Tag Archives: hero

Care Giving

Lesley Joseph (right), with her hosts Pat and Malcolm in the BBC’s When I’m 65 season on ageing.

If you’re looking for unsung heroes, look no fourther than care givers.

Though you may find them hard to spot, because as well as unsung – they’re often unappreciated, unsupported, unpaid, unhealthy themselves, quite likely unhappy – and unable to get out much. Such is the burden of responsibility and sheer physical exhaustion involved in looking after someone else.

According to Carers UK, there are an estimated 1.3 million people aged 65 and over who are the primary (perhaps only?) carer for someone else. So as well as the self-sacrificing goodness involved, they’re also saving the state (i.e. the rest of us) a lot of cash.

So it’s good when someone pays attention to them, or even better, lends a hand.

Whether it’s a care worker paid for out of those pesky taxes, a neighbour or – in this case – actress Lesley Joseph, who played Dorien in the TV series Birds of a Feather.

Sure it was for a TV show – part of the BBC’s When I’m 65 season – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be sincere and helpful – nor that she doesn’t personally have her own insight. She has a 100-year-old Mum of her own after all.

Birds of a Feather – back in the day: Linda Robson, Lesley Joseph & Pauline Quirke

I met Lesley when Continue reading

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Do people really speak like that?

Belfast landscape heads by David "Creative" McClelland.

Dialogue springs forth fully formed from the mouths of the regulars in my favourite pub. It’s very odd. This isn’t how people really speak surely?

Normal speech is hesitation, prevarication, vagueries, misunderstanding, repetition, replete with em-ing and er-ing. Isn’t it?

But what I heard while perched at the bar sounded honed by Elmore Leonard. It can have/seem to have an aggressive edge to it. (See here for a foreigner’s view.)

This snatch of speech begins as the fella on my left hand explains that he drinks in the pub most weekdays, at which point fella on my right hand jumps in…

LEFT: I drink here most lunchtimes.

RIGHT: Why?

LEFT: Because I can.

Pause.

LEFT: I’m drinking for one now…

RIGHT (interrupting forcefully): No! Never explain. You were a hero there. The hero in films never explains himself. It’s just bang, here it is, this is it. For 45 seconds there, you were a hero. But you blew it. Continue reading

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The Day I Met… Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg packs a political punch

(Ta dah!) It gives me a queasy feeling in my stomach to introduce the latest entry in The Day I Met… Competition.  Here’s a taster:

We had to stop at a hotel to collect someone. A performer. Someone whose first album I owned. My first discovery of political music for myself. Even my dad rated him. Squeak!

But then it all goes wrong. The story is from Speccy and her Me, Mine and Other Bits blog in Belfast.

I’m trembling a bit. This is about a musical hero of mine. An inspiration (of which more below). A singer songwriter. If you’re from somewhere that has not yet had the pleasure of Billy Bragg (also at his official website), he’s an unashamed leftie. The “Bard of Barking” has sung against the right-wing press, Thatcher, the arms industry, war as an easy option (he had a brief spell in the army himself) and racism; in favour of trades unions, international solidarity, sexuality in its various manifestations and the humane treatment of asylum seekers; and about loss, relationships and love.

But he’s mainly known as being incredibly right-on. (Which is an odd term, as it generally means being on the left, in a politically correct sort of way.) Right on – and fun. And a good song writer. I’ve seen and heard him live quite a few times – every time a good ‘un.

But hark! Perhaps the Braggster is not quite as saintly as he seems Continue reading

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Filed under Guest Posts, The Day I Met... Competition

Heroes of the frontline

Standing up for what’s right costs. The question is whether or not you are willing to pay the price.

What we have learned from people’s reactions to the wave of rioting, looting and burning hitting UK cities over the past few days and nights, is that some heroic individuals are willing pay that sometimes very high price Continue reading

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Good news in gloomy times

Sad bad times sometimes bring forth heroes. They’re the mitigating silver lining. They’re what we focus on to avoid staring too hard at the greater despair.

Kim Hunter & David Niven, A Matter of Life and Death 1946

But they can be hard to spot, these heroes. You don’t notice them beforehand. What do they look like? Not like my idea of a hero – handsome, twirly moustache, flying jacket, gentle eyes combined with slightly cruel mouth – sorry, I’m thinking of David Niven in A Matter of Life and Death.

So for these gloomy times, here are two lots of real heroes. They don’t look a bit like David Niven.

1. Patricia Maisch – She reminds me of Hong Kong Phooey. Continue reading

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Hero or villain?

How did these two guys find themselves in the same news story? A firefighter commended for his work in the 7 July 2005 London bombings – and a cocaine smuggler.

Their pictures may explain it. Continue reading

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Filed under life, media