Misconduct & Mistakes

Fantastically well written piece that really puts the job in perspective!



It occurs to me that, from time to time, police officers make mistakes.

It also occurs to me that we live in a world that is increasingly unforgiving of them when they do.

There are, of course, any number of reasons why police officers might get it wrong:

(1) Because they are human

Though my wife comes close, I’ve yet to encounter an entirely perfect human being.

I’ve certainly never met a perfect police officer.

But I have known officers who make mistakes. I look at one in the mirror every morning before I go to work.

They make mistakes because they are tired; because they are stretched; because they are under pressure; because they aren’t in possession of all the facts; because their instincts have let them down on this occasion; because hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Because they are human.

(2) Because they operate in the hurting places


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Spitting Feathers


I’m not an expert on Spit Hoods.

In fact, even as a serving officer, I was completely unaware of them until relatively recently.

If I’m honest – and this is very much a personal view – I think they look pretty alarming. And so do a lot of other people if the debate of the last couple of days is anything to go by.

I understand that. And I understand any desire on the part of the Mayor’s Office to seek a wider set of views.

But I also understand the strength of feeling expressed by many frontline officers about the issue.

I guess it’s important to try to understand what spit hoods are designed for – why on earth they might be required in the first place – and the exceptional circumstances in which they might be used.

I have been a police officer for twenty-four years and, in…

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A prompt I can work with 😀


I am, for the most part, a perfectionist. Only in certain areas of my life though. I don’t care much about appearance of person or possession. However, perfection of creation is a whole other matter.

When I was much younger, I had many jobs in the manufacturing sector. I was often complemented about the neatness of my work. It only became a problem in jobs that were paid as piecework. I found one job particularly challenging. I worked as an upholstery sewing machinist in a furniture factory. To achieve an acceptable level of pay, the work had to be churned out at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, it has been proven time and time again that you just can’t have quality and quantity. Piecework necessitates quantity. I could only manage quality. Therefore, my job didn’t last much past the initial training stage.

I have been a cross stitcher for about 30 years. I have had many compliments on the neatness of the back of my work. Some people think it just doesn’t matter about the back side, after all, who’s going to see it? To me, that misses the point of job satisfaction completely! It doesn’t matter if no-one will see it. I know it’s there and if it’s a mess, I’m not happy with it.

The photo on the left is the front of the project. The photo on the right is the back. I find both these images to be pleasing to look at. It’s a personal thing, I appreciate that. Each to their own. I am not so much of a perfectionist that I railroad every single stitch. It does annoy me working with two strands of thread when they twist. I prefer to counteract this by using only one strand. I also don’t like the lumpy nature of natural linen to work on. I adore symmetry and, as such, prefer to work on true evenweave fabrics.

Anything I create is subject to the worst possible scrutiny by myself. What other people think is good enough, for me, it just isn’t. But I don’t have a problem with that. It has long been said that cross stitching, in particular, is about enjoying the project. I agree totally and for me, personally, to enjoy it means to be happy with it. To be happy with it, it must meet my idea of perfection, however big or small the project.

It doesn’t just affect cross stitch though. I am a knitter, crocheter, writer and many other things. All of the things I create have to come up to my own ridiculously high standards. I am probably my own worst enemy in that respect. What is perfect to me is often seen as flawed by others and vice versa.

One last thing on the subject of perfection. People. I do not believe people are perfect. No-one is. Is it possible to find someone who is perfect? Perfect for you, yes, although I’ve yet to manage that myself.

A missing one…


I’m a bit late to the DP party today. It’s been one of those days. The anniversary of my dear Mum’s passing and I miss her so much.

She is my number 1 missing connection. Life was great while she was alive. I don’t mean that it was anything special other than being alive and knowing everything would be alright somehow because, well, Mums make everything okay, right?

I have no doubt that the majority of things in my life are worse since she left us. I know she wouldn’t have chosen to go, but I couldn’t have wished for her to suffer any more than she had already.

Of course I still talk to her. Sometimes I hear her answers, other times just a deafening silence. I still have occasional dreams where it hits me that I haven’t spoken to her for a while and I’m reaching for my phone to give her a call.

It’s been 12 years. I still wonder if there was more I could have done for her when she was alive, even during her illness. But I did all I could do at the time. Looking back I’m sure there must have been something I missed.

I have my son. Without him, I would feel much like I didn’t have a connection with any one person. And this is where the internet, for me, is something I treasure. I have many friends and positive interactions through social media. I have not found it to be a horrible experience, simply because I do not let other people bully me online and I will not engage in slanging matches via a keyboard (don’t like them face to face either, for the record!) so if someone upsets me with their nasty words, they are just deleted and blocked. Simple!

I wish I could say the same for other people though. The people that abuse the privilege of internet access. There are many out there. It always saddens me to see people engaging in less than moral behaviour, not just as themselves, but in disguise too. Fake accounts and profiles created to do bad things. I can’t even begin to get inside the head of someone who would do that but one thing’s for certain… They have no place in my world.

I’m aware that everyone makes mistakes and occasionally crosses the line but it’s the persistent offenders I don’t understand. Why abuse the social connection? I don’t know.

I feel no connection to where I live. This is a sad thing in many ways. I’ve been in the same house for 18 years and it’s never felt like home. The village doesn’t welcome outsiders and I’m an outsider. I was when I moved here and I still am. Part of that is my fault. When I began to realise the hostility to people not born here, I gave up trying to forge friendships and withdrew into my own space. I figured it was better to be isolated than mix with people who openly disliked me.

I do feel connections to other places though. I could never hope to afford to live in the place I feel most connection to, but it’s a lovely place to visit on holiday – even though the last time I managed that was in 2002, oddly, when my Mum was still alive. That was the last holiday we had with her, the last holiday full stop!

I am looking for a connection to the spirit world. I love my beautiful crystals and am talking to Angels. I am practising mindfulness every day to raise my personal vibration to a level that attracts the good things in life. It will be a long journey but one I am determined to make. I need to feel connected on different levels, and I am working to achieve that every day.

It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow here in the UK. My son has given me a beautiful card with some genuine sentiment written inside. By him, I hasten to add, not just the words printed in the card, but the heartfelt ones he added. I am so thankful for having such a wonderful son, I am truly privileged to have been given this unique connection. Thank you Universe.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my friends and readers who also have the privilege to be Mums.

A resonant prompt


I have to admit, secrets are one thing I absolutely despise. I try to live my life as an open book, simply because the very word “secret” just means lies and deceit to me.

Of course, there are good secrets like, perhaps, a nice surprise for someone. But the majority of secrets seem to be based upon the need of an individual or corporation to hide something from people that they know will be ill received.

For example, I know a person who tells his wife that he isn’t seeing anyone else, but tells his girlfriend of several years that he doesn’t even speak to his wife anymore. At the moment, the UK Government seems to be playing this same sort of game too, between us and the EU. Crooks and criminals keep secrets in the hope that they won’t ever get caught. And, of course, there is the favourite classic… “Does my bum look big in this?”

Obviously, some people can’t handle the truth. For me, personally, I have a huge problem with other people deciding how much of a situation I should be told about. If you have a problem, just give me the whole story and let me process the important bits of information, the bits that matter to me, not the bits that you think will save your ass for another day.

It’s a simple fact of life. I remember my dear Mum had a saying, “You can fool all the people half the time, and half the people all the time but you can’t fool all the people all the time!” How true this is.

We live in a world that encourages people to lie and cheat their way through exams, job interviews and the like. Whatever happened to good old fashioned honesty?

But, I digress… Secrets, specifically within a relationship, are just an absolute no for me. I do it now, on the odd occasion, simply because the other person treats me the same way, except that’s not occasionally, it’s all the time. I have nothing to hide these days, there seems little point in deceit. The truth, however ugly it is, is the only way to help others to understand where things go wrong in their lives. I’m no exception. It’s no good telling me something I’ve made is absolutely fabulous, then going off and telling others it’s crap. I lose respect for people when they behave in such a manner.

Clearly, my biggest issue with secrets is simply that I’ve come to associate them with negative things because all they’ve ever been meant to do is hide the truth. I am quite sure that, had I known the truth in some situations, my life would be much different now than it is.

Books? Don’t mind if I do!

Second Time Around

Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?

I don’t tend to read books, as such. I have hundreds of them and I just love books. Holding a book is something future generations won’t even have the pleasure of knowing. For me, one of the best things in life is getting hold of a brand new book and opening the pages for the first time. The smell of the print, the smooth feel of the paper, the shiny words and pictures jumping off the pages at me.


These are just a few of my awesome books

As you can see, only one of the books in the photo has a broken spine. This was a book I bought second-hand and I realise that not everyone understands, or cares, about books the way I do. It is a travesty to open a lovely new book and try to make it sit flat. I’ve watched people bend the covers back until they almost touch each other and the result is the ruination of many a beautiful object.

But I am not really one for novels, I much prefer reference materials. The closest I get to a novel is a self-help book. I have dozens of those. I love any kind of factual book, reference book, that sort of thing. I think this is because I don’t like fiction that much. It’s false, fake, made up stuff which, while it may even be based on reality, isn’t actual reality. Therefore, in my mind, it is akin to lying and that’s something I utterly detest.

I know millions of people read fiction as a way to escape reality. The problem I have with that, is that reality is always there when you put the book down, so the disappointment is always looming and the reality escape is but a mere memory.

There are several books that I pick up time and time again. I have never read a single one of them from cover to cover. Reference books are difficult to do that with. Some of my favourite books to dip into regularly are my Crystal Bible series by Judy Hall, another crystal book I have, by Cassandra Easson, is practically a daily dipper. My other favourite book, as I have mentioned in previous posts, is my dictionary. I love that book with a passion that few would understand.