PERCHANCE TO DREAM

April 29, 2012

On a long journey back from a performance Down South this week I was overtaken by a little car which had a big sticker across the back. All it said was: “Dare to Dream”.

And that got me thinking. I still have a couple of my old primary school report cards. They were always the same (Could do better). Good at English, Art and Nature Study. Then there was the usual, and oft-repeated, comment: “Drew is a dreamer”.

Huh! It was regarded as a bad thing. Being a dreamer meant you were wasting your time when you should have been concentrating on the main scholarly activities of reading, writing and arithmetic. But now I’m not so sure, because it is in dreams that reality is conceived. It is by dreaming that the future is visualised and then created. Without the initial reverie there can be no aspiration or ambition. Being seen as a dreamer should be a good thing!

This weekend I met up with a good friend of mine at a marina at Loch Lomond. He had long dreamed of having his own boat; and I don’t mean a little rowing boat, I mean a beautiful, streamlined cruiser. And now he has it.

When he bought it, though, it was a damp and rotten hulk. But he had his dream, and he worked on it for months to transform it into something that shines out like a beacon among all the other boats. His dream is now reality.

Just one line on that sticker “Dare to Dream”. What a great message. It’s something we should be teaching our kids, that to dream is a good thing. That to let your imagination chase something you want out of life, whether that be a great job, vibrant health, an interesting and fulfilling life… it all starts in the realms of the imagination. In your dreams.

I’m not talking about being a fantasist, but rather the dreams of the visionary, the idealist, the creative thinker. And why not? If you can conceive it in your mind, and you believe it in your heart, you can achieve it in reality.

“Dare to Dream”. It’s something we should all aspire to – who knows where it might lead?

“You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us…” Imagine.

Drew McAdam


ANIMAL CRIME KINGDOM

April 22, 2012

I’m sorry, I’ll read that again. Nope, it still brings silly pictures to mind.

Did you see the recent story about Steve James, the Australian wildlife crime investigator who has been awarded sponsorship to conduct a fact-finding mission in the area? Wow! Imagine having “wildlife crime investigator” in the “occupation” section of your passport.

And did you know there is even a National Wildlife Crime Unit? A crime unit set up specifically to investigate crime carried out by wildlife?

Who would have thought that there was such a criminal element in the animal kingdom?

I mean, what DO they get up to? Pigeon pickpockets? Mugged by a mallard? Badger burglars? There must be a lot of it going on because, according to the article, the investigators employ technology such as intelligence tools and forensic science.

A murder scene, they check the DNA; yup, this person was definitely bumped off by a rabbit. And it makes me wonder – do frogs and foxes have pawprints, like fingerprints? Is that an innocent flock of starlings, or is it a gang intent on stealing a car? I’ll never look at a seagull the same again.

I find the whole thing quite scary. A walk in the countryside can be a stroll into a crime hot-spot. I mean, I was once chased by a swan. I thought it was just mad at me, but perhaps it was after my wallet?

And how do they decide the guilt or otherwise once they have caught the furry perpetrator of these crimes? And how do they decide what sentence they should serve… sheepdog trials, possibly?

Okay, in all seriousness, I’m a wildlife lover. Always have been. But isn’t it sad that we have to bring in crack crime investigators to halt people from harming animals? We actually have to give our harmless wildlife police protection?

The UK National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) is based in Livingston. It’s a multi-agency police-led unit that deals with aspects of wildlife crime such as reptile smuggling, wild bird netting, snaring, trade in endangered species, egg collecting, hunting with dogs and badger baiting.

All power to them, I say. It’s just a sickening reflection on the greed and cruelty of some human beings that such a unit is required in the first place.

Drew McAdam


A POUND FOR EACH POUND

April 16, 2012

 

Overweight? Well life could get a lot more expensive for you.

Did you see on the news that Pee Emm David Cameron is considering bringing in a “fat tax”? What a stroke of genius – everything else is taxed to the hilt, there is nothing left to raise revenue, and then the Government comes up with this. It’s a stroke of genius!

But then I started wondering how they’re going to collect the tax. Will we now have to enter our weight on tax returns? Or will they have special tax inspectors who hang around outside fast food outlets and demand money from those coming out carrying kebabs and deep fried pizza suppers?

Or perhaps these special fat tax collection officers will stop chubbies in the street and demand a tax payment. Maybe even chase them up the road – they would certainly be able to catch those with a bit too much padding without much difficulty ‘cos they can’t run very fast.

As for finding a tax loophole for this one; I bet the financially astute Fat Cats will carry bathroom scales with them – specially adapted so that they give a very low reading – just to prove that though they may appear large, they actually only weigh 4-stones.

I wonder what they will they call this new stream of revenue. Portly Poll Tax?  Tubby tariff? Lard levy?

And what about those who are skinny? Will they get a tax rebate?

It seems that, although no details have been worked out, the levy would target products such as milk, cheese, pizza, meat, oil and processed food. Just about every food there is, then.

But only the portly would pay the tax at the tills? With extra wide aisles at the pay point? No, of course not. You’ll pay it no matter what size or weight you are. So, it’s a tax on everybody.

See, I told you it was genius.


AN OPEN LETTER TO MY CAPTORS

April 9, 2012

 

Dear Captors,

All this time while you’ve been holding me against my will, I have tricked you into believing that I was just lying there – doing nothing. Well, you are mistaken. You see, I have been laying my ingenious plan for the ultimate revenge.

I have attempted many escapes in the past. You have discovered that if your attention slips, and you leave the door open for even a moment, I attempt an escape. So many times I have made it as far as the chain-link fence that surrounds this facility, only to be recaptured and dragged back. Humiliated as I was hauled along by the leather strapping which you placed around my neck.

On the occasions where I tried to tunnel under the fence, you discovered my plan and the tunnel was filled in. And, yes, I was punished with solitary confinement.

For all of that, I will have my revenge.

My occasional period in the exercise yard when you ensure I can’t escape by securing me with chains. I shall have my revenge for that, too.

The soiled matting and blanket in the corner which is my bed, and the water that you offer me – when you remember. And the slop you give me for food… I shall have my revenge for all of that. I have a plan.

You see, while you thought I was dozing in the corner, I have been listening to the guards talking. I have been spying. I know that I will be alone tonight in my place of captivity. And while you are gone, I shall put my plan into action at long last.

I will reduce this facility to tatters. I will wee on the television set and leave little packages of doo-doo in every corner. Having done that, I will claw at the walls and doors, stripping them back to plaster and bare wood, before tearing that beautiful leather couch you won’t let me climb upon to ribbons – right down to the springs.

The look on your faces upon your return will be my revenge.

Yours faithfully,

Rex, the Border Collie.


OWN THE ROAD AGAIN

April 1, 2012

 

It’s brilliant, I tell you. I am so excited at the prospect of this idea that I can hardly contain myself.

In a recent speech to the Institution of Civil Engineers, Pee Emm David Cameron said that he needed to look at innovative approaches to the funding of our national roads, and that “Road tolling is one option.”

Privatising the roads. What an opportunity. I know he’s only talking about this for Englandshire at the moment, but when it catches on up here, I’m going to fight my way to the front of the queue to be one of the investors.

I thought about perhaps buying a stretch of the A71. Not a big stretch you understand, just a wee bit of road where I can set up my very own toll booth. The difficulty would be persuading drivers not to take alternative routes, and I reckon I could do that by giving my toll booth a theme.

For example, I could dress it up to look like Checkpoint Charlie, complete with barbed wire, snarling dogs, watch towers, and people standing around dressed as Soviet guards, complete with greatcoats and big furry hats. It would be a tourist attraction – just east of Broxburn Main Street.

Then I thought that owning a 30-foot stretch of the M8 might be fun. I could put up marble pillars at each side and one of these big wrought iron gates – the type you get at the entrance to the drive these mega-mansions have. I could even dress up like that guy on the Monopoly boxes, with a top hat, monocle and big cigar.

Linlithgow Main Street – bales of straw across the road, and the toll collectors dressed as Highland warriors; that would work. Nice historic theme, too. Or how about having my toll looking like a replica of The Pearly Gates?

And in owning a wee stretch of road, I could paint it any colour I wanted – maybe even Paisley pattern. Owning a wee stretch of roads appeals to me so much I can’t describe it. All I would need is a 30-feet stretch.

The potential for having so much fun – and making a bit of dosh – makes the whole thing irresistible. So, I’m off to drop a letter to our Pee Emm, outlining my ideas and offering my services as one of the investors.

I’ll let you know what he has to say about it.

Drew McAdam