I am sick to the back teeth with bloody anti-piracy statements and adverts from far too many movie and music organisations. Not only do we get these self-important (usually two-part as well) messages before every single film in the cinema they now add in another bit (sometimes more than one) during the adverts/trailers run before the movie. The current one in the UK usually goe along the lines of “The cinema won’t be the only place you can see King Kong/Narnian/Insert blockbuster here. Some people will choose to watch a pirate copy; the picture will be smaller, the image less clear… Movie piracy is a crime, don’t buy pirate DVDs”.

Er, I am not buying a pirated DVD I am sitting here IN A BLOODY CINEMA!!! Why are you preaching about avoiding piracy and supporting cinema to people who have made the effort to go out and pay to go to a theatrical screening???? I am supporting cinema and also getting pissed off at being preached to by these tossers when I do so. Even worse some DVDs now carry similar adverts – which is kind of redundant given I’ve bought the damned DVD which carries a warning against picking up pirate discs…. Jeez, no wonder some folk go for piracy.

Still, I enjoyed March of the Penguins (only my third movie of my week off), despite the eejit behind me who had brought his small child with him, who appeared to be about three years old. That’s just too wee to be at a full length movie and, of course, the wee guy couldn’t keep his trap shut and continually talked, driving me mad. His father did try shushing him a few times but later started talking to him instead, pointing out interesting events on the screen to the child – no wonder the toddler doesn’t know to keep his mouth shut in a cinema if this is the example his stupid father sets. The kid finally went quiet halfway through – I found out at the end it was because he had fallen asleep…

I hate people who make noises and talk through movies and bringing a kid so young and fidgety (happily kicking seats and climbing up and down those seats as well as talking) is just stupid and very inconsiderate to the rest of the audience. I don’t blame the wee boy, he doesn’t know any better, but the father is an arse. And, dammit, I had neglected to bring my usual bottle of ether with me that I normally carry for such occassions. I was off donating blood earlier in the afternoon and didn’t want the hospital folk thinking I’d pinched the ether from their labs.

Third visit since mid January this year, so not bad going; I got back into the habit of going to the Blood Donor clinic when I was briefly unemplyoyed this year. The clinic is near the job centre I had to go to and since having to sign-on for the first time in my life was a depressing act I decided to do something positive and off I went, not having donated in several years. Long way to go to match a bloke who was on the couch next to me when I was in over the summer though – he was on his 63rd donation; if I hadn’t already removed it when I entered the building I’d have taken my hat off to him. Good news is that the Edinburgh clinic was very busy with a good mix of returning donators like myself and new folk signing up – good to see.

But much of the blood has a relatively short shelf-life and the Xmas season often sees more demand and lower supply, so if donating blood is something you’ve been thinking about doing, now is a good time to do it. Most of the local clinics do late nights as well so you can just drop by on the way home – it doesn’t hurt at all and it doesn’t take long to do. And they always have nice choccy biccies for you too munch afterwards (well, they insist you drink and snack afterwards) and the good folk in the Edinburgh clinic always have Tunnocks Teacakes, yummy! So to sum up: easy to do, doesn’t hurt, free choccy biccies and best of all you really could be saving a life. It could even be someone you know who needs that blood, so why not get in the habit?

On a personal note my uncle, who has been fighting cancer these last three years was brought home this week – after enduring much horrible treatment such as chemo and surgery and getting through it he has now reached the stage where they simply can’t do anymore for him. I was through visiting him this week (and we spent much of the time laughing I’m so happy to say) and I wonder if any of the blood I’ve donated has ever been used for him. It doesn’t matter of course, as long as it helped someone who needed it – the point is that it might have done and that’s a bloody good reason for doing it.

We thought three years ago we were going to lose him by Christmas; now his borrowed time his doctors gained him is really ticking away, you can imagine that this donation felt very emotional for me, like my way of giving a little ‘up yours’ to death. I can’t stop what’s happening to my dear uncle, but I could do that and I need to make sure I keep doing it, stick with the habit. Maybe it can’t help him now, but it can help someone and it is something most of us can do if we make a very little effort, so if you have a blood donor clinic near you, please think about it; it is such a small thing to do but it can mean so much to someone. Hmmm, I was debating if I should have mentioned this on here, but it has been preying on my mind all week – guess it wanted out.