Warm and cosy? I’d rather be safe!

Common sense warns us not to indulge in things that are inevitably going to lead to disaster, like running around the parapet of a 60-storey building in a thunderstorm, while juggling two armchairs and a ‘fridge.

I’ll never try that again!

Or stopping your car in the middle of Longleat’s lion enclosure, winding-down the window, holding out a handful of raw steak and shouting, “Hello boys! Anybody hungry?”

You’d be even more foolhardy to answer your front door to a couple of well-dressed, well-scrubbed individuals and invite them in so they can explain, over a nice cup of tea and a slice of fruit cake, why you’re doomed to burn in the fires of Hell for all Eternity.

While our instincts warn us about obvious things we should avoid, last week the media was awash with stories about much subtler dangers lurking inside and outside our homes.

These arose from a 106-page report (I only managed to get through the first 105 pages) by the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which claims 40,000 people in Britain die early each year because of outdoor air pollution.

So, obviously, to stay healthy we should try breathing less.

Apart from harmful exhaust fumes, the report claims emissions from factories contribute to air pollution, which came as a  surprise to me as I was unaware we had any factories left in Britain,

I was even more surprised by the report’s findings into hazards we face inside our homes from such seemingly innocuous things as wood-burning stoves and scented candles.

The report states that chemicals in scented candles can be harmful to children, elderly people and anyone with heart or breathing problems – which I reckon accounts for 55% of the population.

As for wood-burning stoves, apparently, despite its warm and cosy image, wood smoke is toxic waste and sticks to your chimney as combustible creosote or released into the air as pollution.

So, next time you go for a long healthy walk on a cold winters day and call in at a pub on the way home, don’t sit next to a blazing log fire or it’ll undo all the good done by your long healthy walk.

To be honest, I got so stressed-out by this doom-laden report, I decided to take a long soak in the bath, listen to some chill-out music and light some scented…oh dear!

See you next week.

I hope…

Getting away from it all can be so beneficial

They do say that travel broadens the mind. It has its benefits no doubt – and for those that are blessed with the ability to get about and see the word, life can be enhanced in so many ways.

For me, travel takes me away from the day to day challenges, pressure of work and constant demands that many of us face, in this fast paced world that we now live in.

I’m lucky to have work related activities that allow me to travel. Time away often gives me a chance to think and reflect – a welcome opportunity to clear my head and process the important things in life.

At times like this I find that I’m at my creative best. Possibly because I have an opportunity to watch and observe other people and cultures, which over the years has provided me with some truly inspirational writing and comedy gold.

Yes, this is me watching you. Another blessing. By the way – I’m not keen on camping, let’s face it, life can be hard enough as it is!

Congestion and the blocked up feeling

Traffic jams and potholes in our towns and cities at the moment are causing so much stress and frustration that even playing Buddhist meditation music in the car while driving won’t help reduce our blood pressure.

Everywhere we go, we currently face these obstacles on a daily basis – and it doesn’t seem to be improving any day soon.

Even if we use public transport, the same challenges are faced. It’s got to the point that I’m now all for ‘by pass roads’ more so than ever before.

Congestion and poorly maintained highways are now among the biggest complaints that our local authorities are faced with, yet the solution to the problems are a long way off.

As for me and the town of Ammanford, the congestion issue is almost grinding the roads into the town to a halt at times and a huge risk to road safety.

I wonder how the Dalai Lama would have dealt with this?