Just When You Thought I’d Vanished…

 

Up I pop with not very much to say, in honesty.

It’s been a while since I wrote here…not because I’ve ceased to have an opinion, nor because I don’t feel my voice has any importance, but because I’m taking time to observe the world and its people around me.  I’ve also been rather busy trying to secure a publisher for my 6th book of prose and poetry titled “Memoirs of a Messed-Up Mum.”

There has also been the issue of my broken gas meter and a whole week of having no gas to cook with, no ability to heat my home and consequently, myself and my children and of course, no hot water, so feeling unclean, the last thing I wanted to do was sit at the computer and write.

I had emailed EDF several months ago (3 to be precise) and informed them that the battery on my pre-payment meter was low and needed replacing.  Their response email advised me that it wasn’t an emergency complaint and thus, I had to wait until the battery died and then contact them again.  When this happened, AFTER crediting the meter with £15 gas, my daughter telephoned them on my behalf and they agreed to send an engineer out within 8 hours to replace the battery.  An engineer arrived 4 hours later, took one look at the meter and said he couldn’t fix it, that it was apparently a recent common problem with similar meters and that we’d have to phone the emergency number again and request another engineer be called out to repair it. So, again, my daughter phoned them and was told an engineer would visit us within 8 hours.

The second engineer came around midnight, the house was stone-cold freezing and he replaced our meter with a new one, but only put £5 credit on it.  I put the heating on straight away, but that credit lasted only 2 hours. We phoned EDF the next day, a Saturday, and were informed that without a new top-up card we were unable to credit the new meter, but that when we were in receipt of it, it would have my £15 credit on it. We were told our situation wasn’t an emergency and that the card would arrive with us in due course.  The children and I spent the weekend in our respective beds attempting to keep warm.  On the Monday morning my daughter phoned them again and was told the payment card would be sent that day by 2nd Class post and that it would arrive with us by Wednesday at the latest and that in the meantime, we should just sit tight. I spent those 2 days crying my eyes out…it was so cold that my bones physically hurt.

Wednesday arrived but the card didn’t, so my daughter phoned EDF again and was told that an engineer would come out and put £5 credit on our meter.  The engineer never arrived. The lack of hot food and inability to get clean and warm was taking its toll and our complaints were seemingly falling on deaf ears – we were told that a lot of people were in the same position and that EDF were fixing it to the best of their ability.  By Thursday, even my daughter was losing patience…she phoned them again and 2 hours later an engineer arrived and put £5 on our meter…we were told that £5 was the maximum amount that the engineers were allowed to credit the meters with.  That evening 2 of us managed to have a lukewarm bath each and a hot dinner…then the gas was all gone.

On Friday my daughter phoned them again to ask where our payment card was and was informed that it hadn’t been sent out due to 2 things:- apparently they use business class and can only post things out on certain days of the week – our meter had been broken a week earlier, yet no day within that week was a business class day? When my daughter said this to them she was told that their systems were down, hence the delay. So my daughter told them I was threatening to go to the press – I am disabled and the cold causes me no end of suffering. That evening an engineer came and put £10 on our meter and the next morning the pre-payment top-up card arrived by First Class post. EDF telephoned me for 4 consecutive days to make sure our gas was working all right.

I just think it’s a shame that normal people are forced to suffer as a result of a company’s inability to provide an adequate service to its customers.  With all of that money from tax evasion that these fuel companies get away with under our current government, one would think they’d spend a little money training their staff and improving their services.

I’d be interested to hear stories from others regards to their dealings with the fuel companies…so do feel free to comment this post.

Last week I was fortunate enough to watch a live-stream of the Occupy protest outside the BBC in London, calling for the BBC to tell the truth in its news programs instead of fobbing us off with what the government think we should be able to watch.  Too many people pay an annual TV License Fee to hear bullshit propaganda fed to us by the Tories and their over-inflated egos.  The BBC bigwigs sit with fat pockets and apparently no conscience.  It forced me to be realistic – we are paying to be lied to and for the most part, the great British public are content with that so long as they get to watch Eastenders and similar shows. That, in my honest opinion, is ignorance at its finest.

I’ll leave you with your thoughts and also with this:

http://daily.represent.us/matt-damon-blows-your-mind/

 

Until next time…

 

Press Release: A Toynbee to Remember by Joy Travers

Joy Travers tells the story of WWI Toynbee family through their own letters

Author announces release of ‘A Toynbee to Remember’

BRIGHTON, England – In “A Toynbee to Remember” (published by AuthorHouse), Joy Travers’ new book, readers take a look into the lives of the Toynbee family during WWI, exploring their involvement with the Christian Brotherhood movement, the political problems they encountered and their unique perspective on the war.

 

Travers spent many years researching 500 Toynbee family letters sent between the United Kingdom and Egypt during WW1. The letters describe how the family at home feels about the war and their part in it. The son in Egypt does the same about the entirely new experience for him away from home and the people he knows and loves.

 

An excerpt from “A Toynbee to Remember”:

 

“The Brotherhood teaching laid particular emphasis on personal development and getting the most out of any situation in order to increase one’s awareness of other people. Thus, knowing that Stan would most probably never be in the hell of trench warfare, Will was already leading him into stretching himself with new experiences. This exchange with a non-combatant relatively far from the battlefield, allows us to look at an aspect of the First World War from a little-recorded angle.”

 

Travers says there is no other book like hers. “Most of the contents will be unknown to anyone under 75 because political history has not been taught in schools as a scientific subject.”

 

“A Toynbee to Remember”

By Joy Travers

Softcover | 8.25 x 11 in | 296 pages | ISBN 9781481796187

E-Book | ISBN 9781481796194

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

About the Author

London-born Joy Travers has a long career in secretarial work. She holds a master’s degree from Kent University, Canterbury, and she spent 20 years researching the background to the 500 letters exchanged between members of a London working-class Toynbee family from 1915-1919. Those letters form the main part of her book “A Toynbee to Remember”.

 

 

Laura Lamarca Serves As Country Manager United Kingdom

After half a year of successful writing on Johntext UK, I am proud to present Laura Lamarca as country manager.

 

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My experiences with Laura have led me to believe she’s a person full of energy and compassion, and she is motivated and able to help others by her articles.

Hans-Jürgen John

Free Events in the UK

With all of the doom and gloom going on around us, it’s important we balance the depressive with equal amounts of enjoyment and based upon the fact we’re all now having to tighten the purse strings, I thought I’d scour the net for a few FREE upcoming events all around the UK.

 

 

1000 Years Of The Art Of Japanese Books

Thursday 18th April 2013 – Saturday 22nd June 2013

At the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London WC1 H

For tickets call 020 7898 4046/4915

 

 

A Million Brushstrokes 2013: New Collection

Friday 5th April 2013 – Friday 31st May 2013

At Llewellyn Alexander, London SE1

For details call 020 7620 1322/1324

 

 

10th Anniversary Of The Invasion Of Iraq

Friday 5th April 2013 – Saturday 1st February 2014

At Imperial War Museum north, Manchester

For tickets call 0161 836 4000/4007

 

 

Images Of Industry: Talk

Friday 19th April 2013 at 7pm-9pm

At Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, Pontypool

For tickets call 01495 742 333

 

 

19th–21st Century British Drawings, Paintings, Prints and Sculpture

Friday 5th April 2013 – Friday 31st May 2013

At Cyril Gerber Fine Art, Glasgow

For Tickets Call 0141 221 3095

 

 

Mirrorball Showcase 1

Saturday 18th May 2013 at 7pm

At The Poetry Club, Glasgow

For details Email: jim@carruth.freeserve.co.uk

 

 

2013 artrepublic Visual Arts Prize Exhibition

(Part of Brighton Fringe Festival)

Saturday 1st June 2013 12pm-5pm

At Brighton Unitarian Church, Brighton

For Tickets Call 01273 917272

 

 

Paddy McCann: New Paintings

Friday 5th April 2013 – Saturday 20th April 2013

At Fenderesky Gallery, Belfast

For details call 028 9023 5245

 

 

360’ Cinema and Shows for Kids

(Part of Brighton Fringe Festival)

First show Sunday 19th May 2013 at 5.05pm

At Jubilee Square Brighton

For details of ALL shows, click here:

http://www.souldome.com/#!kids-360/c18ty

 

 

Grande Boucle

Thursday 2nd May 2013 – Saturday 1st June 1013

At Kemistry Gallery, London

For details call 020 7729 3636

 

 

Aberdeen Artists Society Annual Exhibition

Thursday 11th April 2013 – Saturday 29th June 2013

At Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen

For Tickets call 01224 523700

 

 

Patti Keane: The Song Of Los

Saturday 6th April 2013 – Saturday 27th April 2013

At Y Tabernacle, Machynlleth

For details call 01654 703355

 

 

Bare Bones Boogie Band

Saturday 4th May 2013 at 9.30pm

At the Brasenose Arms, Banbury

For details call 01295 750244

 

 

Sarah Pickstone: The Writers Series

Saturday 6th April 2013 – Sunday 12th May 2013

At New Art Centre, Sculpture Park and Gallery, Salisbury

For details call 01980 862244

 

 

Hannah Robbins: Verdi, Wagner, Poulenc

Thursday 18th April 2013 at 12.45pm

At Firth Hall, Sheffield University, Sheffield

For tickets call 0114 222 0499

 

 

Rahila Gupta: The Shining Path

Friday the 19th April 2013 at 2.30pm

Studio at St James Theatre, London SW1E

For details call 0844 264 2140

 

 

Abie Longstaff: Reading

Saturday 27th April 2013 at 11am

At Waterstones, Barnet

For more details call 020 8449 8229

 

 

It’s A Wonderful Life

Saturday 13th July 2013 – Sunday 25th August 2013

At The Gallery, Ripon

For details call 01765 689554

 

 

Call The World Brother

Saturday 27th April 2013 – Friday 14th June 2013

At Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown

For details call 01686 625041

 

 

Lubomyr Martinuk

Monday 8th April 2013 – Saturday 1st June 2013

At Balman Gallery, Corbridge

For details call 01434 634629

 

 

Absense versus Presence

Monday 8th April 2013 – Saturday 20th April 2013

At Frameless Gallery, London EC1 R

For details call 07974 976736

 

 

Eduardo Stupia: Reinventing Landscape

Friday 5th April 2013 – Saturday 27th April 2013

At Rosenfeld Porcini, London W1T

For details call 020 7637 1133

 

 

Africa: Exhibition

Saturday 18th May 2013 – Thursday 30th May 2013

At Newcastle Arts Centre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

For tickets call 0191 261 5618

 

 

Storytelling For Families: Kid In A Sweetshop (Over 3’s)

Saturday 30th April 2013 at 10.30am and 1.30pm

Room 31 at National Portrait Gallery, London WC2H

For details call 020 7312 2463

 

Danny Bryant’s Redeye Band

Friday 10th May 2013 at 10pm

At Bootleggers, 24 Finkle Street, Kendal

For details call 01539 723824

 

 

Stories From The Sea

Saturday 27th April 2013 at 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm

At Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool

For details call 0151 478 4499

 

Degree Show 2013

Friday 14th June 2013 – Thursday 27th June 2013

At Peninsula Arts Gallery, Roland Levinsky Building at Plymouth University, Plymouth

For tickets call 01752 585050

 

 

Figuratively Speaking

Friday 5th April 2013 – Sunday 21st April 2013

At Byard Art, Cambridge

For details call 01223 464646

 

 

Script This

Wednesday 22nd May 2013 at 6.30pm

At Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, Lincoln

For tickets call 01522 882000

 

 

For more events, I discovered a good website that allows you to search your local area: http://www.list.co.uk/events/

 

 

Justice?

Police have charged a Berkshire man for the daylight killing of teenager Keiran Crump Raiswell on a Manchester street on 16th January 2013. Raiswell died after being stabbed at a bus stop.

There are incidents like this happening frequently in the UK, some get reported in the media, whilst others don’t…I believe that all murders should be reported by our national press.  The tabloids should have a daily feature titled “Murderers Amongst Us”, a full page dedicated to the animals who think taking the life of another is acceptable behaviour.  Their names and crimes should be listed so that people can know what really goes on in their communities, instead of reading which celebrity is on which diet and who is wearing the best clothes.

This is reality people! Stop allowing the media to manipulate you and know what it is to live with your own sight, your own views and the truth of the situation we live in and refuse to actively do anything to resolve.

Firearms offences are down by 40% compared to figures published nearly a decade ago…this is down to the commitment of dedicated police officers…that statistic could be lowered further if people had a sense of what was happening around them and the gumption to report it.  When we close our eyes to truth, that is when we make the fundamental choice to say “this is our world and yet, we don’t care”.

It’s about time someone gave a damn instead of complaining about it over a cup of tea, instead of turning the page or flicking through the TV channels…instead of waiting until it happens to them or someone they love.

Ignorance isn’t a virtue…it’s a convenient cop-out for cowardice.

Anthony Cataldo – good friend

Foto

Anthony in Ladakh

You can find and buy some of his photos made in India on:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nomad_afc

I first met Anthony in Ulm/ Germany. As far as I can remember it was around christmas time in 2003.

He begged for money in the street. He was reading a book. I thought: Oh who is this guy here sitting on the street…

I learned: Anthony comes every year to Ulm the month before and after christmas. He is living on the street for decades. I did not want to give him money for nothing like men do to beggars. He started correcting articles written by me in my bad English for this website.

We met several times in the past years. I even visited him in Great Britain / Bath once.

So if you come to Ulm / Germany for example visiting the famous christmas market do not forget him and perhaps you give him a little money. His fate can be yours…

Hans-Jürgen John

India and its author John P. Matthew by Hans-Jürgen John

My door in these days to India is Mumbai. So I travelled from Germany/Switzerland to India, last week. I saw and I visited Mumbai. The kindness of its inhabitants is sufficient for me to know and to understand that Indians are a friendly people. Friendly to foreigners, friendly to its great past and future of its children, open-minded and with spiritual disposition.

I suppose there are thousands of authors and writers in Mumbai. Fate helped me to find one out of thousands.

About a year ago I tried to find out if `johnart` is already registered as a trademark. I clicked through the pages of Google`s world. Then I found the page of John P. Matthew, author and poet. We wrote to each other. Now, finally, I managed to visit him in Mumbai.

 

I found an author who is sensitive, who sees Indian problems, its wonderful people and its possibilities and we became friends. We installed the Indian flag on Johntext.de … and now he is ready to write for Johntext about India.

© 2012 Hans-Jürgen John

Johntext News by H.-J. John

Oh, how motivated I was! And I still am.

However, my perspective on writing at Johntext is now more realistic. The more we deal with problems and search for possible solutions, the more varied and multifaceted the matter becomes.

It is as if we were faced with a mountain to climb, then climb it, and once at the summit we can see the skyline of the Himalayas. Impossible for a person all by oneself. Only manageable in a team.

Hence, as a logical conclusion Johntext is now being established on the pillars of worldwide teams.

For many years I have been wondering what the blue entrance page at www.johntext.de is for, apart from containing country flags. Now I know.

It is going to have a map of the world.  Ideally, Johntext will gradually be selecting one writer/author as an example for his country.

These authors will have shown through social commitment that they know what it is all about: the specific problems of people in their home countries and possible solutions.

And if the reader moves the mouse across the world map of www.johntext.de, a photo will open up for every country in which people who write for a good cause have been found. The photo of a dedicated writer as a link and a gate to a remote, strange and interesting world.

In Germany, people have different immediate concerns and needs than people in South Africa, or at least they might weigh them differently.

In the United States of America, I suppose, the priorities of adolescents are different from those of their counterparts in Switzerland.

This world poses different challenges for people and their lives in almost every country. It is therefore insufficient to address the problems of this world in isolation starting exclusively from a central European viewpoint.

Together, however, people create great things for themselves and for others.

Special thanks go to my literary agent, Axel Poldner. 

Many thanks to the johntext team:

Diana Wössner (psychologist)

Achim  Wendt und Martin Becker (co-authors)

Kathrin Drescher (webmaster)

I wish all interested readers an enjoyable day full of challenges and motivating experiences!

Sincerely, Hans-Jürgen John

© 2011 Hans-Jürgen John