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seagullsxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The wind blows on cliffs so high

All you can hear is the seagulls cry

The crashing waves

Echoes in the smugglers caves

Children walking on the cobbled beach

You can hear the crunching

Beneath their feet

Fisherman trawling

Crabs are crawling

To escape

The fisherman’s bait

The sea is rolling waves so high

All you can hear is the seagulls cry

They sit and wait for the fisherman’s trawl

On Hastings cobbled beach at early dawn

Gillian Sims

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SAFE CRIPO

The festive season is now well and truly upon us.

Understanding that this is the time of year that our threat levels increase, from risks of accidents and personal injury through to the dangers of physical assault, and from burglary of your home to the more serious street theft and robbery, it’s crucial that we apply the correct levels of personal security and have a safe and fun Christmas.

So, to give you some help, I’ve decided to give you my own Top Ten tips on how to have a Safe Christmas.

Sleeping on the tube makes staying
Alert and Aware difficult!

1. Awareness

The primary function of awareness is for you to start to take more notice of your environment and the people around you. To look for potential dangers and spot them early – giving you more time to decide on how best to avoid or defuse any situation.

The most important part of awareness is to keep a balance and to look for the good as well as the bad. So, for example, when you start to look for the loutish group in the bar that you really need to avoid, you should also be looking for the location of likely support, ie, door security staff, police, bar staff, your friends, etc.

Maintaining constant awareness is difficult and requires practice, but by becoming more vigilant, you will actually look less of a victim and the simple act of looking around you more and paying more attention will help to remove you from the selection pool of would-be attackers and criminals.

If we look at non-criminal threats such as falling over, getting lost, getting caught out by bad weather, etc, then good awareness can also protect us from these, which are in fact, far more likely to occur and spoil our Christmas than becoming a victim of criminal activity anyway.

Knowing what to look for is crucial, and understanding the patterns of behaviour of criminals is vital if you want to achieve the correct assessment of everything you observe.2. Assess the Dange

If you apply this to something familiar such as driving your car, you would be assessing the road conditions, the volume of traffic and the likelihood of the car in front stopping suddenly or pulling out on you.

We do this almost instinctively when we are performing a familiar act, but the process is exactly the same when we are walking home alone, in a busy nightclub, or shopping in a busy Christmas high-street.

Often the best way to assess threat is to look for things that are out of place or unusual. The one person who’s looking at you more than the rest in a crowded club, or the car that’s weaving and changing speed erratically, is just two examples of things that should draw your attention and stand out on your personal radar.

3. Trust Your Intuition

When it comes to assessing dangers and threats, you already have your own in-built bodyguard, called your Intuition.

When something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. When you get that knot in your stomach that’s not from eating too much Christmas cake and makes you feel that something is wrong, then something probably is wrong.

Trust your intuition.Once you’ve listened to your intuition, your next big challenge is to control your ego.4. Control Your Ego

When your head is telling you that “you should be able to go out and party with your work colleagues”, or, “you should be safe to travel home on your own”, that is simply your ego talking and preventing you from listening to what your intuition is saying about the situation.

Be prepared to leave the nightclub full of drunks who are one more pint away from turning the tables over, and be prepared to make two trips to your car when loaded down with shopping to save you carrying too much.

5. Act Quickly

So, you’ve stayed aware and you’ve spotted a potential threat. You’re next step is to act quickly.

The more you delay in taking action on how to get to safety or remove the threat, the greater the threat will become and the fewer options you will have.

Be decisive and act straight away, whether that be to cross the road if you feel you are being followed, rather than continuing to walk and hope the person turns off, or whether it means getting up and changing carriages on a train or taking a short taxi ride rather than walking through a lonely subway, it’s all about taking action.It goes without saying that any action you take should have the primary purpose of avoiding the threat and the danger and not intentionally setting out to confront it or escalate it.6. Avoidance

To avoid being burgled this Christmas I take action to secure my home and not leave the door unlocked and lying in wait in the darkened hallway with a frying pan.

Avoidance, done early should be confident and concise and should not look panicked or frantic. This applies when changing your direction to prevent someone from following you to raising the alarm and asking for help.

Good planning and preparation can help with avoidance, and it’s really very simple.

Avoid driving in icy conditions, avoid socialising in hostile pubs and clubs, avoid walking alone through lonely subways, avoid sitting in empty train carriages, avoid drawing large sums of cash out at night time, and so the list goes on.

All self protection should be done sensibly and rationally if it is to be effective and also practical.7. Be Sensible

We can all take our personal security measures too far as well as making them too little. The key is to keep a sensible head on your shoulders and make decisions and actions appropriate to the situations.

That way you are less likely to be a victim and also less likely to lose your friends for always behaving like an off-duty Kevin Costner in Bodyguard mode.

Always look confident, even if you are panicking inside.8. Confidence

A confident demeanour is one of the best ways to avoid being selected as a victim. And so, even if you are lost or feeling uncomfortable with your surroundings, remain confident and, not only will the criminal fraternity be less likely to choose you for their next target, you will also start to feel more confident.

Walking upright, head up, positively with a confident stride and purposeful walk will all act to keep you safe.

Target Hardening is about understanding your potential threats and then taking measures to combat them in advance.9. Target Harden

For your home this Christmas, consider how secure your points of entry are, fit good quality locks and even a house alarm. A dog is for life not just for Christmas but they are still proven to be one of the best burglar prevention devices.

Ensure you keep valuables out of sight in your car, even when you are driving and always park in safe car-parks with good visible security.

Do your best to limit the time when you are on your own when out late at night and don’t flash your cash or show off the new jewellery you have got for Christmas when in public.

These are just a few simple tips to make you less of a target and send the criminals somewhere else.

10. Have Fun

The most important step you can take this Christmas is to have lots and lots of fun.

If you follow this simple advice you’ll be able to do that, confident in the knowledge that you can enjoy the festive season and see in the New Year safely.

Summary

Ultimately, Self Protection is about taking sensible and practical precautions that will help to reduce risk and better ensure your safety.

It’s not about locking yourself away and never venturing out.

Nor is it about putting so many safety checks and procedures in place that leave you a shivering wreck of paranoia.

It should help to open doors, not lock them shut, by offering you more knowledge and ability to assess potential threats and apply the appropriate measures of security to maintain a fun life / safe life balance.

What’s more important to remember is that you are still more likely to be a victim of accident than crime, so Self Protection really begins with ensuring you avoid the minor and more common threats, such as, Getting lost, Falling over, Breaking down in your car, Falling asleep on the train and missing your stop, and so the list goes on.

The beauty here is that, by being more aware and alert and taking better care of yourself to prevent these types of events, you will automatically be making yourself safer and less likely to be a victim of the more serious, criminal activities.

Stay Safe and Have a Very Merry Christmas

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It will be lonely this Christmas

Because my wife will not be by my side,

6 x 6 foot room

With four grey walls surround me

A prison cell 

That’s why it will be lonely this Christmas

Because last year I got drunk

And knocked A little child  down,

So It will be lonely this Christmas

I deserved what I got,

3 years in prison that’s isn’t a lot

I took child’s life,

So That’s why I can’t see my wife

I will be lonely this Christmas,

That’s what I have to sacrifice

By Thomas Sims

The moral of this poem

PLEASE DONT DRINK AND DRIVE

THIS CHRISTMAS

THANK YOU

PLEASE REBLOG THIS AND SPREAD THE WORD. STOP THE SUFFERING THIS CHRISTMAS.

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200 (4)

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

The woods around it have it – it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.

And lonely as it is, that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less –
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
WIth no expression, nothing to express.

They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars – on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.

Robert Frost

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old person
Half a million older people will spend Christmas Day alone. We should harness the willingness of volunteers to offer support
Family Christmas dinner
Nearly two-thirds of people surveyed by Friends of the Elderly said they would be willing to open their doors to an older person who would otherwise spend Christmas alone. 

I was saddened, but not surprised, by the findings of Friends of the Elderly’s latest research, which found that despite people feeling it is their responsibility to look after their relatives in older age, it is a prospect for many that is hugely feared and even dreaded.

The potential demands it may bring on finances and time, and the complications of living in different locations are all very real and understandable concerns today.

Most of us want to do our best for our ageing relatives, but the reality is that our changing lifestyles can make this almost impossible. Half a century ago, most families stayed in the same area. Children would marry and move away from home but that usually meant a few miles or the next town. People are now far less likely to work for the one company for their whole career. A recent WRVS survey found that 82% of children who have moved away from their older parents have done so for work reasons.

How many times have you heard people long for the good old days when “we used to take care of our own”? Or make comparisons between western society and other cultures in the way they show respect to, and care for, the elders in their families?

There’s no one reason why families can’t take care of their older relatives – and no one should be demonised for not doing so. What we need to do is find a way for society as a whole to support our ageing population. Rather than the French system of being legally responsible for older relatives, I’d like to see a greater move for everyone to feel responsible for the older people in their communities.

If you can’t care for your mum who lives 150 miles away, why not offset this by giving a small amount of time to an older person who’s living alone in your street?

There is an appetite for people to do more – 64% of people in our survey said they’d be willing to open their doors to an older person at Christmas to avoid them being alone. A further 33% would be happy to pop in to see someone who was alone.

Advertisement

When it comes to tackling loneliness and isolation, we need to find ways for older people to support each other and for the more active in our communities to help. I’ve seen two brilliant examples of this: The Amazings is a website run by older people to share their skills with others. Its strapline says it all: “Classes, courses and wisdom from elders with amazing lifetime experiences.”

Casserole, is a community project that encourages neighbours to make up an extra plate for those who may not be able to cook for themselves. Both of these projects utilise everyday skills and experiences to support others. They are simple but incredibly effective.

The growing pressures on social care budgets mean many traditional services in our communities are struggling to stay open. Day centres are finding it harder to cover their costs and to support the increasingly frail. How much longer will it be before older people have nowhere to turn in their local area because of these cuts?

By encouraging everyone to do more in their communities, we can break down the perceived barriers between old and young, help people stay active and remain a part of their community for as long as possible. We can also work to prevent loneliness from becoming so debilitating that it has a longer term, and more costly impact on health.

If there was one legacy this Olympic and Jubilee year could leave us with it is harnessing the willingness of volunteers. If every volunteer who took part in the Olympics could be supported to find ways to help the lonely older people in their communities, I’m sure we would no longer have to hear the shocking statistic that half a million older people will be spending Christmas Day alone.

WILL YOU HELP SOMEONE THIS CHRISTMAS?

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