He had bowel cancer several years ago and he recovered, however within the last 4 months I guess it was discovered that it had made a come back and he was given two years to live. Xmas eve he was taken in to hospital and after a few days in hospital he passed over the xmas period. This obviously made for a somewhat less than happy xmas period however it gave me a lot of time to muse on death. A few days ago I attended his funeral which was nowehere near as bad as I had expected, I’d have liked to have been asked to speak at the occasion but I wasn’t. My brain however composed a eulogy anyways and it is written below:
"Simple thermodynanmics dictates that you can not get something for nothing, just as a car cannot be driven without expending fuel. So too it is not possible to live without dying.
As with the car the challenge is to get as far as possible with a tank of fuel, the challenge for us is to use our life as fully as possible to make most efficient use of it.
The question then becomes: “Did my grandfather do this?” For me and I dare say all gathered here there is no doubt as to the answer, a resounding yes. My grandfather as a conversationalist was all that I can aspire to. I never held an interesting conversation with him where he didn’t contribute something, either a snippet of his quick (but never offensive) humour, some little fact that he picked up from a book or the newspaper, or just an opinion that helped to make you question or think a little differently.
He was an exceedingly well read man and this was evident in his love of a crossword, crosswords often became a family activity with many hours spent pouring over dictionary’s or reference books.
He was a man of many diverse hobbies: his collecting of antiques, walking, gardening, photography, wildlife, and the appreciation of the finer things in life (port, whisky etc etc). As if these things alone were not enough to count his life as well spent he was of course a family man.
He was a fine gentleman, and a fantastic host. I will always remember his ability to make people feel welcome in his home. As a family man my grandfather always found time to spend with grandchildren and to help educate us, be it on the finer points of port appreciation, or british history.
It is a testimony to the friendship offered by him that so many are gathered here today. And in reading the many sympathy cards that have been sent that word has cropped up more than any other “gentleman” It is that trait of the quiet polite gentleman that we will all remember him by.
This blog is probably in all time low slump, it’s more or less dead.
I went out the other night for an enjoyable evening in the pub with two very close friends Heni and Jack (daniels that is….) conversation was as ever stimulating and funny. Heni is also a tumblr user, at one point I mentioned that tumblr is more or less just access to slightly more interesting pornography for me.
The look that was returned from across the table was somewhere between scorn and disappointment
So I may attempt to write something today, likely to be on the topic of death I imagine, something nice and cheery.
For now a song as I think going back to posting a song a day would be a good way to get back into this blogging Jazz..
Sometimes you write a response in an argument which is perfect.
This may sound arrogant but I was so happy with it. I covered every point in strong clear terms and it was the sort of response I dream of making. The sort I imagine (or at least hope) would leave the opponent reeling.
This is the sort of stuff that makes it worth getting out of bed in the morning.
It was on the topic of evolution v creationism and is posted below:
"It’s a constant shock to me that in the 21st century there is still a "creationist / evolution debate" There is no debate, IT’S OVER. It has been over since Darwin first presented "on the origin of species" anyone who chooses creationism over evolution either doesn’t understand evolution properly (a shameful reflection on our scientific education) or chooses to ignore it and live in ignorance. The theory of evolution is no less certain than the theory of universal gravitation which, and I don’t see you all jumping out of windows because that’s only a “theory” As for many scientists have discredited evolution, well perhaps you could reference a credible academic paper to back that up? As for the probability of it happening yes I admit it is slim but there are near infinite planets, with a really low probability but a really high number of attempts it’s actually not impossible to get it. Chances of winning the lottery are tiny, but millions of people play so almost every week someone wins. Scale that up to a universe”
Yes, Nigeria has a space programme. Since 2003 the West African country has been operating its own satellites, three of which are currently collecting data from Earth orbit. But this week Nigeria’s space agency came under fire after UK newspaper the Daily Mail reported on British politicians questioning why Nigeria is spending money on satellites while accepting foreign aid for the large proportion of its citizens who live in poverty. In fact, the country’s satellites support food production in the region and disaster relief around the world – including helping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the US. Nigeria’s National Space Research & Development Agency (NASRDA) launched its first orbiter, NigeriaSat-1, in 2003. The roughly $13 million cost was paid for by the Nigerian government, but it was built by Surrey Space Technology (SST) in the UK and launched from a Russian spaceport. The spacecraft was equipped with high-resolution optical and infrared cameras. “They are there to look at agriculture production, improving food security,” says Audrey Nice of SST. The satellite was also designed for environmental monitoring, such as tracking desertification and even locust swarms.
Nigeria’s Satellites were made by SSTL (not SST) as the article says. Which is the company I’m currently on placement with. I’ve done a fair bit of work on a satellite which is a design which takes a lot of Heritage from N-2.
I’m a very angry ranty person, I’m bad at backing down and accepting I am wrong.
And I have a habit of mercilessly trying to prove a point and say things because I think I am right even when in total honesty I know they can only inflame the situation.
The current running battle is with my landlord, the specifics irrelevant here.
Now Izzy has told me to sit the fuck back and swallow that shit basically. I decided I knew best and argued with him. Izzy gets quite annoyed at me for always arguing with people and being angry and rude.
It was exactly the same with my mum, eventually I’d accept they were right but usually not after winding them up and causing some other kind of problem first.
In the last couple of days when the landlord thing has been going on I’ve used the phrase “Thanks for putting up with me” to Izzy. Now this is bullshit. She shouldn’t be “putting up with me” she should be enjoying being with me. And I worry that one day she’ll get fed up of it.
Problem is I’m too stubborn / stupid / arrogant / petty (or a combination of the above ) currently to be able to resist a rant and an argument, despite generally being advised otherwise. And I need to change this.
But it’s a habit, and habits are hard to break and I’m not sure where to start.
It didn’t go aswell as I had hoped, but well enough that I’m not worried. I think I can still get a first this semester.
I still have one more small exam to go.
I JUST WANT TO BE DONE. I think this is made worse by the fact that Izzy finished this morning, which means that my revision in the library is no longer interspersed with coffee breaks with her or the odd kiss.
However in a weird way I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of days. A group of guys on my course and I have all worked together and we’ve smashed it, the banter has been outrageously good.
I just wish I’d finished today, and not got another few days to go.
Today I got 76% on a bit of coursework worth roughly a third of a module.
I worked out I could not attend any of my exams and still pass this year with at least a 2:2
I need to work fairly hard to get the first I want
I understand jackshit of control (one of my biggest exams) I spent far too much time this semester: drunk/hungover/sleeping/shagging when I should have been doing control. And it was a hard module before all that….
Everything aches. I climbed a bit today but felt pretty shitty and I was pretty grumpy when I was doing it. Despite Izzy’s unrelenting cheerfulness. I intend to fix this with Mr Daniel’s Amber restorative and some music.
Just listened to a call in show on the radio about whether ding dong the witch is dead should be played on the Radio 1 chart show.
Ding dong the witch is dead has soared up the charts since the death of Lady Thatcher. Lady Thatcher is a politician who divided opinion like few others I can think of. That to me is testimony to her, whether you like her or not she stuck to her guns and got the job done. She achieved what she set out to do and with minimal compromise. What above all else should be remembered is that she won three landslide victories in elections.
The chart show is in essence a news show, all be it with more music. It reports the facts of the chart. To decide against playing ding dong the witch is dead is nothing more than censorship. And to whom do we award the right to decide what I can and can’t hear on the radio.
There seems to be this illogical mentality that you can’t speak ill of the dead. Why not? Why should dying accord you any special protection that being alive didn’t. One lady who called in suggested it should wait until after Thatcher’s funeral, as if it mattered whether she was buried or not. You are no more or less dead post burial. When you die you cease to be a person, you are an ex person.
Some people argued Thatcher’s family should be given time to grieve in peace. I have a suspicion they’re fairly thick skinned: if you’ve ever seen spitting image for example. Margaret Thatcher was a staunch supporter of freedom of expression, to refuse to play this song is entirely contra to that.
The playing of a single novelty song on the radio I admit seems a piddling issue, however I don’t think we can ever afford to surrender any ground to censorship. It to me represents a disease that can slowly creep in.
People should always keep in mind that in limiting another’s freedom of expression you must by definition limit your right to hear it.
Who exactly are we protecting here? Some people might claim offence but in the words of Stephen Fry “so fucking what, it’s nothing more than a whine”
My old science teacher once told me that he had a bottle of champagne at home ready for the day Margaret Thatcher died. I now wonder how serious he was.
Normally I don’t have any really strong political allegiance one way or another, but Margaret Thatcher is one politician I have a lot of respect for.
I think she stuck to her guns in a way few others do. She stood up to the unions, the Argentinians and was instrumental in the end of the stupid penis measuring contest that was the cold war.
I can easily see how she divided opinion, one thing that seems to be cropping up a lot today is how she labelled Nelson Mandela a terrorist. I think it is unfair of us to judge Thatcher by the standards of twenty years later, Nelson Mandela was involved in the ANC which held protests and had the Umkonto We Sizwe it’s military wing which attacked government targets. Mandela tried to separate himself from this preferring peaceful protest instead. But from a distance, its easy to see how this is a blurry distinction. I think I can let Thatcher off this. Further more I often wonder if one day the IRA will be widely regarded as freedom fighters?
Will I be judged in twenty years if I called them terrorists now?
One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter - the world is not black and white, it’s shades of grey.
Also on a more general note I think female politicians are awesome and at risk of sounding like a feminist I think a few more women in charge of big banks, governments etc the world might be a bit better off. Someone to bang male politician’s heads together some times would be good. My gender are too egotistical generally.