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Old age brings on strange thoughts about life.

Within Bedlington there is the ability to laugh at oneself and make light of even the worst situation.

Family gathering can seem to reinforce this ability to laugh or make a serious situation seem funny.

However it does not apply to all there are the people who you do not under any circumstances laugh at / or about.

In a dangerous occupation where you rely on your workmates is this essential?

After all, we can all make mistakes but we are defined by how we deal with them.

Within politics there is a culture of its not my fault.

When it comes to War then people see a common enemy and work together.

This weekend I am thinking about our town, politics locally and nationally and how things could and should be done.

Basically not got a clue.

Do we learn from our nurture or do we just act because of our nature.

When need arises do we go into fight or flight mode.

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My beloved Guardian has a weekly column where the author says what they'd do if they were king for the day. 


King Sym The Wise and Magnificent would recognise the trouble his Kingdom of Blighty has been left in by the corrupt and villainous Barons of the House of Thatch and his first order would be to decree that his day as king be extended, for the rest of his life, as much work needs to be undertaken to secure the well being of his people.  The Barons would be rounded-up and 're-educated', the High Priests of the Right and their naive followers would be submitted to trial by fire and the people would see that all is well in the Sym's kingdom.  The ownership of vast estates of the Barons would be commandeered by King Sym for the benefit of his people and a land of milk and honey would be embraced by the grateful masses. 


War would only be waged on the Frogs ...our natural enemy for the last 1000 years.

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Why not look to sensible countries like Denmark (the happiest country in the world) and attempt to emulate them. At the bottom line that is all anybody wants - to be happy. Many Danes don't lock their cars or houses because they tend to trust each other. I know that people say they didn't used to lock their doors in this country but that was because they had nowt worth pinching. As a teenager I never once heard anyone in a pub say "Do you want a knock off proggy mat going cheap, or a mangle?" One of the problems in this country is the fact we are brought up with dreams of past glories of empire and dream of punching above our weight in the world. A lot will change in the next few centuries but I doubt if we will ever have another empire. In fact I doubt if we will be able to hang on to Scotland or Wales. What we need is a bit serious realistic thought about what sort of country we wish to live in. I know what sort of country I want to live in and it is not one where sections of the population are deeply disadvantaged and demonised by a right wing press controlled by the people who did the disadvantaging (Is that a word?) in the first place. No we need a decent, more equal society where there is more equality of opportunity for everyone no matter where they were born or what accent they speak with, or what colour their skin is. Goodness knows there is a lot of wealth around, it just needs sharing out more fairly. One final note, the Danes do this by paying huge amounts of taxes in a country where a guy with a small wooden toy making business can end up with a huge multi-national company - Lego. But think of the pain he's caused to parents standing on the bricks barefooted.     

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Depends how you measure happiness. Denmark usually comes out in the top 10 on the "happiness barometer", though they have lost a little of their footing the last couple of years. However, if you measure happiness - or the lack of it - by the number of suicides per year you'll get a very different picture. According to WHO data Denmark is currently at number 27/100 with 13.6 suicides per 100, 000. The UK on the other hand is at 62/100 with only 7 suicides per 100, 000. My first thought was that maybe alcohol - or the lack of it - may account for the difference but according to the same source there's only a marginal difference. 

Edited by Canny lass
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I think SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) might have something to do with suicide rates being high in Scandinavia. I don't know not having looked it up, but don't they also have a different attitude towards end of life/terminal illness? I think the invasion of American multinationals with a completely different work ethic to the Danish one may be having a marginal effect but that's just conjecture on my part. I do not think utopias exist and it is probably dangerous to try and make them, but I do not think there's anything wrong with learning from other countries.

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Sorry Smudge, I seem to have missed this. SAD has certainly something to do with suicide rates in Scandinavia but mostly in the extreme north, nearer the pole circle. Fortunately not many people live so far North. Southern and mid Scandinavia have about the same amount of Daylight as the UK and don't feel the effect so much. When I've seen Denmark's position on the happiness barometer I've Always had an inkling (another Lovely Word) that it had to do with their intake of alcohol. There's no "wrong" time for a beer in Denmark. I was surprised to see that their intake is only marginally higher than in the UK. It may be something to do with the way the Danes drink . They don't drink to get drunk only to feel "pleasantly inebriated".


I agree that we should not be averse to Learning from other countries and long for the day that Sweden can adopt British politics in relation to the sale of alcohol.

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As booze is so expensive in Denmark possibly they often get in their cars and head south for cheaper booze in Schwelswig Holstein and Lower Saxony. I bet even Carlsberg is cheaper there and it would influence the statistics. But that's just conjecture as is so many have committed suicide that the survivors think themselves happy because they've survived. Of course I do not know the Scandinavian statistics for depressive illnesses but is it possible that anyone clinically depressed feels worse because they have an expectation of happiness?  

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Gallows humour gets me through !

SAD plus a bit of humour or 'p---- take'

The 'Gran Reserva' can also help.

Then here is always the pictures that refuse to load the right way up.

It is the little things that get you through.

Mind I also like Symptoms version of where there is discord let me bring harmony,

Basically how to :-

'Rage against the dying of the light' or

' It's not dark yet but it's getting there'

If I was Queen /King for the day I would go along with the lines of John Lennon's 'Imagine' lyrics.

Sorry about this but I did attend a funeral yesterday of a great friend and neighbour.

That one person in a thousand you could always rely on.

Not a lot of them around.

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