Into the Sun

Solstice, beach, cocktail

white sand, clear skies, seagulls

you, me, everyone

painted into faces

or into wooden embankment

swimming to the finish line.

I don’t know why I made that picture above. Something to do with the cost of potatoes…

I’m a Ghost, You’re an Angel

They say the aether is beyond

Say that our rhyme was a love song

Our hands touch, we feel light

If you could of seen it, you'd be bright


Having to write, a pain indeed

Without such delight, negate the need

Onto pastures of brittle greens

Where life blossoms, and love screams

Behold beauty held in our hearts

Withhold the truth, long enough to start

a fire in your blood 


Come now our drupel purple passion love seed

Red cherry cast on bakers stove

Your yearning need

In our cove.

The Impact of the War

Russia has recently celebrated its Victory Day on the 9th May 2023 to commemorate the victory over the Nazis in 1945 at the Reichstag, Berlin. It was on that day that brave troops stormed the deepest, darkest place of the Reich and wiped out the core Nazi government, proclaiming Germany and indeed Europe and free nations once again.

Now, though, Russia has been taking to the Ukraine in a war which has had – as expected – the western nations and people in uproar, touting that they are the worst country in the world. This post isn’t about their feelings but is about the impact of the war so far. So, I will keep this brief and that is that the western hypocrisy is shining like a beacon in the night once again. For those who are angry, hostile and shouty toward Russia with no supporting arguments other than, ‘it’s just wrong,’ and ‘why start a war on innocent people’, they should keep quite. They will happily endorse their own armies and have done previously when it came to Iraq and Afghanistan. They were happy to let their government bomb innocent people for decades. When it comes to Ukraine, I suspect their confusion for caring comes from feeling obligated by news propaganda which is slating Russia. You didn’t see any for the Americans or British during the Iraq war did you?

Anyway, we can see the first effect is one of emotion; shock, feelings of uncontrollable anger, depression, sadness, loss of hope and generalised feelings of being the victims. These should only apply to those fleeing the Ukraine. Refugees who have been extracted to the UK and beyond will bring their families and lives to a new place. It is important to understand the political aspect here, that bringing in such refugees is part of nations agreements. The UK takes in a certain number, and so do other countries. However, as the war rages on people have continued to stay in the Ukraine, with many posting video’s onto YouTube. War is supposed to be dangerous, with several videos being filled with air raid sirens. It makes you wonder what they gain from staying if they are literally in the middle of the war. Lots of places are still safe though, which is my point, although that could change at any moment. Russia so far has targeted government sites, with allegations and evidence they targeted nuclear reactors – the biggest in Europe.

With this comes inevitable inflation. Governments borrow from other countries and banks to fund their war – both the Ukraine and Russia – which has a knock on effect on their economies. Although in another post I highlighted that actually, financially Russia is very stable and seems to be growing exponentially, whereas the Ukraine is dwindling. When Visa/Mastercard pulled out of Russia, lots of expats lost money they had in Russian banks as they couldn’t access it in other countries. This included the normal, working class people and people fleeing the mobilisation initiative.

Photo by Michael Steinberg on

“Russia’s economy ministry revised higher on Friday its 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to 1.2% growth from a 0.8% contraction.” A clear vision that the economy is set to surpass many western nations.(

The UK has predicted a sharp decline in the economy. “The annual expectation for GDP growth in 2023 is now -1.3%, broadly in line with the OBR and Bank of England’s predictions.”


So surprisingly, or not given the amount of production that Russia has, being very self reliant has paid off. Cutting import costs of luxury brands which have been pulled from Russia including Coca Cola, Levi’s and McDonald’s has saved the economy a ton of money. Russia has their own equivalent and one can’t help feel good for their economy. The Ukraine however isn’t the same and relies heavily on both imports and exports to support the economy. Although it has one of the biggest nuclear power stations in Europe – the Zaporizhzhia plant in southeast Ukraine. Bombing of any kind around here could be fatal for Europe. There wouldn’t be a Ukraine left to fight in and Russia would be affected by the radiation too if it were breached. Fortunately, after some close calls, it is still safe. Although according to this NBC article things are still dangerous -(

Another concern is the lack of qualified staff to run the facility if Russia pulls out workers, albeit Ukrainian workers. Under Russia control. Things have a very Stalinist feel to them in this place. One wonders if that is going to change. (

Going back to the issue of import and export, the inflation has made food more expensive whilst reduced other countries buying capabilities of Ukraine’s resources like food and gas and oil.

“Sharply rising commodity prices have been the most immediate economic impact of the Ukraine conflict, the WTO says. The war also threatens supplies of essential goods from Russia and Ukraine, including food, energy and fertilizers.” (,Russia%20and%20Ukraine%2C%20including%20food%2C%20energy%20and%20fertilizers.)

Crude oil and natural gas saw a sharp increase in 2022 following the outbreak of the war, with prices rising before the war.

“Europe saw natural gas prices climb 45% between January and March to $41 per million British thermal units (Btu) – a measure of heat content. In the United States, on the other hand, prices have “remained relatively low,” the WTO says, at around $4.9 per million Btu.”

It is not hard then to understand a bit more about the inflation of energy prices within Europe and particularly the UK, who have since left the European Union meaning generally higher prices. The UK has to negotiate trade deals with EU countries whereas EU countries have free trade. War or no war, things were always going to be higher in the UK. The oil price increase wouldn’t really impact an oil rich country, like Saudi Arabia for example, as they make money from selling their own oil.

We’ve looked at the war a little and I will end by saying that no matter what the times throw at people they are persevering, surviving and trying to make the most of it. History has shown us that bad things have happened and shouldn’t have been repeated, so let’s hope things settle down soon.

The traditional greeting in the Ukraine is to offer bread and salt to guests. Bread is regarded as the holiest of foods to Ukrainians. Round bread, also known as “Kolach” is a food symbol for eternity; representing hospitality also. When you receive the bread and salt the tradition is to break a small piece of the Kolach and then dip it into the salt, bow your head and say grace (thanks) before you eat it.

To say “Hello, how are you?” in Ukrainian language you would say “Привіт, як справи?” (Privite, iak spravi?)

Overview New Twitter (Online) (Worse?)

Now that Elon Musk has bought Twitter there has been a number of new things implemented into the online social platform.

One of those is the introduction of the blue tick or – a monetised account which you have to pay for. That is coming to a grand total of £1,000 a month for business.

As the saying goes if you want to make money you need to spend money. Not always. In this case the platform is prioritising its blue tick member in return for a lump sum each month and shunning, or burying all other users under the algorithm. This translates to regular users not being able to connect in the way they’d originally hoped for.

It leads to dysconnectivity as we have seen. Paid users are at the top with the most viewed content and other people, businesses, and creatives alike are at the bottom. Implementing the paid membership is a good idea if you want to be super in demand, but most people just want to expand their social media reach.

I write this to draw your attention to alternative methods such as general email marketing and engagement with business users. This includes the writing community. I do not feel the changes were justified given the lack of support. However, they have been brought in to the site.

In the world of blockchain and NFT we will see more of this digital monetisation. WordPress uses this feature, whereby users pay for premium accounts in return for ads, which will hopefully generate income. However this is not a lot of money. Twitter on the other hand doesn’t need the money and trying to make it into a paid subscription service has thus far led to backlash. If we wanted someone to promote us for money then we’d surely do it ourselves. But we don’t.

Just a glimpse at the issue are the reviews. You need to use the platform and have used it for considerable time for it to make sense. If you join now you won’t have seen the changes, including the ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ tab.

May Day 2023

Happy May Day bank holiday!

Let’s all celebrate the weekend and week with another bank holiday. We also have the Kings Coronation coming up which will also be a bank holiday.


In Ireland, people used to put flowers on the doorstep or windowsills of their houses on May morning to bring good luck and offer protection against the fairies.

Well, I didn’t know that fairies were bad, I assumed from all the films and literature that they were good and maybe a little mischievous at times, but that is all!

Short and sweet just as I like it.

Dead Island: Definitive Edition – A Review

It’s about time I reviewed the lengthy and worthwhile video game that is Dead Island. It was released to what I would call mixed reviews. Particularly given the gruesome and controversial trailer that showed a family torn apart by zombies before jumping from the balcony of a massive hotel.

The expectation was a linear zombie apocalypse game in the luxurious Banoi resort. It was good looking graphically. Today players can indulge in the upgraded Definitive Edition which helps bolster graphics for modern consoles among other improvements. What we got in return wasn’t quite to peoples expectations – including my own – about the games narrative and structure. Ultimately proving to be a very long game with over 30 hours gameplay in game, easily.

What this meant was the resort area of the game, looking quite exotic, was only one map in what would turn out to be several huge maps. Don’t get me wrong this was a hidden surprise which I thought made the game more enjoyable. As I played I did become bored and at the time didn’t enjoy the story and found it long, boring and too much effort.

It wasn’t until years later after its initial release in 2011 that I played the game, and really enjoyed it. I think my naïve attitude during my initial playthrough was going into it with certain expectations rather than just exploring and enjoying what happened next. Those playthroughs years later allowed me to better understand the story, the characters and ultimately enjoy the game for what it was – essentially quite a big open world, with many possibilities.

In 2015 Dying Light was introduced which took many ideas, themes, weaponry etc from Dead Island and built an entire game which was enjoyable. However, it doesn’t have a nice looking world, being set in the slums. Dead Island does have a nice looking world which made the game all the more enjoyable.

I would liked to have seen more interesting side events or side missions in the game – Dead Island – because once an area had been completed and you have helped all the survivors, then you are pretty much seeing the same things over and over again. But, the innovative weapon crafting and management system make the game fun, with thousands of weapons combinations and creations available to you. This made the zombie killing a lot of fun.

The game also boasts a fantastic zombie gore system, each kill will be different. The weapon you choose impacts the damage to the undead. For example, using a machete can decapitate a zombie or cut its arms off, whereas an electric baton will literally electrocute them. I hadn’t seen this sort of thing in Xbox games before, nor had I seen it in any zombies games. Now though, the disintegration of zombies is a part of big names like Dying Light and of course Dead Island 2 – recently released.

Playing through the campaign solo is a lot of fund, with a lot of world to explore and a lot of people and zombies to kill. In unique ways. However, I played the entire campaign with a friend a few years ago and the experience is a lot better. This is a fantastic game to play coop. I encourage you to do so with a friend so that both of you can enjoy the experience together. You can also benefit from having a teammate revive you during those difficult missions. Get a buddy!

Overall the game is good, despite my initial reactions. Perhaps everyone needs time to adjust to something, or maybe it was just such a good game that I needed time to appreciate it. I think this is the case. I would say it turned out to be one of the better games of the decade, and one of the best zombie apocalypse games to grace consoles.. I am extremely excited to play Dead Island 2, although at £60 I will wait until it is reduced or on sale!

5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Horror; great atmosphere, haunting, scary, challenging.

Visually: holds up well, good animation, good movements, lovely world textures.

Story; well-developed, thought provoking, intriguing, sustained and innovative.

I Ate Tasty Polish Dumplings for Lunch!

I tried something new for lunch today. After reading about a little restaurant called Beerogi in Greater Manchester, I had to try this Polish cuisine.

Specialising in the Polish dumpling, otherwise known as pierogis in Poland, I found a glorious menu priced at 10 dumplings for £12. I think that is rather fair given that they were both scrumptious and healthily filling. I ordered two flavours; White Polish dumplings – potatoes and cheese, also known as the classic flavour. And I asked for the Beerogi special, which was also a variety of cheese; albeit with more flavour. I was asked what I’d like to drink before eating as is usual in restaurants. I ordered a diet coke delivered in a very nicely designed glass I might add. The glass in the picture contains an energy drink which I purchased from another store.

The feel of the restaurant was welcoming, with comfortable seating and compact table arrangement with nice decorations on the wall – as in the above photo.

Below are the pierogis. My goodness!

Since these are suitable for vegetarians I would say these are extremely well priced. Very filling. I found them flavoursome and interesting to eat. You get 10 and I mixed two flavours, however one of my accompanying guests had 2 of each!

The green was cabbage and the black was a fish specialty. I was surprised not to see spinach on the menu list! The side was some variety of cabbage/salad and my other guest had pork with potatoes which came with some variety of sauerkraut.

All in all it was very nice and made a huge difference to what I’d already eat. If you come to Manchester and want something different/foreign then come to this restaurant. It makes for a great lunch!

Five star service, very friendly.