don't know how best to feel about today. I'm not a Socialist and when the usual suspects moan and groan it smacks of whinging, jealousy and envy -- and I don't want to be like that; but I think if Prince William froze out a few of the politicians, jet set and homo-celebs and put a few of the homeless of London, polished and spruced up for the day, in their place, I might hold the royalty in higher repute.

As a commoner with no power, influence (or money!) I have about as much chance of sitting amidst the high and mighty as a ham sandwich getting into a bar mitzvah, so I'm sure my cogitations and deliberations count for nought in the grand scheme of things.

The Happy Couple?
Which would be the better: people born into obscene wealth and privilege, or place-men like Tony Blair living in Presidential opulence? I kind of get the feeling that we'd have more chance of one day getting a good, Christian leader who might make a stand for decency and traditional values through the former system than the latter. America has the Presidential system and look who they had in the hot seat: Bill Clinton! But then I guess they could at least impeach him...

So, I wish the happy couple well, with caveats.

As an afterthought, one of the little monkeys just walked in the room to see David and Samantha Cameron walking into the Abbey and said "that's just gay" - in that teenage put-down way. A moment later the camera homed in on Elton John and his wife David Furnish. You couldn't make that up!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Blogosphere Recognises a Huge Anniversary of Great Importance

Happy first birthday to my best man's blog.

He is too humble to say how great his blog is, so someone has to do it for him.

Now we just have to wait to find someone who thinks his blog is great and we're all sorted! ;-)

I don't know how old my blog is. I've learnt to try and ignore birthdays... my own out of sheer horror; other peoples just because I'm "of an age." 

Luckily there's an invention that allows you to be reminded of other peoples' birthdays just before they happen: it's called a "mum."

Oh Microsoft and Apple would like us to think they can do better,  but God has been perfecting his line in mums for quite some time...

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Buying Goldfish - More Paperwork than Madonna in Africa

Fish pedicure seems the latest fad. I can sense GK Chesterton slowly turning in his grave...

An advert for the service even appeared on this blog (courtesy of Google Ads).

No doubt my post on a conversation in a local chippy whilst buying fish and chips brought about this bizarre advert placement.

When I read about fish pedicure and see ads for it in the local paper I always wonder how they work out the charges. Is it per fish?

If I were the fish-owner (the pedicurist if you will) I think I'd want to see the state of the feet being plunged in with my fish before setting a rate.

Nice n clean, size 4's? That'll be £5 please.

Cheesy, crusty, flaking, size 13's? That'll be £40 please.

On the subject of fish, we were in a large pet store the other week and whilst there I decided to buy some 99p goldfish (no expense spared!) to go in our garden pond, now that it is secured via some netting and the fish are safe from the heron (see past posts).
One of the fish tanks the shop sells: cruelty itself!

Dear Lord above.

You would have thought I wanted to adopt six children rather than buy six fish. I bet Madonna filled out less paperwork and answered fewer questions the last time she played the child-snatcher in Africa.

Next they wanted to know how big the tank was. I gulped. Would putting fish in a natural environment where they are free to swim about amongst plants, under stones etc. be considered cruelty in a store that sells garish minuscule fish tanks with themed backdrops and stickers all over them? I shifted weight from foot to foot, my mouth went dry, and beads of sweat appeared on my forehead.

So, opting for the path of moral cowardice, I held out my arms in a fisherman "the one that got away" style and even guesstimating a tank way smaller than our pond, it clearly got the 'OK' from the Obergruppenfuhrer in charge of the fish section.

Hey crickets have rights too!
As they fished out the little fishies, my eldest whispered to me "hey Dad, how come they say only so many can be kept in a tank so big, when they keep dozens in tiny tanks themselves!"


It was only afterwards, whilst taking our new adoptees home (and feeling as guilty as a Weight Watchers member after a chocolate cake binge), that I remembered the same shop sells insects as a 'live food' for reptiles.

Does their adoption, animal rights and sales protocol extend to crickets?

Physicians heal thyselves.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Bristol Am Byth??? Is the Land of Our Fathers Expanding?

Bristol - so near and yet so far
On Good Friday evening I was queueing in our local chip shop to get what the Scots call "fish suppers."

As an aside, I heard a programme a while back which said the fish n chips (especially as a Friday night treat) was popularised by the Irish immigrants in the East End of London who would, of course, eat fish on Fridays.

Anyway, back to the chippy. Whilst queueing I asked the girl dishing up the fish if she could account for the proprietress's whereabouts the evening before. She asked why - so I suggested the boss might have crossed the Severn Bridge to orchestrate the riots in Bristol (on Thursday).

The boss in question (who was dishing up the chips to those at the head of the queue) piped up on hearing the conversation and asked what the Bristol riots were about, to which some bright spark in the queue intoned "they want to be part of Wales."

Now there's a novel spin on the situation...

Hoorah for Easter! Hoorah for £1 Chocolate Eggs

Delivery for the Hurleys! "But Dad - it only cost £1, honest."
I am not one for excess. It is not due to any Puritanism, I like my Churches full of statues and a high altar can lift the mind to heaven. No, I avoid excess primarily because it tends to cost more.

I am nothing if not my father's son. They say he is as tight as a duck's, erm, backside. Well the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Ask any of my children and they will tell you that getting their dad to spend money is like getting blood from a stone.

The best things in life are free. A walk on the beach. A kick around with a football.

So when the little ones ask for Easter eggs they make a beeline for their mum, or they'll get a lecture on the pagan nature of Easter eggs (whereas if they were free, I'd embrace them, as they denote new life, rebirth and an end to Lenten fasting).

I think you're getting the picture. Tight.

This afternoon various eggs were distributed and I was informed "They only cost £1 each - and we got you one too dad."

So who am I to complain? If you can't beat them, join them. Embrace the revolution! My wallet remains intact.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Happy Easter

A very Happy and Holy Easter to all the Hurley family and the Huzzeys, Tullochs, Dingles, Tolmans, Crwys, Parsons and other branches of the family.

No you're not all Hurleys -- but you're near enough! ;-)

And to all friends and blog readers too: Happy Easter to you all.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Wise Head on Young Shoulders?

This morning, David Cameron was on the news and Ed Miliband was in the newspaper.

Our youngest turned around to me and said

"Dad why do we bother voting, because nothing changes and they just start wars?"

Do you think she has listened to her parents discussing the news just once too often? ;-) Is such cynicism a good thing so many years before she can vote?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Family is Growing

Congratulations to Paul and Janine on the fantastic news.

I will temporarily overlook the idea of being a great uncle! Me being 30 an all.

Just a gentle reminder: Gareth is a great name for a little boy. No pressure...

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Pod Poop: A Smelly Lesson for us All

Life is full of surprises. Many turn out pleasant, but sometimes... well, let's just say we get the 'mucky' end of the stick.

Some (English and American) relatives went to London once a few years back and queued up quite some time to go on the London Eye. On entering their pod a young family, with a baby, went in with them.

After they were sealed in their pod, for their hour long journey, the baby did an horrendous poop in his nappy and stank out the entire pod!

A time long planned of seeing the grandiose spectacle that is Westminster and London from a great height became a nightmare pongfest.

And isn't that a metaphor for life? Or at least those many parts of it that so quickly turn from being a long prepared occasion or a planned event, into a big disappointment?

Be careful what you wish for, lest your pod also be filled with the odours of a pongy nappy!

Here endeth the lesson. ;-)

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Who are these Absailing Caterpillars?

For the last few days we've had tiny little green caterpillars (5mm or so in length) descending on wee gossamer style strands from some fir trees in our garden. There can be anything from 4 to 10+ of the little green critters per strand and at any one time there can be up to circa 15 strands blowing around in even the lightest breeze.

Pottering in the garden the last couple of days, I've been coming in from the garden with the little green chums crawling on my clothes and even in my hair!

I had a quick look online, but without a clue, looking up green caterpillars is a non-starter. So I'm asking folks out in the blogosphere if they know what these little green caterpillars on their tiny strands are.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Covering Furniture With Comics - £350 or £15?

Many years ago, before our eldest was born, we bought a wooden chest of drawers through the small ads in the local paper for £10.

It was bog standard, nothing startling, but a decent, sturdy item.

We got it home and then proceeded to cover it with pages from The Beano and The Dandy, which we then varnished over. We still have the drawers and everyone who sees them mentions how great they look.

In total they probably cost us £15 including the cost of the comics and the varnish. In today's world you could probably pick up some drawers from a car boot, recycling centre, freecycle etc. for a few pounds, and you can even get old comics from a similar source for a few pounds for quite a pile.

It's a great thing to do, especially when a little one is being born as it will always remind you of that time (even better if you buy a comic from the time of his/her birth to put in a prominent place on the furniture).

We cut out whole pages as a main theme/background, but also cherry picked some nicer front covers, logos and main characters to cut around and stick over.

The Beano and The Dandy have to be favourites of course - but you could equally choose a girls' comic (like Bunty) or if you prefer some science fiction (like 2000AD) or some war themed titles (like Victor).

So imagine my surprise on opening the magazine that came with last Saturday's Daily Mail to see a similar item (pictured here).

Ours cost £15. Hooray.

This one costs £350. Gulp.


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Is Gaddafi the Taffy Celebrating on Copacabana?

Can't we get one of these on Penylan Hill?
I can barely conceal my excitement! Cardiff City are in the automatic promotion spot of the Championship. Mmmm.

Now I know that sentence is gobbledygook to any Americans looking in (and quite a few of the fairer sex over here too).

Just take my word for it that it's good news. As a Cardiff fan I'm not used to cheering news all that often.

Yet today I had a phone call which raised a smile. A relative phoned to ask if Rio De Janeiro was under the control of Colonel Gaddafi.

Yes, Rio.

Yes, Gaddafi.

Just when you think things can't get any better!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Sticky Willy Update: It Tastes OK

Pottering in the garden on Saturday, putting in a raised bed for the boss's vegetables and other assorted tasks, I took the plunge and actually picked and ate some cleaverwort (latest comment on my recent post calls it "wild sellotape").

It didn't taste that bad actually - I've had (and paid for) worse, and if it is medicinal I think I'll continue to nibble on the occasional fresh growth. After all (and you can tell my dad!) it's free.

I used to think the rapidly growing wildflower a bit of a pain; but now I'll look on it as free food for me and the chickens. And that's got to be good!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Time to Get the Best Biscuits out

I think Jason Koumas may get a free cake if he pops by my house for a cup of tea!

My goodness. I may even open the Bourbons!

Just don't tell my dad. He doesn't approve of such profligacy when it comes to biscuits.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Hello to an old Spikey Friend - and Sticky Willy

Cleaning out the chickens today we came across a rather old friend. Well, old in hedgehog years.

Yes - the hedgehog that comes into our garden each year for the last three or so is back. At the moment he has built himself a cosy little nest under the chicken coop (last year we saw him a few times in the chicken run).

It's hard to know how long our little spikey chum will be with us as he's now quite old for a wild hedgehog, but with him chomping slugs n snails in the garden his presence is most welcome.

And the chickens don't seem to mind too much.

We have (cover the children's ears mother) "sticky willy" growing in the garden. It's just starting to sprout up now and is quite a vociferous grower year on year. I don't mind it too much, but I rip it up here and there just to keep it a bit under control, and I discovered that the chickens absolutely love it! Many plants they'll ignore,some they'll pick at -- but they seem to love sticky willy and absolutely devour it.

So I looked it up and apparently the plant is:

Galium aparine
Other names: Beggar's lice, Catchweed Bedstraw, Cleaverwort, Cleavers, Everlasting Friendship, Goose grass, Grip Grass, Scratch grass, Stick-a-back, Sticky Willie, Scarthgrass, Sticky-willy, White Hedge

According to Nicholas Culpepper  (17th century astrologer-physician):

"The juice of the herb and seed together, taken in wine, helpeth those bitten by an adder by preserving the heart from the venom.
"The distilled water drunk twice a day helpeth the yellow jaundice. The decoction of the herb stayeth laxes and bloody fluxes. The juice of the leaves, or the bruised leaves, applied to a wound stayeth the bleeding. Boiled in hog's grease, it helpeth all sorts of hard swellings or kernels in the throat when anointed."

According to a site on herbal remedies:

Cleavers is edible and medicinal, it has been used for centuries as an alternative medicine by indigenous peoples on many continents. It is edible raw though said to be unpalatable, mainly used as a pot-herb or as an addition to soups. Using the plant as a vegetable has a slimming effect on the body. Cleavers seed is one of the best coffee substitutes, it merely needs to be dried and lightly roasted and has much the same flavor as coffee. Cleavers has a long history of use as an alternative medicine and is still used widely by modern herbalists. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of a wide range of ailments. The dried or fresh herb is alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, aperient, astringent, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, tonic and vulnerary. A valuable diuretic, it is often taken to treat skin problems such as seborrhoea, eczema and psoriasis, and as a general detoxifying agent in serious illnesses such as cancer. The plant contains organic acids, flavonoids, tannins, fatty acids, glycoside asperuloside, gallotannic acid and citric acid. It has a mild laxative effect and stimulates the lymphatic system and has shown benefit in skin related problems. The fresh plant or juice is used as a medicinal poultice for wounds, ulcers and many other skin problems. An infusion of the herb has shown of benefit in the treatment of glandular fever, tonsilitis, hepatitis and cystitis. The infusion is also used to treat liver, bladder and urinary problems. The plant contains the valuable constituent asperuloside, a substance that is converted into prostaglandins by the body. Prostaglandins are hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels. Much more scientific research is being done on the plant it is of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry. 

I wonder if our chickens knew something that I didn't when chomping down their sticky willy. 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Sparrowhawk and the Wood Pigeon

The victim!
For a few weeks now we have had a pair of wood pigeons nesting in/near our garden. Their distinctive cooing has been a real uplifting sound, even on dreary days -- giving hope that Spring would bring sunny days and a wealth of flowering and wildlife.

Today all that ended when we saw a sparrowhawk swoop down and intercept one of the wood pigeons in mid flight, sending him smashing into a window (which must have broke his neck). The sparrowhawk tried to carry off his victim, but the weight was too much - he only managed to hop along to the compost heap, by which time we were on the scene and he flew off leaving the dead victim behind.

On the window the imprint of the pigeon, with wings outstretched, was left very faint. Later in the evening the pigeon was gone, leaving only a lot of feathers scattered around, so we assume the sparrowhawk returned to rip apart his victim.

All very sad, but nature rolls on.

It's weird how the animal kingdom encroaches on our back garden. We've had a flamingo eat half our little goldfish, and now a sparrowhawk eat one of 'our' wood pigeons... We know there are foxes in the area, but so far the chickens have survived into old age. White van man took our cat - and some say they are like animals too ;-)

What a turbulent place the animal kingdom is.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Popularity Versus Taste

"Popularity doesn't make something inherently good, that would make McDonalds the best restaurant in the world instead of the only remaining public toilet in city centers..."

BT Yahoo Blog, April 1, 2011

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Pre-Decimal Fivers Flood Spain: Banks Bailed-Out

I heard some disturbing news yesterday. My folks (hi mum, hi dad) are on hols, skiing ("spending kids inheritance") on the Costa Del Crime. News that my dad's legs (sponsored by Unigate) have caused consternation in the local populace are as yet unfounded.

Anyway, our youngest received a text from Old Ma Hurley saying that "Grampy's" wallet was stolen. (Yes, like all families, our children can master gadgetry like mobile phones whereas the parents look an aghast like Luddites.)

Now worse things can happen, but let's face it - losing a wallet means my dad will be wearing a black armband for quite some time (I think a minutes silence will be an annual affair). I don't think my dad and his wallet have ever been parted. In fact the last time it was opened was in 1952 (we had our own silver jubilee in 1977 - whilst the Royal street parties went on we lived in hope the wallet might be opened again). My dad and his wallet make Arkwright and his Oxo tin look positively indulgent!

It's not so much theft as the kidnapping of a very old and dear friend.

I have contacted Interpol and told them to look out for thieves in Spain trying to exchange pre-Decimal fivers bearing images of George V with scorch marks* at the local Bureau de Change.

Meanwhile, this (see pic) was Nan's response when Grampy pleaded with her to buy the beer for the rest of the holiday:

That's love in the nonagenarian community.

The Spanish government meanwhile have announced that the flood of British pounds into the Spanish economy mean that the much debated EU bail-out of the Spanish banks may not now need to happen.

The Portuguese embassy have already invited the Hurleys to holiday on the Algarve next year...

* From the oxy-acetylene burner used to break open the wallet and its chains.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Mothers Day with Fire and Brimstone?

Excuse the American spelling - but it is a great cartoon
Reading through the Mothers Day notices in this morning's South Wales Evening Post (only Swansea could have a morning paper called the Evening Post!) I was struck by the amount of bizarre names.

I am a bit of a traditionalist. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Rebbecca, Claire, Mary and Theresa. Good names. Christian names. We seem these days to be surrounded by Tylers and Shanices. Dear God.

Still it could be worse. Hollywood is far away and so we have few Zowies, Apples and Sunset Blossoms (the 60s has a lot to answer for).

According to one report I read a few months back, the most popular name in Britain is now Mohammed. Judging by Swansea and Cardiff I'm not altogether surprised. despite this there were no Mohammeds in the Evening Post. Perhaps the Koran has a passage against paying for adverts in newspapers - or Mother's Day is too Christian?

Talking of which I read somewhere else (I am good at reading, average on retaining knowledge and poor on recalling sources: that's what age does to you) that Mothering Sunday was originally the time of year you would return to your "Mother Church," i.e. the Parish where you grew up.

Of course these were in times when we were all Catholic, and Christianity held us together, even when the Welsh, Scottish, Irish and English had their petty squabbles. Catholicism was as natural and as normal as the air our ancestors breathed, and no-one wasted their energies on searching for the meaning of life via yogic hopping or swimming with dolphins.

If we were troubled, back in the day, Christ was truly present back in our local parish church, and the widow's penny got you the same visiting rights as the Baron's ransom.

I wonder if our medieval forebears would have been as devout if they were called Talullah or Jordan, and I'd better not compare them and Mohammed or I'll be treading on egg-shells, offending all and sundry, starting a crusade/fatwa and goodness knows what else.

It's funny isn't it, that Muslims, when you get to speak to them one-on-one are, in my experience at least, quite charming, erudite, knowledgeable people --  perhaps because they are aware of the wider public image? They love their religion, they seem to defend the family as an institution and are quite traditional. All traits we can and should admire. The only ones I've seen who wish to strap explosives to themselves are dished up on Newsnight (and even then, like our own politicians, they seem to prefer to send young men off to die while they flit around TV studios: I see little difference between a "mad mullah" preaching death to the infidels - oi stop nicking our words - and the likes of Tony Blair who invades countries illegally and in the process kills many more people). Misrepresentation does seem the flavour of the day. Do most Muslims frown at the mad mullahs just as most British people frowned at Tony Blair?

It is when viewed as a mob through the lens of the media that Muslims become this snarling mass. Do people in Muslim countries watch photos of anarchists rioting and smashing windows, then turn to each other and say "those mad Christians, look how they behave, I've never seen such hatred" thinking it a fair representation of most "Brits?" Or do they look at the stats for street crime and thank Allah they don't (all) live here?

I wonder what Catholics come across as when viewed as a mob? The lens of the media certainly paint us as "homophobic" (whatever that means!), medieval, insular and somewhat bigoted. Not all bad then ;-) Worse still is when "Fr. Pete" is on the radio and we are representing by someone more interested in promoting gooey, clingy, happy clappy, kum-by-ya, "inclusive" Catholicism who present Christ as some sort of feminine milksop coupled with the traits of a trendy social worker. The sermon is so 'touchy feely' you think he's having some sort of febrile convulsion as the homily on loving everyone is sneaked in between hits from Freddie Mercury and Elton John (that the priest tells the DJ were "just great").

My fear is that as a mob all Catholics could do in this day an age is get a concession from a tea and biscuits wholesaler... Sure we don't want the wailing mobs (having said that if it's against the banks or the BBC and its blasphemy... ;-) why not?), the fanaticism of the ultramontane sort or the clericalism that sees all priests --especially the "Fr Pete" sorts who go from parish to parish ripping out altar rails in the name of progress-- as infallible in every pronouncement. But just once in a while, even if not via the mob, wouldn't it be nice to hear a priest give it some of the old 'fire and brimstone' instead of the usual media-fodder happy clappy vomit inducing goo? I know it would do me the power of good!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Happy April Fool's Day

I came across this on the internet:

Poor Robin's Almanac for 1790: -
The first of April, some do say
Is set apart for All Fools' Day;
But why the people call it so
Nor I, nor they themselves, do know,
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment!

And immediately thought of a far better version, if I may be so bold:

The first of April, some do say
Is set apart for All Fools' Day;
But why the people call it so
Nor I, nor they themselves, do know,
But on this day the biggest fools are sent:
To sit on their fattened butts in parliament!

The Morning After Pill is not Contraception: It Induces Abortions

Choose Your Poison
The move of the Welsh government to allow the Morning After Pill to be dished out to under 16s should have us all concerned.

This is another attack on the family. Firstly it negates life. Secondly it means young girls can obtain abortion-inducing drugs, leaving their parents in the dark.

Make no bones about it: this is not "emergency contraception." Contraception (as its name implies) stops conception before the fact. This evil drug induces an abortion after the fact. Calling it "emergency contraception" is a lie - it is a maliciously conceived lie made to deceive the naive.

Aside from the insult to parents, this is yet another implicit message to our daughters that casual sex is "ok" because the powers-that-be provide, free of charge, all the opt-outs from the results of their actions (as if all this can be carried out in a moral vacuum).

What damage will repeated use of these abortion-inducing drugs bring about? Science is not infallible. Ask the users of Thalidomide.

Abortions are bound to increase because this drug induces abortions. Teenage pregnancies will increase because the green light is given, yet again, to immoral behaviour and not everyone will remember to go get their free abortion pill.

We often hear that STDs, abortions, teenage pregnancies and the other wonderful side-effects of this hedonistic age are on the increase, despite all the sex-education (starting at five years of age!), despite all the media and print material on under-age sex, despite all the free contraceptives, despite all the wide availability of abortion...

Now take out the word "despite" and replace it with the words "because of" and you have the answer.

Giving the green light to casual sex is like giving the green light to drug use. The "experts" like to tell us that education on this will reduce its usage. The facts scream otherwise.

One of my sons was told in class that heroin was bad, but cannabis was OK. I complained. The liberal idea was that if kids want to flirt with drugs, get them to flirt with "harmless" ones like cannabis.

Liberals just don't get it do they?

I am no prude. I do live in the real world. It's because I live in the real world and have seen the effects of these things that I get angry when I see the liberals pushing "lesser evils" to prevent "greater evils" -- in essence opening the door wide open to the greater evils because the young people indulging in the lesser evils will grow proportionally, and all too often one leads to the other.

I lost one friend to heroin, he went off to join the army and we lost contact. Years later I heard he died from a heroin overdose. I also know single mums who "chose" that lifestyle to get a free house, and I know those who have had abortions. I am not a hermit nor do I live in some kind of hermetically sealed bubble.

Nevertheless I know what I see happening and do feel honour bound to speak out. The people pushing this latest attack on the family are like those who passed the Abortion Act in 1967. Back then they said it would be a small amount of "terminations" carried out under strict circumstances (mother or baby's life in danger) with two doctors getting the say-so.

Today we have women pushed into abortions by angry boyfriends (sorry, "partners") and others having abortions because they want to go on holiday, or choose an abortion because they want a second car.

Now I know this is an emotive subject (it makes me emotional) and some readers may not agree. I don't care. I am not here to please you or salve your conscience. I am here to state what is true and to try and prick your conscience.

Abortion is murder, whether carried out on a 23 week-old unborn child that has its limbs ripped off or is burnt alive, or if carried out by some unthinking good-time girl at the chemist's counter.

That we, as a society, are promoting abortion yet again (and to the under 16s!), will merely increase the number of people indulging in recreational, casual, meaningless sex, as did the original legalisation of abortion -- which in turn will lead to more STDs, abortions, single mums, and all the societal evils associated with all of them.

We should expect better of our politicians: we don't from bitter experience, but we should.