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Um...boringly normal bloke. Seen the highs and lows. Was a successful adman for a number of years, then went broke and lived off benefits, doing odd jobs. Never quite had to live rough, but came perilously close. Climbed back up and now have a reasonably successful career and all the associated trappings. Apart from that I'm a demon photographer (freelanced for a while) so-so guitarist, fair shot (clays, rifles, handguns until they were banned in the UK) and general OK sort of guy.

  • Are UK trade unions dinosaurs that should be allowed to die out ?

    It seems to me that trade unions have long since ceased to serve a useful purpose in the UK. The recent dispute at the Grangemouth petrochemical plant is a case in point. The management wanted a restructuring from the workforce in order to secure funding to keep the plant open. The union was against this and encouraged members to reject management's proposal. The result ? A rejection from the workers that then got a swift response from management which was to call in the liquidators. Union then backpedals in double quick time. But that has cost lots of people sleepless nights, endangered local business and caused alarm within Scotland. It seems to me that unions are a one trick pony. They make demands and threaten withdrawal of labour if they aren't met. But we operate in a society where outsourcing is commonplace and companies can move operations across national boundaries. Workforces who withdraw labour find that the companies will either fold and move to more reliable, lower cost areas, or they will restructure and find reasons to resource elsewhere.

    Union leaders invariably are people who have never had the task of managing a company. They might have been supervisors for a segment of the workforce who have then risen up through the ranks of the union heirarchy, their progress marked out by success in disputes with companies. This lack of management experience can mean they are unable to recognise the financial realities. So are they really best placed to serve the workforce of today ? Or, given that they rely on tactics that might have been appropriate in the 1970's and 1980's but which fail to recognise the economic climate of the 21st century , should we now put them out to grass ?

    6 AnswersOther - Business & Finance7 years ago
  • My father died a week ago but I feel nothing . Does that mean I'm callous?

    Ok. So I had the call from a family member sayimg my father was ill in hospital and not expected to last the weekend. I got in the car and drove the 100 milea to the hospital. On arrival he was in a deep sleep from which he never awoke. The place was busy with other relations and nursing staff. After 6 hours I decided there was no merit in staying. The outcome was somewhat predictable. I left at 11pm. He survived a further 30 hours. He was 88. We were not that close. O helped carry his coffin at the funeral and threw a handful of dirt on his coffin aa it lay in the hole in the ground. I shed no tears and still feel almost unmoved by the events. I say almost because ot has instilled a sense of mortality in me. If my span is to equal his I have 29 years left. Ia my apparent lack of mourning normal or does it mean I'm devoid of emotion ?

    7 AnswersFamily8 years ago
  • Can anyone help me find out about an Anon Shaw rod?

    My son was given a rod and we are trying to find out a bit more about it. It is a cane rod with the name Anon Shaw on the handle section. Having searched the internet all I can come up with is that Anon Shaw were fishing tackle makers, but appear to have gone out of business. The rod is slightly unusual as it is effectively two rods in one. There is a handle section, a short and sturdy section with tip that slots into it making a rod of around 7ft overall length, plus a further two sections, one of which is a tip which when assembled make up a three section rod of about 12ft overall length. This longer configuration looks similar to a waggler rod. My initial guesses are that this is a coarse fishing set up with the longer configuration for spinning and the shorter stiffer one for pike or similar.

    Anyone got any clues as to whether I'm right ? Be nice to know probable age too.

    2 AnswersFishing8 years ago
  • How dysfunctional is this ?

    A very bad experience when a relationship went west has scarred a guy to the extent that he has never been able to fully commit to anyone since. As a consequence all relationships he has had since have been varying degrees of superficiality. This has manifest itself in an inability to either form any lasting relationships or remain faithful within a relationship. So he has flitted from one short term affair to another, unwilling to commit for fear of being hurt again. Along the way he gets conditioned to thinking of relationships as being like the first few months - i.e. 'the hurly burly of the chaise longue'. As soon as the sex side starts to ease up or there is a hint of possibly committing to something more long term, one of two things has happened. Either he has found a reason to terminate the relationship, or the woman in question has considered him shallow and moved on.

    Somewhere along the line he got married. The initial couple of years he managed to stay faithful, but thereafter reverted to type, having a succession of discreet affairs. As before, he finds it impossible to maintain any of these for any length of time. In fact he goes out of his way to find circumstances that will reduce the potential for them lasting vey long. The majority of his liaisons are with married women in their forties who have found the lustre has gone off their relationship with their partner. They will tend to live a reasonable distance away from him. He'll say that this is all about reduced risk of being seen together by people who might know either one of them, but in reality it provides the excuse for the relationship to founder because of the complexity of meeting up. The women concerned may initially enjoy the attention, but then feel guilty about their actions. One thing to bemoan the lack of attention they are getting from their partners, infidelity is a different matter. And then there's his wife, is she really as bad as he makes out ? So after a few meetings the shine goes off for both of them and he moves on to the next relationship.

    Is he a bad guy ? Does he feel bad about his actions ? Or does he try to create a moral sandcastle claiming that he is just misunderstood and that anyway, because he keeps everything so tightly controlled the chances of discovery are almost nil and ignorance is bliss.

    3 AnswersMarriage & Divorce9 years ago
  • Woudja, couldja date a married man .....?

    Now at the risk of being flamed unmercifully I pose the question. Ladies, would you date a guy if you knew he was married ?

    Before you all rush to answer, consider this. Is dating a married guy any worse than dating a single guy who may be seeing someone else ? Is dating a married guy who is separated OK, or is the fact that he is still technically married the sticking point ? What happens if he hides the fact that he is married ?

    Supposing you find him incredibly attractive and he was the one doing the asking, would your principles prevent you from going out with him if you knew he was married, regardless of the state of that relationship ? Where do you draw the line ?

    10 AnswersSingles & Dating1 decade ago
  • Sex life has gone to the dogs.....?

    OK so the story goes like this. We've been married for 19 years and have two children aged 12 and 10. We had a fairly good sexual relationship from the outset, which did not always include intercourse. After the Pill scare, my wife decided to come off oral contraceptives and we thought it would be a good opportunity to start a family. That first childbirth experience was painful and required stitches. Unsurprisingly she wasn't that keen on intercourse for quite some time afterwards, what with the memory plus the effort in bringing up baby. So no sex for several months and when we did restart, it involved using condoms. Frequency dropped to maybe once every three months. I can pinpoint the date and time of our second child's conception as by that point, sex was that infrequent and it was the next occasion when we opted for unprotected sex.

    After our son was born, the sex thing took a further nose dive and never recovered. We've just gone for 14 months without any sexual contact. The reason ? well every time I try to suggest anything I'm pushed away. The usual excuse is 'I'm too tired' , regardless of time of day. I've tried cuddles, kisses (Oh, we are reduced to pecks), massage (non-sexual). Nothing seems to work. I just get accused of hassling her. She never instigates any contact, it's always down to me. I've now got to the point where I've resorted to having the odd fling, although these have been only two in number and in both cases have been short lived. It's hard to maintain a secret relationship.

    So the big question is. Should I walk out ? At present I can't see things improving and I don't think it's reasonable to ask another woman to play second fiddle. But if I go, the financial impact is massive. The mortgage needs paying and the cost of raising two kids is not cheap. There is no way my income will cover the cost of the mortgage plus rent on a bedsit for me. There has to be a way out, but I can't see it.

    Anyone out there got an idea ??

    39 AnswersMarriage & Divorce1 decade ago