Who Won the Week (15 November 2020)

I always liked Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, and like to join in with some quirky stories from my own newsfeeds. All from our unique vantage points, the idea is to pick something (a person, organisation, anything) which “won” the week.

Health? Wealth? Good fortune? We all want some of that, right?

This is exactly what was promised to Laeek Khan, a doctor, yes DOCTOR, in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India – when fraudsters sold Dr Khan an ALADIN’S LAMP.

Somebody would have to be really dumb to fall for that, I hear you think. Yes, I can hear you think! But to seal the deal, one of the two fraudsters rubbed the lamp, while the other appeared to Dr Khan as a very convincing genie!

The fraudsters eventually sold the lamp to Dr Khan for 15 million rupees, about USD 200,000, but Khan only parted with a downpayment of $40,000 before he got suspicious and called the police. Police arrested two suspects, with a third still at large.

The thing I found most hilarious about the incident is that the police are quoted as believing that several other families have been similarly affected. Presumably they, at least, had the good sense to be too embarrassed to come forward?


image copyrightUttar Pradesh police

Life through the Lens (15 November 2020)

As my previous series came to an end, I had the idea to post some of my own photographs.

When my eyes were better, I used to enjoy photography. I had some decent kit and was around just as digital photography was taking off. Although it was strictly a hobby for me, two of my photos were published. One rural shot of hay bales ended up in a brochure made by the UK’s NFU (farming), another ended up in a coffee-table book about lighthouses. I wasn’t David Bailey but a couple of times, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

I thought I’d share some. All these photographs were taken by me, I own the copyright so if you’d like to use any, go for it. Just so long as you don’t use them to make any money.

My aim is to publish weekly again but this time, on Sunday afternoons. I’m just going to repeat this spiel each week, too, for the benefit of new readers, so you can safely skip to the camera graphic to save reading the blurb each time.

If you look at the category above (high on left, by the date), I’ll put every photo in that same category so you can find previously-published photos. If I feel a photo needs some explanation, I’ll maybe write a line or two to go with it. Like the last time, I’ll keep going until I run out of steam. Oh, and feel free to join in, if the fancy takes you.

I’ve linked to a higher-res umage under each photo.

This was on a trail at a place called Bolderwood, in the New Forest, in the middle of winter one year. It’s not far from home so when I was healthy, we would often go up there just for a stroll.

Stronger Together

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 15 November 2020, paradigm.

They say it is a dirty word,
And my response? That’s quite absurd.
Who built that road outside their home?
One man can’t manage, all alone.

Who built the ward on which lives depend?
Or build the school where their kids attend?
Who built that tower, big and tall?
Or fights the fire, when we call?

Who builds that bridge to cross the span?
That can’t be done by just one man,
Who builds the jails? We can’t ignore,
For those who choose to flout the law.

Who defends us, under threat?
With battleship, or fighter jet?
Or from an office, remotely flown,
A missile from an army drone?

There are many more, I could go on,
But I think my work today is done.
I think this one will be true forever,
We’re stronger when we stand together.

There are a few examples of things which we can build together, as a group of individual people with a common overall objective, which are normally beyond the resources of one person acting alone. In other words, acting socially.

I got irritated during the recent US election when I heard Biden being decried as a socialist – it might even have been Trump who first said it, but certainly Fox News were still repeating it as recently as a few days ago. Whoever started, it is clearly meant as an insult, as though socialism is something you picked up on your shoe.

And I was sitting here, thinking, shouldn’t that be a badge of honour? Shouldn’t he be reminding people of all the things they had because they live in a system which acts socially, that they would never have had if they built everything themselves? Things we have precisely because we acted collectively?