Friday, October 27, 2006

Peg bag soaked...


Mrs E is continuing to take her stand against Madonna but since we started to re-decorate the hall she has had thoughts about the adoption. I believe that it is due to the fact that painting is giving you a long time to think…Whilst Mrs was elsewhere busy with Miss E, our daughter, moving in to an apartment with her boyfriend, Mr T, she left laundry out getting soaked and the peg bag was soaked as well…During the time when Mrs E washed and dried the pegs (see photo) she had thoughts about Madonna…I can assure you that they will be revealed shortly…

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mrs E is disappointed with Madonna…


The are so many opinions regarding the adoption of baby David, by Madonna and Guy Richie. Most of the opinions are without doubt against the adoption, claiming rightly or wrongly that it was fast tracked due to her celebrity status. Discussing the adoption with Mrs E the other day I was astonished that Mrs E did not agree with Madonna’s adoption…especially since we had done the same thing in 1992…

One cold February day I arrived home from the office and Mrs E asked me straight…”shall we adopt a child?” Wow…this is a big decision, the biggest decision I have ever been faced with. Mrs E’s brother Walter was working and living in Monrovia, Liberia and the country was being torn to shreds by civil war. Charles Taylor and Prince Johnston had overthrown the then leader Samuel Doe, put his head on a stake at the square. People where dying and this little girl known to the brother in law and his Liberian wife were not going to survive. So we were sort of called upon to help…

Naturally we were going to do this by the book…the only problem was that the book was impossible to open. The first hurdle age…Mrs E was 37 at the time, and you couldn’t adopt if you are over 35, so if we wanted to do this we had to do it privately. Wandsworth Borough Social Services asked for £800 to do a home study report which would take 2 years…this was pretty stupid as in 2 years the little girl would be dead…Then one day we received a roll of film in the post. We had arranged for a Swedish aid organisation operating in Monrovia to take some pictures which they then sent with a person who was returning to Sweden and seeing those pictures melted our hearts and we knew that we had to move quickly as she was going to be abandoned.

We prepared all paperwork needed, health and financial reports plus personal references. Armed with this, a flight to the Ivory Coast as there were no direct flights into Monrovia, then a small plane from Abidjan to Monrovia. There was a fragile ceasefire in the capital at the time, but still this was not a holiday destination one would recommend…The girl, Zoë, was a happy six year old child who explained that she would go to England and see the Queen and more importantly to her, she would go to school…

The adoption took place at the courts in Monrovia, present at the court was Zoë’s biological mother, the father a Swedish construction worker was long gone and even though he had knowledge of her existence he had no interest, and her maternal Grandmother. She was issued with a piece of paper which had a photo of her stapled in the corner and simply said, “give this child safe passage to London”.

This is now were the problems started. You see we could not afford a private jet, hired help nor could we afford top solicitors to take on the bullish British Government, we were just a two man band with a lot of affection for our daughter and we were not going to be stopped by some jumped up little embassy snot telling us that we could not have an entry visa for Zoë. “Put her in an orphanage return to the UK and apply for an entry visa” was the answer they gave us. This was not an option of course, how can you adopt a child only to put her in an orphanage in the Ivory Coast…

We had the tickets so off we went, via Belgium then a small hop over to Heathrow. At Heathrow and official looked at the adoption papers and this was our lucky day…it was a Saturday morning so the home office was shut and to our amazement they stamped her little piece of a paper with a six months tourist visa???

Excellent, we were in and could start to work out our next move. As good and sort of law-abiding citizens we reported the arrival of Zoë to the social services two days later. She registered with our doctors and we went to the school and had a meeting to see which grade she should join. All was well and we did not hear anything from social services until nine months later, when we received a letter saying that we had illegally brought a child into this country. Social services assigned us a newly qualified social worker, just a kid actually, with no children of her own, who kindly informed Zoë that she could not call us mum and dad (something Zoe had chosen to do herself) and she was very quick in letting us know that Zoë could be taken away from us. We were further told that they would apply to the local court to appoint a legal guardian; social services would then appoint a social worker for Zoë. The social services were not supportive they were in fact threatening asking questions like, “What are we doing to ensure that Zoë keeps in contact with her ethnic background?” To which we answered, I am Swedish and we have already had visits from Sweden, meatballs are constantly on the menu and so on…
This was not what they wanted to hear, they meant her African heritage, to which we answered that she is only quarter African and three quarters European so with our family history, three African sister-in-laws an African mother-in-law plus heaps of Swedish family members this would be a near to perfect set-up. It became clear to us that the social workers were not interested in “helping” us and they made it clear that the British government did not recognise adoptions from Liberia, to which we responded “that is your problem not ours”.

As time went on we were getting very nervous that they had the authority to remove Zoë from us, also an incident when Zoë showed the social worker a Barbie doll saying “Daddy is Barbies boyfriend”, the social worker looked at Zoë, corrected her “You mean partner”. This was just too much for us so we went to the Swedish Ministry of International adoptions in Stockholm, who duly looked at all of our paperwork and in 2 weeks they issued Zoë with a Swedish citizenship. Two fingers up to the British social services and British government who now had the pleasure in issuing Zoë with a permanent residence visa, as Sweden had not joined the EU yet, a formality as at the time a child would be given the same alien status as the father…

Now based on the above and the problems we had you would think that Mrs E would be in support of Madonna’s adoption, but she isn’t and the reason?

Mrs E believes strongly that an adoption is an incredible commitment and Mrs Richie did not show that particular commitment. She could not sit in her hotel for two days whilst the passport was being processed. She left for London, leaving the hired help to deal with it and to bring the baby to England. If she couldn’t be bothered to do this then it doesn’t bode well. Something that important, the first act by a mother for her new son, she paid someone else to do it…

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Zurich zays I am zick....


I made a mistake, yes I know I shouldn’t admit to it but I made a mistake. I went to London to meet up with my friend Paul, my financial adviser, and as all financial advisers he insisted we meet at the pub. So after a few pints he said, Mr E…you don’t smoke anymore…I have not seen you having a Marlboro for while what is going on?

I explained that my brother C called me one day last year and he mentioned that he was stopping smoking…so I did…but he didn’t…As a good financial adviser he advised me that I could cheaper life insurance because I am on a smoking rate at the moment…This was my mistake…

Before long I received a call up to go and see my Doctor and to be assessed… fine no worries as I am healthy as an ox…so lets go…

My doctor in London sent instructions to my doctor in the Cotswolds and with very clear instructions of what he wanted from me, nothing dangerous just the normal…”a morning sample” not necessarily in a sterile pot, so I thought that my Kodak 200 ISO film pot would do…

I sat with the doctor he checked, he poked and took 3 gallons (that is 13.6382756 litres) of blood to be analysed. This was not a problem, neither was the Kodak sample, problems started when he asked me to stand up to measure how tall I was…You see I am 2 Meters (6’6”) tall and his measuring stick only went to 1,90 (has to do with the average height of an Englishman, sort plonkers...). He stood on a chair (without health and safety knowing about it) with his desk ruler added the centimetres and got to the same height as I gave him 2 Meters…

Now for the weight the good Doc told me to stand on the scales and they topped 127 KG, and this is where the problem started…The insurance company wanted it in Stone and Pounds…So with the help of a wall chart for obesity we together worked it out to be 27 stones…That would give me a BMI of 40, at least, or it would make me 4 metres tall. Anyway we were in hurry so the good doc wrote it down on the form. Blood pressure was brilliant and I was perfectly fine until he asked…

Any serious illnesses in the family?

No not really…I said…My great grandmother Johanna ended up being 107 years old, worked the land and was in good health. My Grandmother Martha was 94…give and take…so longlivety is in the family it is in the genes…

OK said the doc…that doesn’t count what about your immediate family?

Well they are all OK…able, kicking you know…was my answer.

Any illnesses? The doc said…

Well now you mention it…My mother had a bypass operation at the age of 45 then again at 55. My dad had a stroke and is in a wheelchair. My older brother had a stroke and had part of his cerebellum removed but apart from his gout he is OK. My younger brother suffered from kidney failure at the age of 10 and my younger brother is taking steroids for his arthritis but apart from that there are no other heath problems…

The doctor looked at me and told me that this is serious…my family is not well and this will affect my insurance…

I looked in bewilderment and offered him the information that we once had a mongrel dog which was 17 years old and fathered at least 3 pups in the village…this, he did not accept as good health in the family…

So here I am in a dilemma…I am healthy, but my family history is not and now I am being punished…

Is this fair? Should I pay for the sins of my family…looks like it…

Can I charge my family for this?

What is that all about?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Time to cut the lard?


A report conducted recently told us that Britain is the fattest among our European cousins…and I have a solution in how we can get rid of some of the excess fat…let’s fire Prescott…

The current DPM is out of favour with the public, something which shouldn't be news to him, but it might be tough to get him out as he has an incredible, almost insane, support with the current team that is in charge.

John Prescott, our “beloved second leader in command”, has a chequered past. Apart from being a steward on a cruise ship we don’t really know what qualifications he has. We know without doubt that it is absurd when it comes to his survival in government. A little research into his working day the last couple of years shows that he is not only “just there” he is also lazy, or is the excuse that the rest of the team are to frightened to send him out and mingle with the public? Like when he thumped a potential voter, perhaps he was not a potential voter as he threw and egg on the DPM…

What do we know about this guy who is doing nothing in government has no responsibility and no office, but still cost us some £2,000,000 a year?

Born in 1938, to a railway signal man, christened John Leslie Prescott, he failed his Eleven Plus Exam, joined the merchant navy become involved with the unions and bla, bla, bla…the rest is sort of unknown…

He was made Minster of Transport, Deputy Prime Minster, Secretary of State, then there was a stint in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, he was Deputy Prime Minster again and no office, because he was caught with his pants down after having a romp with his secretary…what a horrid image…

In the last year he has spoken in 16 debates, less than most MP’s, attended 48% of votes, less than many other MP’s. His speeches are understood by 15 – 16 year olds, according to the Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level, raked in £105K in expenses last year…Why are we having this guy around and isn’t there something we can do to rid of him?

Having told us how he hated the establishment, screwed up transport, wanting to concrete our greenbelt, had rompy on his shift, he is now ready to accept a peerage…Is there NO end to what this guy will do?

I need to know what we can do to ensure that he doesn’t get another penny from us…

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lingonberry blues...


Today was a good day. I noticed that the lingonberries are flowering and whilst it will take us a long time to get a harvest big enough to make our own lingonberry jam it was good to see that we might be the first in the Cotswolds with flowering lingonberries.

It was a very bad day for everyone who has an elderly parent or a grand parent who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, as we today were told that the £2.50 cost of the daily tablets, which is helping 1000’s of sufferers are no longer going to be made available.

I cannot understand how these stories get out in the press and who in the government allows them to get out, as it is just incredible. Two days ago we were told that Mr Rapist and Mr Burglar from a country outside the European Union, is to be offered some £2,500 to go home after they served their sentence in the UK. This is to allow them to get medial help, education and to settle in their own bloody country???

How does this work, and why is John Reid, our tough-talking Home Secretary, such a bloody coward that he cannot stand up to his soft liberal, brown rice eating, comfortable shoes wearing, half witted MP’s and tell them that from now on there is a new Sheriff in town.

If you are not from the UK and before you start writing and telling me to mind my own business or that I am just a bigoted racist, I am an immigrant in this country, thank you. I am, what you would call, an ethnic minority as I am Swedish. So where was I, yes, if you are not from this country, with that I mean born here, you will serve a sentence according to the judge discretion then you will be deported and not as per John Reid suggestion, if you don’t mind being deported?

You bloody will be deported, no questions asked, straight back to where you came from. If you commit a crime then you just lost your rights to live here and if you have gained British citizenship by living here, then it should be revoked and you should be on the next Ryan Air out.

Sorry there is no way around this. No talking to see if you are going to loose a hand or head when you arrive at you deportation destination. You should have thought about that before you committed a crime. This week Britan is talking about it running out of prison spaces. Shoplifting is up by 70%, a 70 year old man in Cornwall managed to stop an assault and held the assailant for 10 minutes until the police arrived, only to be told the criminal was bailed later that afternoon?? A man was wanted in Bristol today because he had given the police an incorrect address, “do not approach him he is dangerous” they said…if he is dangerous and the police had him why on earth is he walking the streets tonight?

Identity cards, what is that all about? Most of us have driving licenses; it got a picture so how many people are we talking about needing to get an identity card…10 – 20 million? Tell everyone that has a paper driving license that they got 2 months to change it to a new photo license…and if they don’t? Screw them…make it illegal to drive without one, fine them, take their car, make it into compost or sell it, do whatever you want teach them a bloody lesson. So if you carry driving license, allowing you drive a bloody car, then that should be good enough to identify you. If you are here on international business, bring you driving your passport, what is the big deal?

So whilst we are running around behind the criminal element, ready to pay them £2,500, if they would like to take up the option to go back to their own country, our elderly and infirm are having to find £2.50 a day for vital medicine…doesn’t it just make you sick?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Culture Mister who doesn’t pay for culture…


It didn’t take very long before the new Swedish government faced an embarrassing appointment. It must be difficult to find people who have been in opposition for a long time that still has their nose clean. No not cocaine this was something more embarrassing.

The new Prime Minster has just been sworn in and he is setting out to form his new cabinet. At this time you have to start to remember all of those friends who have supported you in thick and thin and give them cosy jobs in your cabinet. This is probably how the appointment of the new Swedish Culture Minster was made.

Mrs Cecilia Stegö Chilò is now going to be in charge of everything to do with culture in Sweden, including the public funded, Swedish Television and Radio (SVT). You see SVT work on the same system as the BBC, it collects licence fees from the public, from which it funds its television and radio channels. The fee is compulsory for anyone who has a television set.

Now would it therefore surprise you that the new Culture Minster Cecilia Stegö Chilò has been dodging the licence fee for 15 years???

Does it not help that her husband went down to the post office to pay the fee on the morning she was announced to take over as Culture Minster?

No…that cannot be right and she is still getting the job?

Yep she will now be in charge of the white paper which stipulates what the licence fee will be in the future. Looks like Swedish Television will have to commercial then...

So is the new Swedish Government is taking over where the last one left it…don’t do as I do just do as I say…

However she should have read the copy of spectator which is behind her in the picture. The front cover shows David Blunkett and one phone call to him would enlighten her about the pitfalls in politics...

It didn’t stop there…The New Trade and Industry Minster, Maria Borelius who during the 1990’s had an income, together with her husband of £1,000,000 has paid for a nanny without paying fees and taxes…Great start for the new government…

Update 23.57 (BST), 11 October, 2006. Since I posted the above story, three newly appointed Ministers in the Swedish Government has been reported to the police for avoiding to pay their television license, whilst I try my best not to deceive you it is sometimes hard to keep up in these fast moving times.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Nobel cause…


I met a man today…an intelligent man…and we had a discussion about education and it surprised me when he mentioned that he had been taught nothing and told nothing about Alfred…how could that be possible? This worried me for about 15 seconds. I explained that I had been taught nothing or very little about Henry…so Paul, who is English and in finance, was perplexed when I mentioned both Alfred, and since his son is learning Latin, Carl von Linné…

You see it isn’t just ABBA, Volvo, Ikea, SAAB and Ericsson mobile phones which Sweden is famous for. There is a more sinister, but with a good outcome…I think…past in Sweden’s history… they are behind the invention of the Dynamite…Yes, the Dynamite and Mr. Alfred Nobel could have gone down in history, if it wasn’t for a printing error, as the Merchant of death, forgotten and despised with no legacy to show for it. It is often forgotten that behind the Nobel Prize stands a man who invented powerful ways of blowing things up. So in one way we have the French to thank for the invention of the Nobel Prize.

Alfred Nobel’s father was also an inventor he is credited to have invented the modern plywood, not that explosive news I agree but stick with me for a second…He upped sticks from Sweden and took his family including young Alfred, to St. Petersburg in Russia. Unfortunately the business did not do too well so they all headed back to Sweden after a bankruptcy.

Alfred started to study explosives…now there is course which we do not see at University today…wonder why?

So after a couple of years experimenting with nitro-glycerine he invented the dynamite and during a couple of test in Sweden at their research centre he managed to blow up his own brother Emil and a couple of co workers…not deterred by these minor setbacks, he demonstrated his newfound product at Redhill Quarry in England in 1867. Whilst it could be argued that Alfred had industrial use in mind for his invention it became a tremendous product which you could use with great effect in war…remember Alfred had personal knowledge of its capability just ask or spare a thought of his brother Emil…

So Nobel Industries flourished and Alfred did become extremely rich, he owned Bofors the Swedish arms manufacturer among other things. So then one evening in Paris, where our Mr. Nobel had settled in 1988 after patenting Dynamite around the world, a French newspaper printed, by mistake, that Mr. Nobel had in fact died. The obituary, not very flattering to Mr Nobel read…Le marchand de la mort est mort ("The merchant of death is dead"), it said, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday."
Alfred Nobel appears to have been a bit disturbed by what he read so a couple of years later, on the 27th of November 1895, some two weeks before he died from a stroke, he changed his Last Will and Testament. The will stated that his estate worth US$4 million, a huge amount in those days, should be the foundation of a prize given out in five categories. Physical Science, Chemistry, Medical Science, Literature and then a special prize Peace awarded to the person or society that renders the greatest service to the cause of international brother/sisterhood, in the suppression or reduction of standing armies, or in the establishment or furtherance of peace congresses.
Now you might ask yourself, why literature? The other prizes make sense…Literature is sort of the odd one out in the group. Well you see Mr Nobel was a writer as well as an inventor and he wrote a play, Nemesis, this is probably the reason for the Literature price being there.
All prizes apart from the Peace Prize are handed out in Sweden. When Nobel wrote his Will, Sweden and Norway was one country so it is believed that Mr Nobel asked for the Peace Prize to be handed out in Oslo as a gesture to peace and the union between Sweden and Norway…
The Nobel committee has announced over the last coupe of days the recipients for the various awards for 2006 and I feel it is just right we mention them here; and a note that they are all from the US, so perhaps we need to ensure that brain drain does not occur and spur on Oxford, Cambridge and all other Universities to get their act together, could be nice to see that Europe can match the US…anyway without further ado they are;

Roger D. Kornberg, Chemistry
Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello, Medicine
John C. Mather and George F. Smoot, Physics

Congratulations to all of you.