Welcome to Diana's Blog

I blog about anything that interests me - my local area, things I've seen or heard on the news, politics and human rights, gardening, arts and crafts, poetry, photographs and general advice.

And, when you've finished reading, don't forget to leave a comment - I love hearing from people

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Sightless - A Short Film

This short film won an award.  Very dark and atmospheric.  Take a look, it's only 11 minutes.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Have a Bit of Fun with a Blue-Flashing Kettle

This kettle is such fun - it lights up and flashes blue lights all the time it's heating up....And it's efficient too.

 See my Squidoo review of a similar kettle:

Ovente Glass Electric Kettle with Flashing Blue Lights

Here's a photo of my own kettle - I just love it: 


Saturday, 24 May 2014

Women's Rights in Afghanistan

What is it Like to be a Woman in Afghanistan?

Image: BBC News - South Asia

We all hear snippets of news about how women are treated in Afghanistan, and a little about women's rights in that part of the world, but it was only when I read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini that I really began to realize the full horror of what it was like to be a woman in a culture which values women merely as child-bearing slaves.

 It would not be unreasonable to say that, by Western standards, women's rights in most of Afghanistan are precarious or non-existent.

 Women must obey their husbands, and all the males in their household, including younger brothers.  Even boys treat their mothers in ways which we would consider disrespectful.

Domestic violence (one-way naturally) is normal.  It is not illegal for the men of the household to beat a woman by way of chastisement if she does not do as they wish, and sometimes even the woman's mother-in-law will join in to beat and punish her .  There is no such concept as marital rape, and women do not have any say in the mode or frequency of sex. Basically she is treated as a slave, to do the housework, and to do what her husband and his family tell her to do.  Before marriage, she must obey the males in her household.

In some communities, an Afghan woman must not be seen outside the home without being covered with a burkha from head to toe including her mouth, and nose.  In some cases even her eyes are covered by gauze so that they can't be seen.  Imagine having to walk around in temperatures soaring above 100 degrees muffled up like that so that you don’t attract men's attention and arouse their evil desires. It makes you wonder what sort of animals the men must be if the mere sight of a woman's nose is sufficient to ignite uncontrollable passions. It brings to mind something Golda Meir said many years ago, that if men can't control themselves when they see a woman, it should be the men who are put under curfew, not the women. 

Afghan women must not talk to strange men or any male who is not part of their family, and, of course, must never have physical contact with any man to whom she is not married.

Even if she treads carefully and conducts herself according to the morality of the society in which she lives, the Afghan woman is still likely to be subjected to beatings, but would normally avoid serious injury, such as public stoning, and public whipping,
judicially decreed by the local mullah, not to mention  assault by family members such as having boiling water or acid thrown over her. 

Oh, and I almost forgot – if an Afghan woman brings shame on her family, by refusing to marry the man chosen for her or to whom she has been sold or exchanged for land or other favors,  or if she has a relationship with a man, or behaves in any way which could be viewed as unseemly, her own family might feel morally bound to murder her. Quaintly enough, this would be considered to be an honour killing and would be socially acceptable.

Three thought-provoking films from YouTube about what it’s like to be a woman in Afghanistan.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Don't Call it Failure - Call it Practising for Success

Many people get discouraged if they don't succeed immediately when they try something. Sometimes the fear of failure is so strong that it even puts them off trying in the first place. But success isn't a black or white conclusion, it is more of an ongoing process, where you learn by your mistakes, try things out, see what works and what doesn't, and begin to understand things better, step-by-step.

There are many sayings and proverbs in the English language which reflect this:

  • "Rome wasn't built in a day"
  • "from the smallest acorn mighty oaks grow" 
  • "Many a slip 'twixt cup and lip"
  • "If you don't ask, you don't get"
  • and even "God helps those who help themselves" 
         ( I can't help adding here "and God help those that do!")
And here are some classical oft-repeated sayings which have  become part of our culture:

  • from Confucious, followed by Mao Tse Cheung: "The longest journey starts with a single step"
  • from Aesop's fable, The Tortoise and the Hare:  "Slow and steady wins the race"
  • and from the poet Robert Burns: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again"

Here's an impressive Tweet from @WMoss. I found it on Clipboard:

"Steve Jobs was born out of wedlock, put up for adoption at birth, dropped out of college, then changed the world. What's your excuse?"

If you want to follow up this subject about how to achieve success, I have expanded on it in my Wizzley article Don't Call it Failure, with a list of things to help you achieve your goals, and a poll.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Halloween Miscellany and Free Halloween Pictures 

This is a Halloween miscellany, with lots of pictures, my own and other people's, and also some information about Halloween and Walpurgis Night, a quiz and a poll and a poem I wrote for the occasion.

If you want to use any of my pictures on this particular Halloween post on your own website, you have my permission to copy and, if appropriate, to modify them, provided that you acknowledge that you have done so with a link to my website. I would love to hear from you if you do this.

Image: Photo by Diana Grant /Glorious Confusion

Take a drink from the poisoned chalice

And remember, there's many a slip
'twixt cup and lip

-Image: Photo by -
Diana Grant /Glorious Confusion

 List of Things to do in time for Halloween:

  • Get in the Goodies

  • Get out the Invitations

  • Sort out the Decorations

  • Dig out the Disguises

  • Plan Halloween food and

  • Get Ready to meet the Supernatural

Here's a ghoulish little poem I wrote - Just skip it if it looks too scary! 

What do you do on Halloween? 

 Halloween activities:

Halloween activities include games such as Apple Bobbing, where apples are floated in a barrel of water and the participants compete to grab the apples in their mouth, without using their hands - very splashy; or toffee apples are suspended in the air, and competitors vie to get the apples without using their hands - very sticky!

There is also a fortune telling game, where young women peel an apple in one long strip, and then toss the peel over their shoulder. It is then inspected to see what alphabetical letter it represents, and that (of course) is the initial of the man they are going to marry. It works every time - not! I remember doing this when I was at school over fifty years ago. Regrettably, I can't remember whether I ever got the initial "J" - my husband's initial - but as I later got divorced, it was a somewhat underwhelming result!

Other activities include fancy dress parties, telling ghost storiesand watching horror filmsabout such abominations as Dracula, Frankenstein and other Monsters, Weirwolves, murderous maniacs on Halloween, Mummies, Zombies, The Witches of Salem and other stories about witchcraft, exorcism and the undead, of the "I'm immortal and I'm coming to get you" variety.

Trick 'r Treat
-Trick 'r Treat-
Buy This Allposters.com

Why "Trick or Treat"?

In the Middle Ages, on special occasions such as Christmas and All Hallows' Day (1st November) it was customary for the poor to dress up, sometimes in fancy dress, to go begging by knocking from door to door, asking for food and money (alms) in return for prayers for the dead. Sometimes they would perform by singing a song, such as Wassailing at Christmas.

Nowadays children dress up and go to houses asking "Trick or Treat?" - in effect mild blackmail, asking for a gift or threatening some mischief. Traditionally if the homeowner does not give them a Halloween treat such as sweets, cake or coins, they will play a prank or trick, which might take the form of throwing an egg or mud at the window of the householder (who, presumably, has kept all the lights switched off and is lurking about with head below the window parapet, pretending they are not in, or, worse, coming to the door and telling the children to go away).

It's quite paradoxical that a custom which started in Europe and only went to America in the 20th Century has been far more prevalent and popular in the USA than in the UK - that is, until recently, when commercial markets saw their opportunity and grabbed it very successfully. All my own pictures in this web page were from photographs I took in our local 99p shop, and I was amazed by the variety and quality of goodies you could buy for under £1.00 (approximately $1.50). -

                                           Walpurgis Night-
Walpurgis Night
Buy This Allposters.com
How much do you know about protecting yourself against Vampires?
One bite of those fangs in your neck and you are doomed to turn into a vampire yourself, joining the realms of the undead!

Halloween Skulls -  a Horrid Sight

Are you frightened yet?

Spooky Door Knobs

-Image: Photo by
--Diana Grant /Glorious Confusion

Did you like this web page "Spooky Halloween Pictures"?

If so, please spare a minute to rate it -

Your approval would greatly help me - thank you
      It's really good to get feedback

                                                 -Follow Me on Pinterest

October the 31st is not the only night when the supernatural " title="Walpurgis Night " type="33">--
Walpurgis Night falls on April 30 and is, in fact, directly opposite Halloween on the astrological calendar, falling exactly six months earlier and it shares many of the traditions of Halloween.
Walpurgis has its roots in ancient pagan superstitions, customs, and festivals. At that time of year, the Vikings would light big bonfires to scare away evil spirits - a ritual to hasten the arrival of Spring and ensure fertility for their crops and livestock. According to ancient legends, Walpurgis was the last chance for witches and evil spirits to stir up trouble before Spring arrived.

-You can find this Image on
--Eugene Plawiuk's Blog

Here's some things you can do -
                -- push one of the buttons below

                  - And pass it on to your friends

                But keep it secret from your enemies!

           -Your approval would greatly help me - thank you
              It's really good to get feedback

 I hope you don't meet this fearsome ghost creepng up on you in the night, because it might scare the pants off you:

Nobody would be there to rescue you, and you would have to keep your new companion company until first light of dawn, whereupon he would disappear and never be seen again.

Naturally, it might just be a figment of your imagination - materialising as a result of your celebrating a bit too vigorously with alcohol or halucinogenic substances.

                                                 -Ghost Rider #23 Cover: Ghost Rider-

Ghost Rider #23 Cover: Ghost Rider
Buy This Allposters.com

My Zazzle Webstore Glorious Confusion:

-You Can Get this scary Fire-Breathing Monster Design on a Mug or T-Shirt on Zazzle:
Fire-Breathing Aztec Mug - Titled "Hot Stuff"by GloriousConfusion
See more Travel Mugs

-Tie - Burning Skulls
Tie - Burning Skullsby GloriousConfusion
Browse Weird Ties

- You Can Get this Burning Skull Design on a T-Shirt on Zazzle:
                                                 -T-Shirt - Burning Skull
T-Shirt - Burning Skullby GloriousConfusion
Make custom tee shirtsat zazzle.co.uk

-A Haunted House Party Invitation:

                                                  -Halloween Party Invitation - haunted house
Halloween Party Invitation - haunted houseby GloriousConfusion
Browse more Halloween Invitations

--If you would like to see more of my designs (plenty for Halloween, including aprons and party invitations), go to my Zazzle Store: Glorious Confusion


-What did you think of the poem and Halloween scary pictures?

What's on your mind?

Naturally, if you wish to expand into more of an essay, that's fine too!

It's just nice to know who has been visiting