Big Week In Spanish Sport

Big Week in Spanish Sport

It has been a big week (or so) for sport in Spain. Just over a week ago Rafa Nadal won the US Open tennis tournament. Last Sunday Spain won basketball’s World Cup by convincingly beating Argentina in the final.

Last weekend also saw Dani start his swimming classes again.

Really more of a social event where he can chat with his swimming teacher. When she is trying to shout instructions from the poolside he has also taken to floating with his face out of the water but his ears submerged. Almost daring her to jump in and slap him. Well she has my permission. Despite all this messing about he is getting there, slowly but surely, and I cannot complain. He is way ahead of where I was in the swimming pool at his age.

We watched the basketball final and it was a good win for Spain. The team you would have expected to win the world cup – USA – were eliminated in the quarter finals. Apparently the top 25 players in the USA refused to go. Were not interested. Work that one out! Although I suspect it has as much to do with that NFL (American Football) national anthem nonsense as anything else. Look it up online.

As for the tennis…

I don’t like Nadal. I really can’t put my finger on it. I just don’t like him. But I do quite like tennis as a sport. It must have something to do with it being a lot like boxing…. Yes, really.

On that subject: Dani has recently expressed a slight interest in boxing so I may find him some gloves so he can try out a little bag work. It is probably just a passing interest. A very short-term thing. I do believe that at this age he should try any and every sport that they want to. Then hopefully he will find where their real interests lie. Then it will be the right time for parental encouragement.

Fireman Sam – Update…

If you read the previous post you will know about this one… Over the weekend I read a newspaper article which discussed this madness.

Some years ago in an effort to increase the number of females enlisting in the fire service, the government greatly reduced the requirements for height and strength. Still it did not work. Not only did that idea fail spectacularly but it had an unforeseen yet natural knock-on effect. It has reduced the number of big and burly men who manage to get in. In other words it has increased the number of weaker, more feeble men now fighting fires. Who thinks that is a good idea?

Poor Sam – the Fall Guy

“When I grow up I want to be a fireman.”

Not the worst thing a dad could hear his son say, right? Not that Dani has even hinted at any future career.

But if he ever did want to become a fireman my son’s chances of being one are actually getting slimmer by the day. Welcome to another day in the crazy world of political correctness.

An old Kid’s TV Show

The kids’ TV hero, Fireman Sam, is being attacked for being to ‘sexist’. Apparently, the show (which is over 30 years old) is not inclusive enough. I first read about this the other day. Now it is out there in the mainstream media.

The story broke when some county fire service made the ridiculous claim that the show is ‘not inclusive’ enough. Fireman Sam must be ‘sexist’ as he is putting women off joining the service. Or so they say…  So guess what? They have stopped using Sam as their mascot; in the warped belief that it may be putting women off joining the fire service.

OK. Let me set the record straight. I know from fairly recent experience (watching with Dani) that Fireman Sam is just about the most over the top, bending over backwards to be PC, children’s programme out there.

Allow me to explain…

It is set in the tiny fictional village of Pontypandy. There will be similar places all over the UK and believe me they are no metropolitan multi-cultural melting pots. Why would they be? But when did reality ever have any relevance?

Firstly, there is and always has been a female firewoman/fighter/person in the ranks. Her name is Penny and wouldn’t you know it; she is portrayed as the most sensible and most efficient in the team. The team comprises Sam, Penny, Elvis and the station officer Basil Steele. So the fire crew is 25% female. In fact you could say one third female if you take the station officer out of the equation. Current only 5% of firefighters are female in England. So far from not being ‘inclusive enough’, Fireman Sam is some 28% above the national average.

And more…

Forget the female firefighter numbers for a moment. Even back in the early (stop motion) episodes Pontypandy already had an Indian family and an Italian Café owner with the incredible name of Bella Lasagne Yes, you read that correctly; but you don’t hear Italians crying about it do you?

In later (CGI) episodes they even had an Australian helicopter pilot – flying a helicopter called “Wallaby 1”. So, no stereotyping there then. Perhaps they should have made the pilot an Aborigine?

All this in a tiny backwater village remember. You really couldn’t make this nonsense up. I just laugh at it.

Back to the real world…

Imagine for one moment if your son really does want to be a fireman. If you live in one of these places then his chances would be severely limited right? Wrong gender and all that. It’s not good is it?

This particular county (don’t know, don’t care), it seems, won’t be happy until there is a 50:50 gender split in their service. Despite the fact that nowhere near that many women want to apply. Still, never let the facts and figures get in the way of deranged idea eh?

And let Fireman Sam take the hit for that… Poor Sam.

More on Trees

Following on nicely from the recent post about Dani’s insightful view on trees I received a couple of things from friends.

It seems these recent fires in the Amazon are nothing new. Nor indeed anything to panic about. No: This news item has been manipulated especially by certain politicians for their own ends. Nothing new there then.

A Couple of Articles

The first article talks about the French president attacking Brazil’s leader. A good article showing that the French leader probably has another agenda. … Read it here.

The second is from a different source. It discusses the (apparent) increasing amount of greenery on our planet. If true then things are not nearly as bad as we are told by our honest politicians eh? Even if it’s not true you still have to wonder why such arguments are not being countered by the ‘green’ lobby and media. That alone is suspicious at least eh? You can read that article here…

This second article appears to come from an impartial source whose only aim is to inform people from all walks of life, on both the positive things as well as the potentially harmful..

Who to believe?

Now admittedly some such articles come from sources which do not agree with the usual mainstream media (and hence our illustrious leaders). But when all we see on TV is one side of the story it must be time to look elsewhere for another angle. Otherwise we are just sheep believing everything we are told on TV. The truth (as they say) must at least lie somewhere in between. Unfortunately our kids are bombarded with a single view.

Personally I choose to believe my own son and what he said the other week. Certainly above anything the mainstream media or politicians tell me.

Thankfully not another Greta…

Although Dani’s comment was quite perceptive it was just a passing comment. Not a constant preaching. It really makes me wonder what is going on with that scary Greta girl. If you don’t know who I am talking about just google that name and you will find it. I can’t quite work it out. On the one hand it seems as if she suffers from autism or something similar. My first thoughts were that she is being exploited. Surely a form of child abuse right? Whichever side of the argument you believe it is clear that she is being used by adults for their own agendas.

I will gladly take my boy’s passing comments if that is all they remain. In fact I look forward to having more in depth and scientific conversations on the subject.

But for now I am happy, that he is happy, playing with his games. Like the one we just played. That old classic ‘Twister’. Played out on a so called “single use” plastic mat shipped all the way from China. Very  eco-friendly eh? Maybe I will buy Greta one for Christmas…

A Little History

As so often happens with these posts I thought I would check something before publishing. So I decided to find out more about the history of that Twister game. I would have said it was a 1970s game. Probably because that’s just how far my memory goes back. In fact it was invented in 1966. Far tougher to play than I recall too. I have just been playing it with Dani and it was like a bloody gym workout.

From School to Retirement?

It was back to school today for the little fella. His fourth year of full time 9 to 5 school. His first in the proper primary section. Naturally I took the day off work to take him. Just as I have for the previous three years.

It has also been a landmark week for two of his cousins. Little Stan has now started school. Uniform and all. While Emily has made that biggest of leaps into high school (or senior school as we used to call it).

All of them oblivious to the fact that school could well be a complete waste of time. The world continues to become more crazy as each day passes. At least that is what you would believe if you took the media at its word. But here’s the thing: Whenever I think about such things I come to the same conclusion. It was always the same. It always reminds me of that Billy Joel song “We Didn’t Start the Fire“.

For Example…

Something in today’s news immediately caught my eye. Robert Mugabe the former president of Zimbabwe has died at the age of 95. Back in February 2017 I wrote about a “Dinner List”. A sort of bucket list/wish list of famous people I would like to chat with over dinner. Mugabwe was on that list.

While Dani is starting real primary school I can recall very well the year I left school; 1980. Mugabe became president of what was then called Rhodesia in that year. It is not that I ever thought he was a great person but he always fascinated me. How does a man take charge of a thriving economy – supposedly one of the richest countries in the world at the time – and turn it into a complete basket case. Its a bit like one of those huge lottery winners who end up spending (or losing) all their winnings in a short space of time. Only to end up back where they started. In Mugabe’s case he held on to power for a very long time and certainly did not end up destitute. I am well aware of his shortcomings (many would say ‘crimes’) but I have always thought that he would have made for an interesting conversation.

School, Work and Retirement….

When I started writing this blog I mentioned that I wanted to be able to express my hopes and fears for my son’s future. The way things are going these kids will have to leave school and work till they drop. There will be no pensions by the time Dani leaves school – let alone tries to retire. Of course they will be expected to pay into the pension pot as we all do now. But there will be no return on their ‘investments’. It is just one big Ponzi scheme (see below).

That said of course the kids need to get a good education. At least to a standard where they can make informed decisions and choices later in life. They don’t have to all strive to be doctors, lawyers or even engineers (oops). I am not one for pushing kids to follow particular career paths. It should be their choice. But having a decent grounding – which really has to include a good standard of education – is still a big part of all that.

Hopefully they will all continue to enjoy school and make the most of it. Trust me kids; all that work stuff can wait.

Ponzi scheme: For those who have never heard that term or those who have but may not know what it means; here is a quick explanation:

A Ponzi scheme is a basically a form of fraud that attracts investors and pays out some profits to the early investors (but generally only in order to attract more investors). The scheme leads people to believe that profits are coming from genuine product sales or other means, but in reality it is the other investors who are the real source of funds. A Ponzi scheme can maintain the illusion of a sustainable business as long as new investors continue to contribute to the pot of money. As long as most of the investors do not demand full repayment and still believe in the non-existent assets they supposedly own a Ponzi scheme could run for some time.

The scheme is named after a real person. A certain Charles Ponzi who actually became infamous for starting and running such schemes way back in the 1920s. Wow! That’s almost 100 years ago!