HEADING towards the relaxing of all the COVID-19 rules in mid-July, one can’t help but think we should all be feeling super-excited!

From here to Normality 7

We’ve already planned two trips away in the UK—so no flying involved, but still the thought of being out of our home environment and once again able to see family and friends we haven’t seen for 18 months-to-two years is heart-warming.

The pandemic has made me, and I’m sure many others, consider how special our family and friends are and how much we need human contact in all areas of our daily lives.

Our COVID-enforced isolation has proven how easy it is to become detached despite the wonders of technology—and quite simply there’s nothing to compare with face-to-face contact, a warm smile and best of all… a great big hug!

All these human interactions are imperative for the wellbeing of each and every one of us. The lack of human contact during the pandemic has undoubtedly sparked the huge increase in the number of people suffering with both their physical and mental health, which of course are closely linked.

Being confined to our homes, restricted movement, separation from our loved ones, loneliness and fear for the future are just some of the abnormal situations in which we’ve found ourselves—and not by choice.

So, going forward, how easy will it be to return to the lives and freedoms we enjoyed all those months ago?

It would be nice to say: “very easy”. But, of course, it won’t be.

For those who’ve continued to commute to work every day during the pandemic it may feel much the same. Yet, even for those people, there will still be concerns—and for their families and friends.

From here to Normality 9

If one child in a school ‘bubble’ contracts COVID then the whole bubble—sometimes up to 300 children—is sent home for ten days.

How absurd is this?

But good news! The government has now decided to scrap bubbles because of the hundreds of thousands of pupils who have been, and still are, off school unnecessarily. Though not until August 16—which, in case our Minister of Eduction hasn’t noticed, is smack-bang in the middle of the school holidays!

Why not just scrap bubbles now?

The reality of COVID-19 is that we hope to now be on top of it—thanks to the vaccination programme. But children will continue to catch it because they’re not being vaccinated. From here to Normality 4

However, if they do contract it, surely they can stay home until they recover; just as they would with any cold or infection?

As for the UK economy, we cannot continue as we have been doing. Financially the country is living on borrowed time and money—and every penny of that will have to be paid back.

While I can’t wait for the lifting of restrictions, it greatly concerns me that we still have decisions being made by politicians who’ve proven, time and time again since the pandemic started, they don’t really know what they’re doing.

From here to Normality 12

It feels as though they treat COVID-19 as a game; and if you lose the first time you just keep throwing the dice until you eventually win.

More worrying is how governments and ‘scaremongers’ around the world are continuing to control populations using scare tactics, confusing messages and restricting people’s lives on a daily basis.

I have no doubts that, if and when we open up on July 19, there will be an explosion of people out-and-about, enjoying life again—though the government is relying on them to self-isolate should they be ‘pinged’ by the NHS app…From here to Normality 6

… which is simply never going to happen!

So I think it’s a ‘suck it and see’ move by the government. They have ignored the scientific advice and clearly believe they know better.

In the end COVID-19 will become just one of many other viruses we have to live with. And sadly, as happens with the flu each year, there will be a number of people who succumb to it.

On a brighter note, we still have summer to look forward to. The question is… when?

’Til next time,

Granny FlapjaX



I RECENTLY watched the Netflix documentary Seaspiracy and, as an ardent supporter of our oceans and the marine life contained within them, I feel compelled to raise awareness of this programme and beg you to watch it.

Yes, I did say “BEG”.

It’s a hard watch, but really brings home the importance of being aware of the damage humans are inflicting on the oceans—not just the tons of rubbish being dumped into them everyday, but more critically the excessive amount of fishing which is damaging the food chain; from micro-organisms to the largest animal on earth: the blue whale.

The oceans support 80% of life on planet Earth. Marine plants store, per acre, 20 times more carbon than the rainforests, while up to 93% of the world’s CO2 is stored in the oceans with the help of algae and coral.

Fish excrement feeds the corals, but now 90% of our fish have disappeared from the reefs and the coral are dying.

In 1986 there was a worldwide ban on whaling, but now the Japanese have chosen to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission and resume this appalling atrocity.

And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, in one area of Southern Japan—Taiji—the fishermen lure dolphins into the bay and slaughter over 700 of them each year; just because the two are competing for bluefin tuna.

The Japanese want this valuable seafood for themselves. A single bluefin tuna has fetched as much as $3 million in a Tokyo fish market and is currently the most expensive fish in the ocean.

But now, thanks to the over-fishing of them, only 3% of bluefin tuna remain.

Between 2000 and 2015 the Japanese were catching dolphins to sell on to marine parks for up to $100,000 each. But for every one caught, 12 were killed.

They are using dolphins as a scapegoat for their overfishing and calling it ‘pest control’.

This is truly shocking. Dolphins are intelligent animals and we have no right to take their lives in such a barbaric way and for no good reason.

The bay at Taiji is heavily policed, and anyone caught observing the atrocities taking place there will undoubtedly end up in jail.

Whales and dolphins are as important to the survival of our planet as the rainforests.

When they come to the surface to breathe, they exhale a fertiliser called ‘phytoplankton’. This is known to absorb four times the amount of carbon dioxide as the Amazon rainforest and generates 85% of the oxygen we breathe.


Sharks are also in danger of extinction because they’re being killed for their fins to make shark fin soup; a delicacy in Asia. A bowl of this soup sells for $100 despite the fact it has little taste and zero nutritional value.

In Hong Kong there’s an area known as Shark Fin City. But, make no mistake, visitors are NOT welcome there.

Sharks are a key player in keeping the oceans’ ecosystems alive and healthy. However, since 1950, their population has plummeted 80-90% and, as a result, bird numbers have shrunk by 70%.

Six of the seven species of sea turtle are also threatened by excess fishing, and the USA is responsible for more than 250,000 being killed or injured every year.

And then there’s bycatch, the incidental capture of non-target species of marine life in vast fishing nets.

Fifty million sharks are caught every year through bycatch—which works out at between 11,000-30,000 per hour. At least half of these will be thrown back into the sea and most will die if they aren’t dead already.

Bycatch is responsible for millions of marine life deaths every year, all due to overfishing by the commercial fishing industry, which has some 4,600,000 vessels or killing machines at sea.

In just one month, in Iceland, bycatch killed 269 Harbour Porpoises, 900 Seals (four different species) and 5000 sea birds.

Meanwhile, France is responsible for the deaths of 10,000 dolphins a year through bycatch and commercial fishing in general kills 300,000 whales and dolphins per annum.

The number of fish killed by commercial fishing totals in the region of 2.7 trillion a year—or five million every minute.

Another frightening fact about our oceans concerns the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area of 1.6 million square km which has already had more than 150 million tons of rubbish dumped in it—with new truckloads added every minute.

Fishing nets and associated equipment account for 46% of plastic pollution in our oceans, while microplastics now outnumber the stars in the Milky Way galaxy by x 500.

The number of long-line fishing lines being used would wrap 500 times around our planet every day.

There is so much more to learn from this informative and educational programme—and to understand that, when you buy canned fish which says ‘Dolphin-Friendly’ or ‘Line-Caught’, it most definitely isn’t!

Organisations such as the Earth Island Institute and Oceana, when questioned, have little to say in defence of the marine life and oceans they claim to be protecting, while the use of the word ‘Sustainability’ is simply a marketing ploy.

It’s currently predicted our oceans will be empty by 2048 if fishing continues at the current rate.

And mankind cannot survive on this planet with a dead sea.

Please don’t turn a blind eye to this looming storm. You cannot say: “it won’t affect me”, because, of course, it will. And not just you—your children and grandchildren too.


Please watch Seaspiracy.

We must lobby governments around the world to act—for all of our sakes.


’Til next time,

Granny FlapjaX


IF YOU’VE reached the grand old age of 50 and are heading down the other side, I wonder if, like me, you are hoping—as we move towards the lifting of the COVID restrictions in mid-June—we will see an end to the constant barrage of television advertising aimed at us ‘oldies’.

You cannot turn on the TV at breakfast time or in the afternoon without being overwhelmed by ads relating to disability aids, life insurance and death! From rise and recliner chairs to adjustable beds, sit-down shower cubicles to disability scooters and a never-ending stream of insurance policies to pay for our funerals. 


Frankly, over the past year, this bombardment has almost driven me to distraction. In my opinion these adverts are not only stupid, they’re also inaccurate and certainly don’t relate to their target market.

For a start, take the sit-down shower cubicle for the disabled. Nothing wrong with the unit itself—on the face of it—but the ad uses a fit, glamorous 30-to-40-year-old with absolutely no signs whatsoever of any type of disability to sell it.

The model glides across the floor wrapped sexily in a large, white bath towel, enters the shower and sits down. In the next ad break she walks out of the shower wrapped in the same towel… bone-dry!

Not only that but she’s walking in bare feet—surely an extremely dangerous thing to do for anyone with a disability! She appears to have no issues walking or need any assistance, which totally goes against the purpose of the cubicle.

The same issue arises with the adjustable beds and rise-and-recline armchairs, which appear to lift you up and catapult you onto your feet. Again, the models used in the adverts are fit and healthy—and so have no issues with their mobility: either sitting, standing or walking.

But how can you expect to sell an item of furniture to seriously immobile people without at least showing a disabled person using it? Or with a carer on-hand to assist them? It makes no sense.

The disability scooter is even more ridiculous. It may fold right down and fit into the car boot, but if you’re disabled and on your own who’s going to lift it and place it in the boot?

Then there’s the constant stream of insurance companies trying to sell us policies to pay for our funerals—and without any medical questions.


I can say from personal experience: “that is simply not true.”

They present their products either through well-known personalities who are obviously being paid a fortune, or via older actors who promote the product in a very condescending fashion.

Over the past 18 months there has been much talk of how our mental health has been affected—and I have no doubt the drip-feeding of these advertisements will have been a contributory factor for a vast number of people, particularly those who live alone.

I’m lucky to have my husband and, on the whole, we look for the absurdities in these adverts; hence this blog post.

So my message to the product manufacturers, TV companies and the advertisers is: please consider carefully what you’re advertising and its relevance to the consumer.

Whether we do or don’t return to ‘normal’ on June 21st, please give us a break and perhaps consider a new approach to making your ads in the future.

’Til next time,

Granny FlapjaX



AS WE welcome in the New Year, 2021, we find ourselves in ‘Lockdown’ once again—and the world continuing to grapple with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quite rightly, while the number of cases continues to rise with an ever-increasing death toll, we should focus on the vaccines—which we hope will bring an end to this terrible scourge that has brought so much devastation to the human population of our planet.

But once we’ve reached that point, will we have learned anything to take forward when it comes to protecting our beautiful world for future generations?

Last year, during the first lockdown, people were convinced that the pandemic would be a game-changer—and that once we’d won the fight against COVID-19 we’d look at our lives and realise we don’t need all the things that, up until now, we thought made us happy. 

Many people began to realise life wasn’t all about materialism, and that so many of the things we have all around us are not only free to enjoy, but also vital to our continued existence on planet Earth.

We are lucky to have icons like Sir David Attenborough, who constantly push out the message about the damage humans are inflicting on the planet.

Sir David is quick to point out that, although we’re getting dangerously close to the ‘point of no return’ it isn’t too late to ‘turn the tide’—but only IF WE ACT NOW!


Experts of Attenborough’s calibre, plus many other naturalists and scientists, are simply not wrong with their predictions about the potential demise of our world.

Temperatures and sea levels are rising because the polar ice cap is melting—and the continual deforestation of the rainforests is a major contributor to that.

However, despite individuals raising awareness and each of us doing what we can to try and reverse the decline, the reality of the problem is so vast that it’ll take a monumental global effort from every government to even begin to make a difference.

And that’s where the problem lies. Many governments and large corporations, driven by greed and power, show no desire to take responsibility for their actions, which are bringing the planet to its knees.

They continue blindly along the path of destruction, ignoring what is clearly going on around them and, it seems, with no initiatives to make inroads into the major issues facing us today: the over-population of the planet, high levels of CO2 emissions, plastic and chemical pollution and the ever-increasing number of endangered species—vital to maintaining a healthy eco-system.

How stupid are the people running some of the biggest economies in the world?

So stupid they cannot see the planet is in serious trouble?

So stupid they cannot see there will be no planet if we stay on the same trajectory?

So stupid they refuse to acknowledge that none of them will live forever—and that the world they’ll leave behind for their children and grandchildren will be rapidly declining and out of their control.

In the end we have to accept that the human species is this planet’s greatest enemy—and, until we do, the way ahead looks bleak.

The lifestyle we’ve all become accustomed to has to change.

Our acknowledgement that we have the power in our hands to re-balance the planet by allowing the eco-system to recover is as good a place as any to start.

So, heading into 2021, each and every one of us has to make our voices heard.

We have to push for change from the top and force governments to face up to reality and create new policies to bring calm to the looming storm.

Starting right here, right now! 

Make this your New Year’s Resolution!

And if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that nature holds the ultimate power, and as a species we must recognise and respect it.

With hopes for a change-in-attitude in 2021.

’Til next time,

Granny FlapjaX


AFTER this unprecedented and, for so many, very tragic year—and with Christmas day fast approaching—the usual stresses surrounding the festive season seem to be overwhelmed by confusion over the pandemic rules in the different tiers; and the difficult choices to be made over who we should or shouldn’t share our Christmases with.

Sometime ago, and to remove that difficult choice within our family, my husband and I agreed we wouldn’t put any decisions over Christmas at our children’s feet. Instead, we told them we’d be spending Christmas Day on our own—though we’ll hopefully see them all at some point when it’s appropriate in our bubble.

This, we hope, has made life easier for them—and we’ve made plans for a ‘free and easy’ Christmas Day.

There will be no cooking a huge lunch. Instead, we’ll be having pepperoni pizza, followed by Christmas pudding and brandy butter, a glass or two of champagne and chocolate, sweets and nibbles as and when we feel like them throughout the day. Then, in the evening, maybe a cheese board with more alcohol!

So on Christmas Day we will be indulging ourselves, and I have to say I’m really looking forward to it!

But once again it seems that the government is unable to make a ‘sensible’ decision.

How does it work, with cases of COVID-19 rising exponentially in some areas, that for five days people will be allowed to move around freely, travelling up and down the country and possibly taking the virus with them when visiting other households?

Then we’ll inevitably all end up back in tiers again—but by then the damage will be done.

The virus isn’t selective and neither will it be taking a holiday over those same five days—or, for that matter, at any other time.

In reality we, and many other families, have made our own considered decisions as to the best way around the Christmas quandary.

This is just one year, though, and surely looking to the future it will be better to keep socialising to a minimum to ensure we’ll all still be here to celebrate together in future years.

I know that for people on their own, Christmas can be a lonely and difficult time. As such, many families have every good reason to want to be with loved ones. But a lot of families can still enjoy a great Christmas within their bubble, and now that we live in a technical world, being in touch couldn’t be easier.

2020 has been a year that worldwide will forever be remembered for all the wrong reasons. So let’s hope, and fingers crossed, that 2021 doesn’t follow in its footsteps.

Viruses and various strains of flu have been around for years, and so far haven’t brought the world economy to its knees. So why has this happened this year with COVID-19?

The reasons why are for the cynics like me to grapple with. But one thing’s for certain: we cannot carry on indefinitely ‘locked down’ with an ever-growing mountain of debt left for our children and grandchildren to be repaying the rest of their lives.

So make the most of Christmas. Reach out to anyone who may be on their own and would welcome some kind words to help them get through the festive season. And, most importantly, stay safe and look forward to 2021 with a positive attitude.

Whether you trust it or not, we now have a vaccine (or vaccines) lined up—so there’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

If you’ve read my blogs this year, I hope you’ve enjoyed some, if not all, of them—and I look forward to bringing you more next year.

With my very best wishes for Christmas and 2021!

Granny FlapjaX

Remembrance Day Matters

HH Rememb Day Title Image

As we approach Remembrance Day 2020, entrenched in our worldwide battle with COVID-19, it seems more than appropriate that we should stop, take a deep breath and try to imagine what it was like for all the heroic men and women who, over many years, have taken on the enemy to fight for their country.

People like to say we are fighting a war now—an invisible enemy—and in some ways we are. But to defeat this enemy we have options.

We can do as we’re advised to do, which is stay home as much as possible, wear face masks, keep two metres apart and wash our hands regularly, dependant on the rules that apply where we live. Or we can ignore all the advice, hoping the pandemic will magically disappear, but in doing so assist the virus on its course to infect as many people as possible.

Whichever route we choose, we know that we have a choice. But in World Wars I & II—and subsequent wars around the world—there was no choice.

Armies of young men and women put themselves on the front line to protect the freedoms that we have today.

Some, as young as 14 years old, lied about their age to ‘join up’ and fought for their country on land, at sea and in the air. Most had only a few weeks training in an aeroplane, on board a ship or in the use of guns and weaponry to fight the many land battles they would encounter.

They fought in atrocious conditions, sometimes marching for days in wet clothing with little to eat—and always brutally deprived of sleep.

Millions lost their lives on the battlefields, at sea and in the air. Many thousands suffered horrific life-changing injuries, and hundreds of thousands spent most of the war years as Prisoners of War. Three-and-a-half to four years incarcerated at the hands of their captors, never knowing whether each day would be their last.

Their experiences so horrific, most who survived chose never to talk about it.

The reality of surviving war is that the damage is life-long. And, as we’ve discovered in recent years, many struggle to return to a ‘normal’ life.

There has been much discussion around the affects of COVID-19 on people’s mental health—and for good reason; the restrictions being put upon us are causing anxiety, stress and loneliness, especially for those who live alone or in difficult circumstances.

And there are severe financial pressures on thousands whose businesses are in jeopardy, putting their employees’ livelihoods at risk.

But we have to put things into perspective. Looking to the future we know there is likely to be a vaccine within the next 12 months.

And, even if there isn’t, we may just have to soldier forward accepting that, sadly, there will be casualties along the way, because financially the world cannot sustain a prolonged period of economic inaction in the long term.

In COVID-19 we only have one enemy and the world is fighting it together. We now know much more about how it works, and that with the right strategies it can be managed.

Historically, no wars have been fought with such an advantage.

On Sunday November 8th, no matter how you might be feeling on that day, please spare two minutes to remember all of those who gave their lives fighting for their country—and for those who survived but carried the scars with them for the rest of their lives.

It’s so little to ask of you, to honour what was such a huge sacrifice by them.


’Til next time,

Granny FlapjaX


Children of the Phone Revolution

When is a child not a child?

Do you think children should have mobile phones?

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Child Act 1989, a child is defined as someone under the age of 18.

There are, however, anomalies to the laws relating to young people in the UK which allow certain actions from the age of 16. Namely, a child is free from parental control, can leave home, get married, start a family, start work, pay taxes or join the forces.

So how can it be right that children under the age of 16 are allowed to be in possession of a mobile phone—which, in reality, gives them access to the world and all the dangers that entails.

Personal details, photos, videos, and instant messaging in various forms are now being recognised as seriously affecting the mental health of millions of children in this country and around the world.

And yet, no government or body of lawmakers has made or is making any effort to try and rectify what is destroying this generation of young people.

I’ve heard it said: “it’s too late, the cat is out of the bag.” But it’s never too late to put right what is a travesty for our children.

The mobile phone, a useful tool in so many ways, has become a weapon—and not just for the young but for adults too. Many are suffering abuse and bullying from an invisible force behind a screen, and it appears there are no consequences for the perpetrators.

Of course, we know the large corporations involved in producing mobile phones—the likes of Apple and Samsung—have no interest, whatsoever, in doing anything to stop a scourge that is now endemic worldwide.

They are making immoral amounts of money from something categorically damaging our current crop of youth and will continue to do so to the populations that follow in the future.

The more sophisticated phones become—and the more information that’s extracted—the more controlled lives will be. And we’re all too blind to see it.

Or perhaps we choose not to and, by doing so, are failing to protect the young and vulnerable in society today.

While I’m not saying mobile phones should be banned altogether, because that’s an unrealistic ambition, I do believe that in the UK, and hopefully around the world, it should be against the law for any child under the age of 16 to have one.

People may be horrified at the thought of their child or children not having a phone of their own. But my and my children’s generation all came through childhood unscathed without one—and are all the better for it today.

I know for a fact that parents struggle to monitor the use of their children’s phone usage at home, and that teachers do their utmost to educate children in schools to the potential dangers of mobile phones, including bullying, abuse, addiction and the excessive use of social media.

Yet the truth is it’s virtually impossible to know what your child is looking at on their phone 24/7—and the content to which they may be exposed.

The dramatic consequences are already showing themselves in the numbers of young people with mental health issues, low self-esteem, lack of confidence and the constant pressure to look like a ‘photoshopped’ celebrity—all resulting in the loss of their individuality.

Our duty as parents is to protect our children. But, when it comes to mobile phones, we are simply failing to do that.

So we have to act before it’s too late.

The alternative will be future generations who are reliant on medication for their general and mental health wellbeing.

Can we really let that happen?

’Til next time,

Granny FlapjaX







When I heard last week that the BBC, in their wisdom, had decided to remove all the words from Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory at the Last Night of the Proms in September, it was the final straw for me—and, I’m sure, many others.

Over recent years the BBC have become so ‘PC’ they’ve completely lost direction and the raison d’être for them even being here.

They’ve simply put two fingers up to their loyal viewers and decided that the indigenous population of this country should ‘put up’, ‘shut up’ and allow our history to be buried forever.

Well, if they think their current strategy is going to win them supporters they need to tread very carefully.

If the government vote to abolish the license fee—and it seems inevitable—the BBC will have to compete with the likes of Prime, Netflix Brit Box and others, as well as all the other terrestrial stations. And, if that happens, I hope they drown!

The amount we pay each year is virtually double that of the other providers, and the BBC’s programming is simply becoming a joke.

Putting this year aside for obvious reasons, they seem to be struggling to come up with any new programme ideas. Their dramas are pathetic, slow-moving and have weak storylines. They also seem unable to source good comedy writers and the prizes on offer in their quiz programs are laughable.

Do they not look at other stations both here in the UK and overseas? Are they so smug that they think they can just keep turning out the same old rubbish and we the viewers will just accept it?

Two years ago we invested a small amount each month on Netflix and, I have to say, it’s one of the best things we’ve done, in terms of entertainment. It’s worth every penny, with a huge choice of dramas, films, box sets and comedies.

The American dramas especially are incredible; gripping, fast-moving, with great storylines and leaving you gasping for more when the series finally wraps.

But it’s not just the Americans. We’ve also watched Australian, Spanish and Canadian series, all of which offer terrific entertainment value.

Throughout the whole ‘lockdown’ experience we’ve rarely watched any of the BBC channels—and I’m sure we’re not alone.

Prior to this latest insult, I’d been quite impressed with the coverage of ‘VJ Day’ by the BBC, a very important and personal date on my calendar. That was until about 10 minutes before the end of the evening commemorations from Horse Guards Parade.

Bearing in mind it was remembering the war in the Far East and the horrific atrocities by the Japanese, why was it at all necessary to bring out a Japanese woman to speak? And in a negative tone, to boot.

If she’d apologized on behalf of the Japanese government, that probably would have been considered acceptable. But, instead, she was complaining about flag burning by protestors when the Japanese emperor and his wife made a state visit to London in 1998.

For me that completely ruined the whole day of commemoration, and it should never have been allowed and included in the BBC coverage.

I also find the BBC news to be biased and they don’t report on stories which most of us would want to hear about.

A prime example would be the terrible fires in California. Surely the fact that, to date, several people have lost their lives and over a million acres of land have been destroyed is as important, if not more so, than riots in Wisconsin? Yet their coverage has been totally focused on the latter.

And now this latest outrage over the Last Night of the Proms has left me seething.

I’ve been fortunate enough to go to the Proms, though not the Last Night. I have, however, watched the latter from a young age—usually with my Dad who loved classical music—and the two songs in question (Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory) are firm favourites for all those ‘Promenaders’ who stand for several hours on the Last Night to join in what is a rousing end to the Prom season.

Now it appears, thanks to the BBC, we’re no longer allowed to be patriotic and proud of our country.

While we accept that this year the final concert will be very different, I believe their decision to remove the words is purely a ‘PC’ one. And I, for one, definitely won’t be watching.

Trying to remove our history, be it good or bad—and no-one would deny there’s both—will not improve anyone’s lives, whoever they are or wherever they originate from.

Accepting and learning about the past is the only way to move forward. Trying to wipe it off the face of the earth by removing all references will just bury it.

When that happens there will be nothing on which future generations can base their arguments for a fairer and more balanced society.

And isn’t that what we all want?

The current approach isn’t creating a fairer society, it’s simply queering the pitch—and that won’t bring about change.

All of us who pay our license fee should expect nothing less than neutrality from the BBC. Yet right now they’re veering rapidly to one side and heading down a very slippery slope.

’Til next time,

Granny FlapjaX

The ‘Covid’ Generation

Granny Flapjax Intro. Final Logo 2 1Mb

In my last blog, ‘The Cloud of Covid-19’, I wrote of my scepticism over the government’s handling of the virus and their scientific experts who appeared every day for no other reason than to inform us they had nothing new to tell us or indeed to reassure us they were getting to grips with the situation.

Three months on, nothing appears to have changed.

We still have no one person standing in front of the cameras every day prepared to tell us exactly what the real situation is, and what the chances are of bringing the virus under control.

Instead we’ve been told that it’s okay to go abroad on holiday, but we’ll have to self-isolate for two weeks when we get home.


Wouldn’t it have been sensible to say that, because the virus is now starting to spread quite rapidly again around the world, for just one year there can be no foreign holidays? In other words: essential travel only.

Even in the UK the alternative ‘staycation’ has resulted in thousands of people heading to our coastal resorts and many beauty spots being overrun, making social distancing impossible.

With no strong leader in control, it’s very clear that people feel it’s been left up to themselves to decide what to do to keep them and their loved ones safe. And I can’t argue with that.

You either have to have draconian rules which we all follow to the letter, or we accept that this virus will be around for a long time and we have to learn to live with it – and accept the consequences.

The long-term effects on the economy here in the UK – and around the world – will be felt for many years to come. But, as has happened in the past, it will bounce back eventually.

Today my biggest concern is for my school-age grandchildren, who have had their education seriously disrupted because of this pandemic.

Kids Playing Old

I’m not going too deeply into the A Level and GCSE exam results, save to say that the handling of them has been a national disgrace and without doubt, heads should roll.

I would seriously question though whether the ex managing director of a fireplace manufacturer would be the first choice to be appointed Minister for Education. Does he really have the qualifications to be involved in this area of such critical decision making?

And now, two weeks away from the start of the new school year, there is still dissension between the government, the teachers and their unions, as to whether schools should open and, if they do, should pubs and some shops be closed again?

Well, for me, there are two choices. Either send the children back to school and close the pubs, shops etc. if necessary. Or, cancel this school year and re-run it.

Of course there would be some issues following the latter route. But it would at least put all the children going through state education on a level footing with their counterparts in the private education sector, who’ve clearly benefited from continued educational support from their schools throughout ‘lockdown’.

As things stand, we have a generation who are growing up in strange, uncertain, and unprecedented times.

The resulting issues, as we are seeing already, will be large numbers of young people suffering serious mental health issues; depression, anxiety, insecurity, loss of self-confidence and self esteem – plus poor employment prospects.

Surely the government can get a grip on this. After all, today’s children are the future of this country – the ones on whom we’ll be relying to create our wealth going forward.

Therefore we owe it to them now to ensure a proper education, as each and every one has the right to a bright and prosperous future.

We cannot keep going round in circles looking for ways out of this current predicament. We simply have to take control of the virus instead of letting it take control of us.

Right now we are a rudderless ship. But just who is in Command?

Stay Safe!

’Til next time,

Granny FlapjaX




This Saturday, August 15th, will see the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of VJ (Victory over Japan) Day.

Earlier this year, on May 8th, we had the 75th commemoration of VE Day (Victory over Europe), and it is clear that many people believed on that date in 1945 World War II had come to end.

But it hadn’t.

While victory celebrations took place all over the United Kingdom and in Europe, the war raged on in the Far East and many were unaware of the continued atrocities being handed out by the Japanese on their captives in Singapore, Thailand, Burma and Malaysia.

Their appalling ill-treatment of the prisoners they held for three and a half years would continue until August 15th, 1945, when the Japanese finally surrendered following the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the Americans.

As tragic as those actions were for everyone involved, they finally brought the Japanese to their knees and forced them to surrender.

This ended years of indescribable physical and mental suffering, starvation, deprivation, degradation and inhumane cruelty by their captors for thousands of young servicemen, taken when Singapore fell in February 1942, and for the countless civilians – men, women and children – also captured and interred, and the women sent to work in brothels.

HH VJ Day Title Image

Since the end of World War II the Japanese government have refused to pay compensation and, more importantly, to apologise.

A payment of £76, given to the servicemen when they were repatriated, was paid out of Japanese assets held in this country and frozen during the war.

In 2000, after 55 years of campaigning, Tony Blair’s government finally agreed that compensation should be paid to all those UK citizens held by the Japanese – or to their families if they had since died.

But the money will have come from the British taxpayer and not the Japanese, because they don’t believe – and never will – they did anything wrong.

And that’s why I believe that, in a similar situation today, they would behave in exactly the same way.

The Japanese didn’t learn to be cruel, to torture and abuse their fellow man in the extreme ways they chose to in the war. But they didn’t have to, because it’s bred into them as they grow up – and therefore they would feel no remorse, and indeed have shown none.

Now, 75 years on, most of the FEPOWs have passed away, many of them taking the memories of their gruesome wartime experiences to the grave. They were too traumatised to talk about it and therefore got no relief from the mental torture they had carried with them through their post-war lives.

Although it’s not possible to know or even understand the extent of the atrocities the FEPOWs endured, I really hope that this Saturday August 15th 2020, people will stop, as we did on May 8th for VE Day, and remember the thousands of courageous human beings who suffered so much for three-and-a-half years at the hands of the Japanese.

Those who never came home to their loved ones, and those who did, but whose suffering continued to the end of their lives.

Each and every one of them deserves our respect and gratitude for their service to their country and the war effort.

Known as ‘The Forgotten Army’, we must ensure their memory lives on forever.

“Lest we Forget”

Granny FlapjaX

*If you would like to read more from a personal perspective please read my blog ‘REMEMBERANCE DAY’ November 9th 2019.