Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dull, Dull, Dull...

It gets no better...lots of rain, a colourless sky and a bit of loud thunder and lightening.

I had some buttered toast, marmalade and coffee earlier.

Will have some chicken tonight but what to have with it...perhaps a simple salad. Tomorrow, perhaps a traditional Sunday meal. Monday...sandwiches?

I've been a bit neglectful on the cereal and fruit, these past few days, so I won't be surprised if the fruit has gone off. We'll see. I don't throw much out. But I have to buy what I think I will use and avoid shopping every day.

I write the above and then the sun comes out!

During Aung San Suu Kyi's...

visit to London and her meetings with Politicians and addressing of the so called "Mother of Democracies"(Our Houses Of Parliament)she wanted to thank the BBC for all the support she had hearing the news of what was happening in the world(and probably it was the only place she heard what was happening in own country)but just as "we" grow tired of the bad news we are bombarded with she needed some entertainment too.

After all the BBC World Service was supposed to also give the world a snapshot of British Culture for non British listeners and also Ex-pats. Now for whatever the reason(it could be budget cuts)the service is virtually  news 24/7 but Aung San Suu Kyi appreciated hearing some music, quizes and comedy. Perhaps an odd drama.

So when she visited The BBC even she had to admit when hearing many of her favourite programmes had been dropped, she said that "You see what I mean by saying it's not what I used to be!" She also said that the World Service was "not as versatile as it used to be". "There used to be so many different programmes on," It's true.

The BBC meets Aung San Suu Kyi

The Vicar Who Presided Over Mum's Funeral...

is to retire in September and is returning to her home town of Harrogate in Yorkshire so it's all change once again. I think that this will be the fifth change of vicar that I can remember happening. I don't remember the first vicar otherwise that would be change number six.

What I have discovered is that the church was built in the year that I was born.

Real Butter...

For years I have used Clover Margerine and it tastes fine, is easy to spread  But you know what. I don't eat masses of bread but today I had some toast with butter on it. I'm not saying that I won't ever eat Clover or something similar in the future but I have decided that I am going to start eating butter again. I doubt that it's going to do me much harm now...especially the amount I use...

I'm not really bothered what brand I use, today it was Country Life(actually with a date of Best Before the end of March)It's fine.

I have some of Tesco's Every Day value butter in the fridge. I suspect that will be ok too. It's new so the date is not a problem.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Stating The Bleedin' Obvious Example 685...

Sir Mervyn King of the Bank of England says of yet another bank scandal "From excessive levels of compensation, to shoddy treatment of customers, to a deceitful manipulation of one of the most important interest rates and now news of yet another mis-selling scandal we can see we need a real change in the culture of the industry."

Just about everyone has had something to say but let us remember and this no excuse, this goes back a number of years. So it is not something new(I understand this goes back to 2006/2007)

The problems is who else is involved(individuals/other banks or financial organisations)How long would it have continued if not discovered? Are we just discovering what has always gone on? And when everything was ok and profits were being made would/did  the Governments turn a blind eye. It's only now that things have gone "Belly up" questions are being raised.

Sir Mervyn King Attacks Banks... 

And these people are in charge of our welfare and whether our country sinks...

The other day when our PM had a go at those on Housing Benefit and trotted out his stereotypical examples of who claims it and kept telling us that those who work hard are doing the right thing.  On the radio tonight I heard this statistic...You won't hear it any time soon when a politician stands up to make a speech...

One in eight who claim are out of work or in reverse that means seven in eight are working and there is still no guarantee that many of those not working are "Scoungers" most of those will be looking for work or jumping through the hoops and fulfilling the conditions you have to receive help.

Cynically all this talk about welfare is a distraction especially at a time when  the economy is struggling, decent jobs are hard to come by and we've had a lot in the news about bankers and people avoiding or evading paying tax and the hope is that if you play one section of society against another people will forget. 

Also some policies will be passed unchallenged.

Danny DeVito The Actor...

was a guest on the political programme "This Week" and talked a lot of sense. But said how he sees how bad things are getting around the world. And basically said that "We" the Human Race is here on the Earth for a blink of an eye. It's not our right to be here or to believe that we should be. And whether it's the next generation or a few down the line, one day we won't be. Other speices become exinct so why should we be  any different.

In the history of the world our time here will be a nano second. And our planet will cease to exist no matter what we do to save it. At least we won't be around when it happens...

And on that happy note...

Woke Up To A Blue Sky...

and white fluffy clouds but after a bit of a lie in...we're back to a dull, cold and wet day and a sky full of rain clouds. I  know it's the variety of weather that makes the UK the country it is but we seem to have had such a lot of rain this year, no wonder most of us are fed up!

I'll have to make a drink soon and think about eating something(first of the day)

Today, I have to cook the chicken so I guess for the next few days most meals will have chicken as part of the ingredients so that will be chicken sandwiches, salads and probably something like chicken, vegetables and potatoes. I may just do it in the oven to save time. It's not a very big one so should not take too long to cook.

Must find the instructions or look into using the slow cooker, I have been told that they use about the same amount of power as a light bulb...

As I have approx 1 week before I start a new month with my internet provider and I haven't used much of my monthly allowance, I watched some tv via the internet in the early hours, my first tv in ages. I managed to concentrate and take an interest.

I watched an edition of IQ with Stephen Fry(that seemed a bit strange)knowing that Mum used to see some of them and now she can't and yet they are still going on...I watched the political programme "This Week", I tried "You Cannot Be Serious" with Alistair McGowan but found that poor and don't think I'd watch it again. And "Mrs Browns Boys" in many ways I dislike this but sometimes it can be fun when things go wrong and the actors step out of their characters to some extent this style of comedy though crude it has simularities to farce and characters like "Old Mother Riley" or Norman Evans' character where he played a female talking over the garden fence with another neighbour or Cissy and Ada as played on tv by Les Dawson and Roy Barraclough. Or I suppose another great comic pair were Hinge and Bracket.

There is a difference with men playing women as above as a comic character, a caricature and  "Drag" where you are actually trying to pass yourself off as a real woman even if to some extent in a crude way. Some "Drag" artists really did manage to look like women or at least try to not to be so grotesque. So I guess the most famous and respected of these in the UK was Danny Le Rue who spent a lot of money on his shows and the costumes he wore and yet he never let you forget that he was a "Bloke" at the end of the show.

Danny Le Rue in Character 

Arthur Lucan as "Old Mother Riley"

Norman Evans "Over The Garden Wall"

Cissie And Ada Played by Les Dawson And Roy Barraclough

Hinge And Bracket Played By Patrick Fyffe And George Logan

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Those Expensive Phone Calls...

I can do a lot of my Dr's surgery stuff via the internet now and avoid making phone calls...unfortunately, not nurses appointments so I had to make a call today just to arrange for my bloods to be taken and to be taken to the hospital for the appointment with my Consultant. It's a local call. It cost me £2 because it's a Premium number!

There are only six Dr's surgeries using such numbers out of seventy in the area. I think that it is wrong.

Then I phoned a big hospital out of the area and that only cost me 20p on my mobile. Possibly less...

I have since been  informed that 0844 is not a Premium number so perhaps in future I'll call via a land line only my ISP who took over the line rental and calls(they are usually free)but they charge for 0844 calls.

As I write this there are big rumblings of thunder going around the sky but it has brightened up somewhat.

Now the sad news...

One of the taxi drivers who liked mum and was very upset about what happened told me today when he picked me up from the supermarket that he had taken his Father home from having a little drink at the British legion last Friday I think.

Some time later the office contacted him telling he was needed at the home of his Mum and Dad as his Mum had fallen in the house. As he arrived the ambulance did with it's flashing blue lights. He went in to find that his Mum had died in the house.

So much sad news at present or it seems that way. No wonder everyone is so down.

Update:I could not eat it all but I enjoyed what I had of it. My main meal today was a mushroom omlette, hot dog sausages, baked beans, tomatoes, potatoes, fried bread and brown sauce. I was just finishing off what was left from yesterday.

I think I have room for a lolly of some kind with a kind of ice cream filling...I'll have to see what is the freezer. Found a Magnum Infinity - chocolate and caramel lolly. They must have been on offer as normally the price would mean I would avoid them...

Relaxing, listening to a documentary a documentary about Kenny Ball...

Almost Light Outside...

It has been raining again.  I see some blackbirds flying around already.
I'm doing a little catching up on the radio I missed earlier via the internet. I will go back to sleep soon...

Today, I think that I will have an orange juice, cereal and fruit followed by toast and coffee.

Later a small salad.

Later, possibly some scrambled eggs. At least I am making the effort.

Since writing the above I have already had toast, marmalade and a drink of blueberry juice.

Update:It's afternoon now, may go out see if there's any money for me before things change as it will, buy some cookware for the microwave and perhaps some bread. And get back home as quick as possible out of the rain...

Update 2:Teatime now...I'm back. Money was waiting for me today. That always makes me feel a little safer knowing there is something for an emergency and for paying a bill...

I purchased a jumper at the charity shop, a nice white cotton one originally from M&S. I obtained  my microwave cookware, enough for me. And on one item it says how microwaves use a lot less power than an ordinary oven. So hopefully my purchases of a combi microwave, my ordinary micro and the halogen oven were a wise decision after all.

Perhaps I did not need it as there is only me and I use mainly mugs. So why would I but I purchased a teapot. I can put tea or coffee in it and I could even add milk so its just to pour out. I thought as it has a handle and a lid it might be safer for me to carry and it will keep it hot until it's needed.

Otherwise, it is a pretty normal shop...some bread, bacon, a little meat(pork burgers)already cooked so I can have them hot or cold)hot dogs, sliced mushrooms, whole mushrooms, sausage rolls, onions, half a cucumber, brown sauce, some scones, garlic, fresh vegetables(prepared cauliflower, carrot and broccoli)eggs. 

I did not have any beer glasses so I thought just in case I decide not to drink straight for a can or bottle I'd buy some(they only cost 98p for four)I also saw my first Red Party Cups popular in the States so I purchased some of them, they are very strong disposal plastic cups, large enough for booze. Only I will probably wash and reuse them if/when I open them. 

They have become popular around the world and are often to be seen on many US tv programmes. I don't know if those I found are copies or original bu they are close enough(they were £2.50 for 15.Going by the prices here that seems reasonable.I was about to say earlier in the year there was even a song in the US charts about the cups. That can be seen and heard at the same link. Popular with students and I suppose because they are safer at parties than using glass. You can watch it and lose the ad on screen.

As I write this it has been a really big downpour with many houses unable to cope with the amount of water so it's been overflowing the guttering. How much more rain are we to suffer this year?

I later discovered this was nothing like what had happened further North with flash floods and resulting in the closure of Newcastle Railway station and train services between England and Scotland and the opposite direction to London due to landslides. Also the Tyne Bridge being struck by lightening...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Could've Gone Out Today But Didn't...

Well, there was no reason to...

I've relaxed and pottered around a little...

But more importantly I did not eat much earlier(just some porridge and fruit)so I had plenty of room for my "Full" English which I have just finished followed by a big cup of milky coffee.

I had two eggs, two slices of fried bread, two tomatoes, baked beans, three hot dog sausages, five rashes of streaky bacon and sliced mushrooms.

I will now happily rest and may even doze off into a lovely sleep...

The Olympics, The Winter Olympics And Paralympics...

We are always being told that some extent they are meant to be accessable to the mass populations around the world and open to not exactly professional athletes...

And yet we have a kind of tennis and football tornement where most definately those taking part are professionals.

And now there is a programme on the radio suggesting when it comes around again the BBC(The UK's public service broadcaster)and though you pay a license fee annually it is still seen as being free to air by many...It's not subscription/pay per view, the suggestion is that other tv companies will bid for the rights and probably get them.

Not being a sports fan I'm not really troubled about this but unless the station that wins the rights is a main broadcaster available across all the platforms and the event is still free or priced at a low rate that can be afforded by the viewer, many will miss out.

Having said that, the Paralympics are being carried by a UK commercial tv station Channel 4 already this year. And ever since I can remember the Olympics, the Winter Olympics and the Paralympics have been carried by commercial television in the US so perhaps it's not so unsual around the rest of the world. It will be interesting to see how the public reacts to this thought when it comes around again.

I apologise(my ignorance can be excused because)I don't watch any of it but there is also a Winter Paralympics too.

I used to watch as a child...I remember watching coverage before going to school so that one would have been in 1968 and from Mexico. The rest don't stand out too much in my memory. Possibly the other two events from the Olympics would be both from Winter one's and I think I got up in the earl hours and watched Robin Cousins the ice skater win Gold at Lake Placid in the US at Lake Placid 1980.

 I think that I watched Torvill and Dean win gold in 1984 in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia but perhaps my memory is playing tricks and I only saw the replays over the years. I say that because the Winter Olympics take place in early February and that year my Father was seriously ill and nearing the end of his life.

Very little of the big sporting events are carried on public service tv or free to air commercial stations most has to be paid for and at best the rest if lucky have to depend on a programme showing highlights after the event has taken place so the result is known and the real excitement has been lost.

List Of The TV Stations Worldwide Showing The Olympics In 2012

Not Sure When...

but I am toying with the idea of trying to watch a little more tv. Well, any tv to be honest. I may find that I still cannot concentrate for long and become bored easily.

Initially, I may decide to try and watch one film each day but I will be looking at older films I suspect, the other strand that may attract me the most could be programmes to try and persuade me to take more of an interest in cooking again, to do more than salad, cereal and fruit, fry up's and traditional Sunday meals.I grill where possible but I do at least use olive oil(and bacon can be done in a microwave without adding anything)

But I'm doing fine on all of those and I still have plenty of simple easy meals and snacks I can do from baked beans, soup and the like. Then again what more do you need as long as you rotate ingredients and you are eating fish, chicken(other meats)cheese, eggs, vegetables, fruit, cereal, various spreads, fruit juices, milk, tea, coffee and salad.

I still find that I don't need to eat as much as I did but I think I had even got out of the habit before Mum become ill. And yet I love food.

I still miss Mum and it seems strange cooking for one. And I am a bit sloppy when preparing a meal these days days. I'm sure I'll improve on that score. But at least I do try. I still wonder if I am doing well as I believe or whether suddenly months down the line it's going to hit me hard. I hear so many tales of where you get a delayed reaction.

So I use the microwave more in the next few days I may invest in some kitchenware. A lot of what I cook can be done quite easily in a microwave.

All Is Well...

The shopping trip went well and the look out did me good. When my budget is even tighter, I'll have to get used to cutting back more but I did not spend a lot and added items that can go in my store cupboard but also make last more than once. I don't always manage to get through mushrooms(sliced or whole)but  a tin of sliced at 34p I probably can. I found a big tin of sweetcorn for 34p(no added salt etc...)10 slices of cooked ham  61p.  I found four large cans of strong cider for...£2 and so on. You can pay £2+ for a bottle of cider. That's good value to me.

Remember me saying I am not much of a "Drinker" that still holds true(I can go weeks, months and years)but until a levy is introduced(and I'm sure that it will) I can just about manage to treat myself to cider and larger, and possibly because you use less but get the same effect, some spirits. What I have to think about about is the cost and wine seems too expensive in comparison to other drink and volume against price. So that is probably what will be dropped. I haven't had a bottle of wine for ages.

 I'll never buy champagne even if they reduce it but I'll use up what I have some time. I had originally purchased some(unusual for me)for as a treat for Mum's birthday and New Year but it was never used.

Perhaps I'll have to make my own again. It used to be pretty good and it can be made in weeks and for approx £1 a bottle. It will still be a while before I that happens should I consider doing so.

So far, another day where I don't feel too bad but I know that I can suddenly find something can happen and I can be bitten on the bum.

I was talking to the lady at the supermarket that has been kind to me over Mum and she tells me I'll be fine. But she admitted that she lost her Father 26 years ago and still has times where it hits her and her Mum.

Another friend lost her daughter 14 years ago, her husband since then and though has more good days than bad but they do creep up on her. There are some so called friends(probably with the right intentions)but perhaps they haven't experienced the loss of a loved one themselves and they tell her that she should be "over it by now"

Do you ever get over it? You have to find your own way.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Quiet Day Today...

Not feeling too bad, most of my worries are more concerned with what the future holds but generally I feel calm at this time...

I am down to hoovering the house next, The house has been virtually cleared of clutter except for one room where I dragged all the unsorted stuff into but as said previously,  I can clear it in my time and close the door. And it's not on show.

Later this week  I will get back to clearing the outhouse so perhaps I can get a decent wheelie bin emptied on Friday. Ordinary house hold and recycled rubbish is now taken away alternate weeks, so when you have a big clear out(granted not often)it takes ages to get rid of it. It would be nice if they'd take spare rubbish bags and see it gone...

Then I could report the roof and get it repaired.

I am about to get shaved and pop out to the supermarket, I haven't been out since last Thursday(I think)

I'll buy some bread, bread buns, salad stuff, orange juice, mash potato...don't think I need anything else. I may spot something and surprise myself.

It's not raining that's a surprise in itself...I hear it's going to get warmer later in the week, we'll see. It doesn't look very nice outside...

I'm going to have a wash and shave, put on some new clean clothes and have look out...you watch it pour down as I leave the house...

Monday, June 25, 2012

I See Our PM Is Doing A Big Speech...

about the welfare system and calling it a "Something for nothing culture" It might be for a few but as said previously if you haven't been caught up in the system, you don't know how horrible it is for most and many would argue that the thought that you will be comfortable on what you receive is questionable. It's an existence.

It is a safety net for most, a lifeline and that's all it is.

But as long as the media find the exceptional cases that they highlight and politicians keep talking about the young single Mum having children to seemingly different fathers or certain types of families that may be "Working the system" to avoid working, get money, to get a house. It gets the population going and then they do surveys with loaded questions that then allows the politician to say that he is only reflecting pubic opinion and that plays into the hands of our PM when he gives a speech as planned today.

But then genuine people are then lumped together with those they are condemning, those who are perhaps ill, suddenly lose their job and are trying to find another but especially in these times that's hard or are working in low paid jobs and are not having lots of holidays or buying all the latest gadgets or cars and are struggling to feed themselves, keep warm and pay the usual bills. Sadly this section of society(and that also includes many on a State pension and retired aren't talked about)

The minimum wage could actually be causing problems because often it has to be topped up by the Government and it's not a "Living" wage so in theory you are still getting "State" help and the employer is let off the hook from paying a decent wage to their employees.

Those who are doing all the shouting the scroungers are in for a shock when they find them themselves asking for help and if they get it they'll find it isn't the goldmine that they think it is.

To some extent we are playing the divide and play one section of society against another.

A lot of assumptions are made...you read and hear people saying about all the "Unemployed" are in the pub or McDonald's during the day etc...but unless you talk to the people and hear it from their mouths, as we are now in a 24/7 society perhaps they work different hours. Their partner may be working.

As I said elsewhere my Father works nights some weeks so if he'd been seen during the day to assume he wasn't working would've been wrong. Then there are the retired. And so on...

If you see a satellite dish on the side of a house you might assume that person is subscribing to Sky but they may have Freesat which is free(apart from the tv licence)and when I had Sky I was on a very basic package...no movies and no sports.

I cannot say that I never make assumptions myself but I try not to and always try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt because often when you talk to someone you find the situation is different or often most of us are similar in many ways...

This post has been provoked by a speech the PM has given today on changes he'd like to bring in over the next few years such as the widely reported in the Sunday newspapers of getting rid of Housing Benefit in homes where people under the age of 25 live. Where all these people are supposed to go, heaven knows, it's wrong to assume they can all return to the home they grew up in...

What hasn't been included in the speech but it has come out is the idea of paying different rates of benefit* depending on which part of the UK you live...Its hardly been reported but the other main political party that are likely to be voted back into power are keeping reasonably quiet on this but the hint is they are ok with it being looked into so I suspect if they get back into power they'd do something similar but these proposals are being suggested as being brought in after the next election so that would be after 2015.

I suspect if they had been brought in before then and you watch if I am not right on this(I have said it before)the opposition will put up a half hearted fight against some of the ideas this Government has, they be passed. Then when the other party gets in again they will say "We did not bring these laws in" They'll blame the Conservatives but they'll say "You can't blame us!" and then leave them in place rather than trying to reverse or amend them. They're all as bad as each other.

All they need to do is look at each individual case as everyone's circumstances are different. If they are getting something they shouldn't it can be taken away, so if they are receiving help unless you can prove they are dishonest they are doing nothing wrong. The only way a family may be managing on benefit is if I'll pick a scenario out of the air(it's a stereotypical generalisation, an assumption)

If you have one or two parents(who are looking for work so are claiming possibly Job Seeker's Allowance)and doing all that they are supposed to be entitled to it(you have hoops(Conditions to satisfy)to jump through otherwise you won't get it. Say there are two children aged 18 and 19 years also looking for work so are claiming, they are entitled in their own right to help. Now, that may mean that household has an income of £280 weekly but then again we have no idea whether they pool their money and share the bills. Whether they keep their own money or parents take a share of their children's money for board or whether the children pay for their own food, clothes etc...

But in theory they are doing nothing wrong. And if they are still at home, then that's what the PM wants because they are not in a property claiming Housing Benefit so he can't have it all ways. I'm afraid many of the population older than 25 will find themselves unable to take up living in a home without help because for many the buying of a house is out of the question and as many have to rent privately, the rents many Landlord's demand are outrageous but lets not think that social housing is cheap just perhaps a little less expensive but even the rents on social housing creeps up.

It's just that in comparison in London you may pay £800- £1,000 per month, around here you may pay around £400 per month but that may still be a struggle to find but it's going to be less expensive for the Government when paying Housing Benefit so again the Government could help by trying to instigate some kind of house building plan for affordable housing or try to see if in some way the Landlord's can be(Pigs might fly)persuaded to reduce what they charge their tenants.
And again if employers for those working would pay a "Living" wage...

The Speech

*It appears that Housing Benefit is already paid at varying levels but he is talking of making regional differences in what you receive in unemployment benefits. Well, wherever you are food and utility bills and daily life costs the same, they don't vary much so does he really think some areas you can say to someone you can live on £50. It's frightening. I hope it stays...just as a proposal. It may provoke people who don't usually bother to vote to do so. And if they do that will see the vulnerable(the low paid, the ill, unemployed)putting their "X"on the ballot paper but who will they vote for?

He's even looking again at what pensioners get such as bus passes, free tv licences and the Winter fuel allowance, whether they'll be scrapped, reduced or be given at a later age and if they increase the retirement age before you can quit work or get your State Pension they probably have a right to put these "perks" back or withdraw them.

Return Of The Nasty Party

How The Young Will React

Interesting that this blogger says what I have in the last paragraph of his blog "But the large majority of housing benefit claimants are actually in work: it is just that they cannot afford extortionate rents. If the Government was serious about taking down the housing benefit bill, it would build social housing, phase in rent caps and introduce a living wage."

I doubt that any party would do that, they haven't for the last 20+ years...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Found Some Cutlery...

I told you that I would...

I have enough plates, bowls, mugs and cutlery to last me a lifetime so unless I suddenly break everything...

I did actually manage to chip a dinner plate not long after I was alone and I'm going to super glue it.

Today has been a day where I have not eaten much at all but I still could or I may just snack and start afresh in the morning and make up for it tomorrow.

Having talked about a "Full" English I have the craving for one so I may start with Orange Juice, a small bowl of cereal and fruit, said Breakfast and some toast and coffee. Now, if I get that into me I won't suffer...

And as I am likely to be doing so internet work through the night I may spread it over a few hours say 4am Orange Juice, 5am Cereal and Fruit, 6am Breakfast, 7am toast and coffee.

Until 4am what I doing on the internet will run without my help and last approx 4 hours...that's why I may start my feast around that time...

Update:I had some salad in some wholemeal buns and some orange juice but slept well so stayed put. And did not do all I planned on the internet but the radio programmes are still available so there's always tonight.

I still plan to have the "Full" English and some cereal and fruit later on.

I'm going to have a lie down for an hour as I have had a good clear out this morning and my house is tidy. So I'm having a coffee in my new big cup and saucer.

The local shop where I purchased my washing machine came out and it's working again and if  it happens again I think that I can fix it myself. It only took about 2 minutes to sort out.

A While Ago Breakfast Was Discussed...

And how important it is at the start of the day or was when perhaps many people had a more physically demanding job. We also questioned whether eating a "Full" English Breakfast really did you any harm.

Well, someone on another forum asked what did we eat before cereal came along. The general opinion was that we ate the "Full" English(but that in itself offers quite a variety of ingredients)and it's up to you how big a portion you decide to eat...

It could include eggs, bacon, ham, chips, sausages, black pudding, mushrooms, tomatoes, omelet, baked beans, fried bread. It could also include orange juice, tea or coffee, cereal, porridge, pancakes, fruit, croissants, crumpets, toast with jam or marmalade. I've probably missed something.

In my case as I eat when I feel like it my Breakfast could be in the evening. And as complicated or simple as I want it to be.

Well, this website is quite interesting offering information about Breakfasts but also some suggestions what to eat.

The Breakfast Panel

Breakfast And Brunch

I Have Just Had A Cry...

I happened to come across the last two photo's I have of Mum and you can see that she is ill and has lost weight but it's still my Mum. I should not apologise but I just lost it.
I think this is how it always will be...

But I still don't think that I am depressed, just going through the grieving process. If I think I need help...I will seek it.

In time I may still arrange to see our Dr and get some reassurance that all we could do was done...it may give me closure.

Though I have lost my faith a little I had every intention of going to Communion today but it was pouring with rain and I was going to walk it(slowly)otherwise that's £5 return with a taxi. Mum's worth it but...

Anyhow, it's on again next week so I have another chance...

There are a few events I can attend eventually(even for a meal)and coffee morning the trouble is many of them are at the church near the Nursing Home Mum passed away and by taxi that would be £12 return every time. And to get a bus I have to go to the town centre(walk it)or get a taxi there so by the time I do that, I may as well get one and have it take me to the church.

To be honest, if it wasn't for the churches trying to do a bit of social for the local population(I suspect the elderly and vulnerable)no one else seems to be doing it.

And thinking back I am still angry what the Social worker and District Nurse did to Mum. How she was forced to have a daily bath which mostly everyone else thought was un-necessary, as she was kept clean 24/7 this was such a chew on for her. They didn't even do that in hospital or the Nursing Home.

The stress that was caused.

To be honest the organisation that was supposed offer support for carers was a waste of time and they never seemed to be of any use(and I did not realise that they shared the same building as where the District Nurses and Social Worker was based)so they unofficially probably shared information.

And though there is probably nothing they could do now Mum is no longer here, everyone just disappeared. No one has just knocked the door to see if I am alright.
I have heard that someone else is in the home Mum was in and they like most of the staff but there are a couple they aren't keen on and if they are the same one's I am thinking of I feel that way too.

It was said on the radio the other day complaints about the care in Nursing Homes is up especially on two points, not enough staff and not responding to alarms as quickly as they should(I could say that was a problem at the home Mum was in)I saw it. And yet the home has a glowing report from the Government department that checks homes out.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Another One Bites The Dust?

Recently it was touch and go whether two shops in the town centre were going to close(but clothes shops)Bon Marché(ladies clothes)where I purchased some of Mum's last clothes and Peacock's that sell clothes for men and women but at the last minute both were saved. Had they gone we were virtually free of clothes shops unless you go to the supermarket or out of town.

Now a County Durham based bakery is fighting to stay in business and three stores have been closed as it goes into administration so far the one in my town is still trading but for how long. If this goes the same way we have a Greggs otherwise it's the supermarket again and one small freezer shop which for a town this size is not much choice...a lot of independent baskers have gone the same way...

Things are pretty bad...

Peters Bakery Shops

Water Bills To Be Means Tested...


I think people would like something similar with gas and electric bills? Why stop there...rent and council tax are a similar problem for many. I know it's impractical and not going to happen.

When you do receive help with paying your rent with Housing benefit the payment you make each week is for water rates. This newspaper article suggests the average amount paid by households annually in the England and Wales is £376. I pay approx £450. So wrong again...

I wonder what they pay in Scotland and N.Ireland.

It's been said that water, gas and electric should be subsidised or free up to a certain point before you pay and in reality that would mean nationalising the essentials of life but it will never happen and can you imagine the problems of closing down the private companies that run the utility companies.

Some countries do help their population with energy. It's been said that Azerbaijan has some Human right issues but because it is rich in some form of oil and gas, it was said somewhere that the population gets free energy or it's at a very low price...I wish I could find the reference to this...

They worry about how we;ll pay the Water Rates but those on benefits(Ill/Unemployed)on low incomes they keep taking away income in other ways(today we hear plans to take Housing Benefit away from the under 25's)

Forget about the so called scroungers that always get mentioned(the girls they say get pregnant to get a home)as most of these(heck many older people too)work for the minimum wage instead of an employer paying a decent wage, a "Living" wage even the decent people starting out will be struggling.

I fear where this country is going...they keep saying we're safe and not like Greece, well let's just see..I think we are certainly to some extent copying Ireland.

I've Passed Some Views/Opinions...

on political matters this past week.

Well a few days ago the Houses of Parliament(The Lords and Commons)were addressed by a special lady. Who has fought and endured many hardships in her own country including house arrest. It will be a long hard road to travel and she may not see how it turns out but she certainly has played her part. Other countries have fought for her freedom and for her country, Burma to change political direction.

Aung San Su Kyi came to the UK and other countries to thank everyone for their help but naturally and this is what all politicians do to ask for continued help and support. I have said it before so I may as well here, I believe that countries that have not had a democracy at all or it's been taken away do eventually "Get it!" Countries that have had it end up with a Government or political system that is more oppressive. Almost the reverse.

She came full of praise for our Parliament and did say how it is looked up to by other countries around the world. And naturally, our PM basked in the compliments and being seen on the World stage does no harm and he said a few platitudes about freedom and Aung San Su Kyi but in the end politics is a game. It will do us no harm to offer help, we get a foot in the door and probably we can start doing business there so we get benefits too.

As I said earlier they supposedly work together but naturally they are all looking out for number one and how they come across back at home to their own population and media.

When unrest happens here at a policy the Government passes or tries to get through and the population marches, they are right and the public is wrong, if it happens in Libya, Burma, Zimbabwe, Egypt etc...it's right. know that in some instances, if we dislike what some leaders of a country do, we bring in sanctions or go to war, we try to introduce our kind of democracy but often say, we are not trying to do that but allow that country to find its own form of democracy to suit their culture.

Other times perhaps weighing up the consequences of whether getting involved will snowball and cause more problems they'll stay out, at present we have the problems in Syria so they are trying to put pressure on the Government there seemingly by trying to use World Opinion and hopefully using at some point sanctions of some kind.

Other times countries use and work with leaders they probably would rather not as has happened in recent years with Libya and Egypt because it's better to have a "Friend" in such a part of the world. And yet in recent years when some things that were worrying was happening in Zimbabwe nothing is done. The truth is we cannot get involved in all the trouble spots of the world. We don't have the military capability, We can't afford to, legally it's probably very dodgy, you have to show a uniform front and in the end, do we have the right to assume that our political system is the right one? If we did all of the above than what would be the difference for a country to decide to invade us because they think we are wrong?

No political system is perfect and at present our system is definitely anything but. No one voted our present Government into power, it's there because a deal was done between two of the three main political parties. I suspect many of the population would have preferred for another election to have been called. The problem now is that in Parliament many policies get through on sheer numbers and there is no chance of compromise or discussion or amendments where you might get the best of both worlds and get  input from all political persuasion, so is this democracy?

Is it not more like a dictatorship? In recent times when the second chamber put some very good ideas forward to changes proposed to the welfare system to  protect the vulnerable normally they probably would have been accepted but the numbers in the Commons meant these amendments could just be ignored and carried through.

And now they are trying to redraw the boundaries* supposedly to reduce how many MP's there are supposedly to save money and make the Commons easier to administer but it is believed that how the boundaries are drawn will favour one party over another. That some constituencies will lose their voice. And now they are hoping to do something similar to the House of Lords which could have a similar effect, which will dilute it's ability to put the breaks on policies proposed and passed.

If they are lucky and a march is organised by a pressure group like a union the Government can demonise such unrest because it is a particular group of people with perhaps an axe to grind.

Maybe the only real demonstration that worked in recent times where the policy was changed and the Government could not use that tactic was when the Poll Tax was introduced. To quote from the article...

"John Major announced in his first parliamentary speech as Prime Minister that the Community Charge was to be replaced by Council Tax, which, unlike the Community Charge, took account of ability to pay. While less harsh on lower-income earners than the Community Charge, the new tax took no account of the income earned by the taxpayer, but did take into account the value of the property on which the householder was taxed, being in effect the old rates system restored. The anti-poll tax movement believed direct action was at least partially responsible for the change in government policy."

It was better than the alternative I guess but it's still a millstone around the necks of many on top of the utility bills, tax, water rates and food bills...It may be better for a family but if you are single with less money coming in you are likely to struggle to pay it.

So in the end many of the safeguards that have existed to perhaps protect the population and democracy that Aung San Su Kyi is praising seems to be under threat.

*I featured the changes in  England but similar plans are being planned for N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales etc...

Life Is Strange...

Mum and myself listened to a music show every Sunday at 11pm with a broadcaster of many years on radio of over 50 years David Jacobs.He will be the same age as Mum. He always starts his show the same way with the greeting "Hello There!" and  Mum would answer back. He disappeared off the airwaves approx 3 months ago and though  it's been kept quiet, it's common knowledge that he has been unwell and possibly been in hospital and then required a period of rest.

Mum was concerned and missed him and his programme. In the meantime the radio station has been running a repeat of a documentary he did about Frank Sinatra from 1998.

Well, early in July, he returns and starts his programme again. Mum will never hear it again, Mum will never know what happened to him and I'll have mixed feelings listening to it, this time on my own.

I will though, just as I have had to get used to doing so with some of the other music radio programmes since
Mum passed away but somehow this show means more than some of the others...

The Olympic Torch Relay...

Through my town last weekend was featured in this week's free sheet and I was not alone at my disappointment. A letter made most of the points that I did...that it seemed to be just an after thought, most of the event was not planned so most watching did not get a decent view and the question was asked again "Why were those from our area, not running trough our town"

Considering how the logo of the Olympics is protected and so prominent to everything connected to the event I have just realised that nowhere was it on show or really visible, so that's a surprise. I know it's easy to criticise rather than praise but sometimes we have a habit of going a long with things and keeping quiet.

A bit like the old story we often hear, where we go out for a meal, are unhappy but when the waiter asks if everything is ok, we say "Everything  is fine!" and pay up!

Friday, June 22, 2012

That's My Last Little Shop For Awhile...

Money is really tight now and no money was waiting for me at the Post Office. I have plenty of food, milk, fruit, bread etc...I tried to avoid using more than one taxi but had to give in and use two. But if I don't go out for a few days in a way I can get that back because I won't need to order a taxi. Having to pay to get my garden done is added expense I suppose but spread over the year and when the weather doesn't force everything to grow and get out of hand and as the rain means it can't be done.

It's still horrible out there, the only good thing is that the strong winds are blowing the rain clouds away but I don't fancy battling against the winds. Even with double glazing I can feel the wind getting into the rooms(This house was actually warmer with ordinary single glass but they insisted installing it. So very soon I may dive under the duvet and listen to Friday Night Is Music night or as I am recording that I may go for some political banter on Radio 4's Question Time.

I'll concentrate on the house work if I am not going out for a few days and who would want to if they don't have to. I got some strong bin bags at last so I can get back to clearing the outhouse. Basic items cost so much!

I have enough mugs, bowls and plates but I treated myself to a big cup and saucer in blue and white normally £3(on sale for £2)and I may use it when I have a can of soup or a cup of soup. As long as I don't break it, it should last a long time.

Since Mum passed away I have misplaced my cutlery...I know, I thought that too, where could it disappear to? 

It will turn up but though not fancy I managed to get a box of forks, knives, teaspoons and dessert spoons(16 pieces)for £1.79, it's good enough for me and as there's only me, there's plenty of spare items. I can't see me entertaining.I either eat in the lounge using a table a bit like those you see in the hospitals that go across the beds or just take everything upstairs as most meals are simple and eaten quite quickly.

For £2.79 some screen cleaner of computer screens(PC and Laptop)its a spray but also has a micro fibre cloth. The best deal I have seen before that was a few wipes and a smaller container of cleaner for nearer £7 and wasn't going to last that long.

I haven't bought any sweets for a while so I got a packet of Butterscotch and in a local newsagents they had 4 Double Decker Bars for £1 and 4 Wispa Gold Bars for £1.

As it's a roll over, I risked a lucky dip on the Euro millions draw tonight. I only do it occasionally and when it starts to build up a little. I don't buy the UK lottery.

I hope should I ever win I will win a decent sum that means I will be ok and there are certain charities and people on here who I see as my friends I would like to surprise too. I doubt it will happen but if it ever does it will be a pleasant surprise.

I should try out the halogen oven or the combi microwave but I am going to risk putting the electric oven on sometime next week to cook a chicken(I managed to get a little one for myself)for £2.33 and I should get a couple of meals out of it and perhaps some sandwiches or a salad. I hope it won't cost too much in electric to cook it. Then again when the time comes I may try the new gadgets I purchased.

I bought some quick snacks that I can make quickly in a mug(if you buy them in the freezer shop/Wilkinson's)you can sometimes get them cheaper or two for a 90p/£1 whereas one in the supermarket might cost nearly a £1 for one. Mugshots and Pot Noodles.

Purchased some tomatoes and grapes(Green and red one's)the green were on offer(£1)but there were no red on offer so I had to pay £2.25 or do without, whilst I can afford them I bought them, in the future I may I have to think again. Truth is they were out of the cheaper red one's.

I found some mini Melton Mowbray mini pork pies(10 for £1.50)half price so they should go well with a salad.Freezer shop had some Butter Puffs in for 70p(in the supermarket I think they cost around £1.39)When I came home I had my first meal of the day...A big bowl of Tesco Cranberry Wheats(I've not had them before)and they're not bad if soaked in milk and I added banana, blueberries, strawberries, red and green grapes.

I managing to use some fresh semi skimmed milk as opposed to the long life milk but because it's filtered it still has quite a long date on it and if in a fridge that is working right when opened it lasts quite a few days.
Not sure what I will have later, possibly a salad and a couple of small pork pies...if I have that 

I will not come to any harm. The pies have just gone over the sell by date but I'll risk them, few things go off that quick and they've been in the fridge so they've been kept cold. There was eight in the packet and that means I've eaten four but that's better than throwing out eight.

I'm about to try a Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodle, don't know if I've had one of those before...

Still thinking more of Mum at present and what's hitting me more is the fact that I will never see her again. But that's life and I can't change it. Tomorrow, I may feel as different again. I suppose this is all part of the grieving process. You'll get good and bad periods.

(Apologies about the layout of this post I have tried to fix it many times and no joy)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Gave An Opinion About The Raising Of Children...

On the back of some remarks given by the wife of an ex UK Prime Minister but I wrote my views before reading what she had said so I was not influenced but I did give some reasons why some parents cannot stay at home to look after their children, how circumstances can change even if you think you are able to afford having a family.

Well most of the reaction to what she said was hostile and now we have a survey which probably reinforces why such a reaction was forthcoming and as most thought it comes down to finances.

Can You Afford To Be A Stay At Home Mum

It's Quite Frightening...

to realise that Prince William is thirty today! Where did those thirty years go?

I Nearly Missed What The Brother Of...

the main opposition party in the UK has said the last few days. The upshot is in short David Miliband feels that we are heading for ten years of little or no growth economically but we won't go down the Greece route more like how Japan has had to cope.

He also thinks that we may see unrest socially and industrially, to some extent I would say that they go together and they are hard to keep separated. If you are financially strapped, doing a job you hate or it's not well paid, perhaps you are worried that you can keep it or have some personal tragedy going on is it any wonder there is unrest, descent...Some will always be more vocal and some will go on the streets(Remember the unrest over the Poll Tax?)

So anyone who says that demonstrations don't work, it may not happen often but changes do occasionally. The reason the Poll Tax demonstration worked probably was because the government could not demonise a particular section of society because to use a phrase of our current PM "We're all this together!" Well, the population was.

We struggle to pay the replacement to the Poll Tax(Community Charge)its like a millstone around your neck because it is on top of paying utility and food bills, water rates, rent and for many they also pay taxes. It is hard to imagine what it must have been like living in a home where everyone over 18 was expected to pay.

He's had the good grace to admit when we are in a situation like this, politics is in a vacuum(in other words isn't offering any hope for the mass population to cling to)It's been that way for a long time and whether you blame the previous party who was in power, the political parties are so similar, I doubt it would have made any difference who was in charge when the recession happened. So they can all be blamed or be as blameless as each other. If there was election tomorrow I have no idea who I would vote for...to use an old phrase often used "You could not put a cigarette paper between any of the politicians"

Lets change that...usually you get a different view from those not actually in the cabinet or the equivalent in opposition but once in the inner sanctum they tend to sing from the same hymn sheet and have to show a uniform front. Besides, why would you be out of step when you could lose your position and I think(I'm ready to be corrected)those who hold a specific post are paid more than an ordinary MP.

I could care less about most of those in  the Government and most just get on with what they have to do...but there five in particular who I will not name and you can speculate all you like who they are who I would love to see get their comeuppance and its not a term I use often because it's such a strong emotion and in many ways can make you bitter but I hate them.

He also admits that Labour had to accept some of the blame and that no political party nor the Bank Of England etc...didn't do enough to warn the population what was coming. It might've been nice to know but seriously what could any of us have done about it, isn't that we have governments and business people in place to do that for us especially in a capital based economy.

I do like his ideas of how to change Parliament by having more topical questions asked of those who have to speak and especially to stop three quarters of the topics/questions asked being notified to them in advance.

I'd like to think this means that they will listen to the electorate should they get voted into power but I am not very hopeful.

And just because I have written the above or posted a link to the article I am not saying what my political leanings are(I came across it by accident)and again as I said earlier as I have no idea which way I would vote you could say I am quite neutral.

It's been said that you should vote for the party that will do the best for the country but more than ever these days I look at my own situation and am more likely to vote for which party will hopefully help me. But I think I represent many, who are on low incomes, need help from welfare, are ill etc...and that's a lot of society.

Britain Facing A Period Of 1970's Unrest


Very rarely do I come across anything on the internet that is distasteful or horrible. Perhaps that is because I am careful what I put into a search engine or I am still quite naive regarding computers. Anyhow I came across an article about some of the foods that have been banned in certain countries. Some for really silly reasons, Tomato Ketchup being one of them. I'll link to such an article in this post, don't worry though some of the foods are not very nice, the article is quite light and is readable.

I'm not surprised many would be unpopular here(but I have to accept that many are in other countries where the culture is different)but I did accidentally elsewhere a monkey that seemed and I don't think it was a mock up showing it's brains(they are popular elsewhere)and there was a live video of a kind of octopus that has it limbs hacked off and eaten whilst alive(but these are cruel and disgusting)the only upside is that some who eat the octopus that way find that the hacked off limb attaches itself to the throat of the person eating it and can cause serious medical problems. So in a way its getting its own back.

As I say the article I have linked to is safe so don't be afraid to click on it.

Ten Foods That Have Been Banned

I think I get a good variety of food in the UK, I do try some new things when they are available but that list I am happy to avoid.

Now because of the different cultures and the expense of the US you get all kinds of foods that rarely transfer elsewhere and this other list is quite interesting. Some are probably eaten here but under a different name but again these don't seem appetising to me.

Favourite Foods Of The US But Haven't Become Popular Around The World

A New Day And...

The tree is spoilt but I hope it can be tidied up.

My garden cannot be tidied because...it's raining again.

And as I said yesterday the branches will have to be cut down so we can get rid of it. At least it's the back garden. So not on show...

I got stuck into clearing the outhouse and the rubbish, still plenty to do but I think in a few days it will see it cleared. I need some strong bin bags and until the bins are emptied again if I was to wait the job would not be completed and that will delay getting the roof repaired.

But today I am going to clean the kitchen, Mum's bedroom, the bathroom and toilet, move a little bit of rubbish out of my bedroom and then the house is tidy.

If I can stay here, I'll think about having some rooms decorated but at least my home is tidy.

It's not going to be a very exciting day...

Later I'll think about what to eat...

Perhaps fruit and porridge, a salad but I haven't decided about my evening meal yet...

I feel a little down today but I cannot say it's depression but I am thinking about Mum. I could go out but it's so horrible out there so what's the point. I have all that I need. And there's always tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An Eventful Morning...

the neighbour out the back heard that my gardener had come to do my garden...so he was round in double quick time...and to save trouble my gardener ended up taking quite a few branches off my copper Beech tree and that meant that he did not complete the work I was paying him for...but in the end it is better than having a dispute with the neighbour, he's been determined to get my tree chopped down for years.You may remember the CAB, Landlord and a Councillor gave it a once over just before Mum was diagnosed with Cancer and I thought that was all I had to worry about at the time.

If I'd have known what I know now I could care less about the tree(no I do care)but as Mum was important I'd happily give up the tree to have Mum back. Fortunately my gardener has trimmed the tree and not charged me. And he's coming back later today(he hasn't so far)to do the rest of the garden that was put off because of having to switch to the tree and pleasing the neighbour. It's not so much that the branches have been cut but we now have to find a way to have them taken away.

Then I had some rubbish to clear from the outhouse which I planned to do at my leisure but I have now found a tear in the roofing felt on the garage and outhouse so I'll have to report that and get it repaired before bad weather sets in but this means I cannot leave the outhouse in the state it is so I am now having to clear that quicker than planned so I hope to have that completed by Monday. A few more days won't make a difference now. It's made me hurry up and not put it off.
So I have made quite a bit of headway already and hope to continue...

In the meantime and I knew this already, my gardener says the neighbour is a trouble maker, he's not impressed and told me to steer clear of him as much as possible. I suspect once he has got his way over the tree he will disappear again and I will not have much contact with him.

He is one of those that somehow even though I am rarely in the back garden and there are plenty of shrubs that make the garden private he always seems to know what I am doing. Even down to putting the hose on the tumble dryer out of the window. Or when I am in certain rooms.

He is the only one that gives me grief, even the new neighbours who moved in next door don't cause problems any more, sadly the only problem is that they altered their garden and that means less wildlife and birds visiting the area mainly because they took out a lot of greenery and replaced it with a large patio and area for all the visitors that were going to call at weekends and have BBQ's. But eventually that stopped.

Oh well back to the clear out! I think I have managed to do half of it, some has been delayed because I'll have to shred statements. But I don't think my shredder is working properly, we'll see.

Another One Of Those Scare Stories/Studies...

They are now suggesting that drinking tea(approx 7 cups a day)could cause men to get Prostate Cancer and yet for years it has been suggested that drinking Green Tea as popular in China, the opposite is true in that it actually slows down or can stop cancer. The site I am linking to even has some stories down the side suggesting this.

We also have one paragraph that contradicts what the study suggests...

I quote "The team said it did not know if tea was a risk factor or if drinkers lived to ages where cancer was more common."

If that is unknown then the study is incomplete and the results have been released too soon. Well that's how I read it.

Even a sufferer of Prostate cancer says..."As usual you get evidence on one side and you get evidence on the other and you're left in the middle trying to decide who's right but I have to say, I don't think tea is very high on the agenda if you're looking at diet, lifestyle and so on. There are other things which come well above tea."

See for yourself...

Male Tea Drinkers At Greater Risk Of Prostate Cancer

We All Have Opinions And We "Ain't" Always Going To Agree...

But(and I know some may say)as I have no children of my own perhaps I have no right to pass an opinion but I really believe that if you can afford economically to stay at home and raise children, even if you decide that they should socialise with other children at a Nursery for a few hours per week or you can get together with other Mums and have a kind of social group, children are happier and more emotionally adjusted.

I think that is how I became who I am and why most of my childhood and adulthood was happy. Why I believe that I am well adjusted.

A couple of people who post comments on my blog have been critical, suggesting that I did not mix much, that my parents should have encouraged me to do more but I was always out playing with friends all Summer long. In the evenings when not at school, I went through a period where I socialised and met people. Another period we used to talk on CB radio but then met and we set up a CB club, a venue where everyone could get together so we were not just talking on the airwaves. I often went to the cinema and theatre. I did 15+ years of voluntary work working in hospital radio where the most time was spent on the wards often talking to lonely and frightened people often without any visitors.

I used to go out and socialise(and if I say drinking)I don't mean I was rolling home drunk. On my town and probably many others, most places where you can meet are pubs.

However, you do lose track of some people when you start working or others perhaps get into a relationship, marry, have children, perhaps they move away and of course have to work.
So no I cannot say that I was not encouraged to mix or socialise with others. So I don't like the criticism that suggests that my parents should have encouraged me to go out more  or are to blame for the situation I am in.

These days many households(probably because of economic reasons)have only one or two children(or as they would put it officially)2.4 children. So that's suggests that parents do think long and hard as to whether they can afford to have children.

Unfortunately, these days most households need both parents to be working to afford to have enough income to run a home especially if the household has children. And though Governments keep saying that they want to encourage family values, their policies force parents "Out to work" And many employers are less than good at looking after their employees emotional needs(forgetting that a happy worker will give more to their employer)even if they dislike the job they will probably take into account how understanding they are in other ways. This could be sometimes allowing that a parent is needed to go home because the child has had an accident or is ill. I don't really care whether its Mum or Dad as long as it is one or the other. They may be depressed, lose a loved one, have cancer etc...

Cherie Blair, he wife of the ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair has apparently given a speech saying how she dislikes women who give up their careers for their family and to some extent also takes it further suggesting that its not good for the children either.

Well, if that life choice doesn't fit in with her views, fine...after all she really has what can be called an exceptional professional career and on the kind of money she can command(and I am sure she works very hard)I am sure they can afford(or could)as I think most of the children are now grown up, child care and not have to worry about the cost unlike many of the population.

I am happy that I am not starting out in school now and that a lot of the ideas about bringing up children were not in force when I was growing up. I don't like a lot of what I see and I think we may be storing up problems for later.

At the end of the day it's up to each parent(or should be)to do what they want to do and if they put their children first and decide a career comes second so be it. If they are fortunate to find that they have enough income not to need to work or claim benefits who is it hurting? I suspect the households that will be affected or penalised are really those on a low income or on benefits.

The truth is probably very few are in such a position where they have a choice.

I am also a little tired of reading when some people have a go about "You shouldn't have children if you can't afford them!" In this day and age if that rule was followed how many could ever have children? And that has always the case. Especially when families were large because there was no birth control or on religious grounds. Children are always going cost a lot of money to feed, clothe etc..they need a lot of investment. Today that also includes education, in the hope you'll get a well paid job.

Then again, many people do budget for children and when they have them the household income may be fine but who can especially in these austere times guess whether the situation may change because a member of the household loses a job or becomes ill, a partner dies, divorce...there are so many reasons where things can go wrong(none of these are taken lightly)but if you always thought that way, you'd never have children.

Now I hear some say if things had been as they are now "I would not have brought a child into the world" Some I would never have thought would say such a thing. I'm not sure if I would have brought a child into the world these days myself.

And yet if we don't, who is going to work, doing the jobs of the future and if we keep the same economic model as we have today, pay into the system so it subsidises the pensions and care of an ever ageing population.

There are times when I see a pregnant woman and find myself thinking "That poor child has no idea what kind of a world it is being born into" and "Do you really want to bring it into this world"

Perhaps that sounds awful...but again it is personal choice and everyone has the right to do what they want to.

Cherie Blair Attacks The Yummy Mummies...

The following link is interesting to see the comments left by posters, best part of them whether in work or out of work do not agree or support her views. The only sad thing is that many are very personal and some good points are depreciated because of personal attacks, often that have nothing to do with what she actually said. 

I Hope That I Am Still In My Home Next Year...

and can afford to stay put, assuming that I can, as I was able to make the flowers I have fill all the tubs by salvaging a couple of spare Primroses that had survived in the garden and add them to what I had...I think it cost me approx £25 to do all the tubs and hanging basket. So not too bad. They are full of Fuchsia bushes, Bizzie Lizzie's, Primroses, Marigolds, Geraniums, Dahlias so to work with only a limited choice of what was available on the town, that's not too bad.

As I was filling the tubs, quite a few bulbs were disturbed. And I also have quite a few bulbs that I purchased last year which were not planted(which I think will still be ok )I think that I will plant them in the bare border so at least some flowers will appear in the early part of the year(February/March)Snowdrops, Bluebells, Crocuses, Daffodils and Tulips!

So another little job to do later...but once done, nothing more to do...I like Lobelia and Pansies so hopefully I'll be quicker off the mark and get some before they all sell out and perhaps get some Winter Pansies for the end of this year.

Not A Bad Night...

Slept reasonably well, I don't mind if I have an hour here and there and in between listen to the radio or set the PC away catching up on the radio I missed the day before, the quality isn't bad, good enough for me and I am still not using up the allowance I am entitled to so I may as well use what I can.

I eat when I want so I was having toast and marmalade at 3am(I think that was the time)and I have just had a mug of coffee and three Jaffa Cakes. Best Before date April but they taste fine to me and I cannot detect any deterioration in the quality or taste.

Later I plan to have some porridge and fruit(I never managed to eat any yesterday)

I did eat some sausage rolls and really enjoyed them and because they are cooked I am not worried that they have gone slightly past their use by date. I did not have the room to put them in the freezer but I'm not going to throw them out! I risked putting the main oven on to cook them as they only take 15 minutes to cook.

Might have a salad with a couple this afternoon and decide about the evening meal later.

I have nothing that I need so today I may not bother going out, seems silly going out just for the sake of it. I had to get out last night though and found I was missing Mum so my shop at the supermarket was quite late 9pm and I did not get home much before 10pm. Two people did not know that Mum had passed away so I found myself having to tell them what had happened. It's going to happen but not much longer as there cannot be many left that knew Mum now.

One who works at the supermarket but haven't seen for awhile because she works nights now said she could see I have lost weight but I cannot see how I could eat any more than I do and I find spreading the meals across the day(snacks)or having two decent meals how I could any more than I am.

As its not raining(yet)I have the swallows or swifts flying around in the sky playing tag whilst I assume catching food on the wing,  they are so fast and they never ever misjudge flying back under the eaves of the roof. The speed when they fly past the window is amazing. I can see them from my bed.

I hear the bad weather is due to return by Friday...unless we get a late Indian Summer, otherwise it doesn't look as though we are going to have one this year. The weatherman on the radio says its a cold start for this time of year and some areas have had frost!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Well I Finally Filled My Flower Tubs...

And hanging baskets , all watered too, so that's a good job done even if the border is bare. With all the rain we've had it seems strange watering tubs and baskets but of course the rain cannot get to the soil.

Just need to get the lawns cut and the hedge trimmed, let's hope that can be done in the next few days...weather permitting.

Its such a pleasant evening I am going out for approx an hour...nowhere special  I'll end up at the supermarket then I'll come home and have a meal whether I just have cereal and fruit, porridge and fruit or a cooked meal. I may just settle for some sausage rolls...we'll just see what happens...

We Have A Meeting Of The So Called...

Great and the good. The countries who are supposedly the strongest economically, all in Mexico trying to show a united front but in reality they are all concerned with how they come across back in their own country when the media reports what's happening back home. They want to be seen as the strongest. They are really still all working as individuals.

Isn't it always the way?

Wish I could remember which radio programme I heard it on but only a few weeks ago a correspondent was saying how much the leaders are working on their own and how as soon as a meeting like this over how they all try to rush to the press/media room and be the first to give a press conference. To be the top dog!

We've got our problems in Europe with Bankers and Politicians. They are and there is no other word for it, "Shafting" the general public, those with a job are working long hours, those who relie on state help, the sick, elderly, the unemployed are being or will find life hard in coming months especially when they remove or reduce the financial help received and if you can get help it will be reduced and though they say inflation has reduced in the UK, I doubt many of us will notice.

But then we have Europe responding rigorously to criticism from the US who seem to be blaming Europe for what has/is happening. They don't want to be bullied. Well is that really a surprise when the President has to show strength and convince his population that the US is in a strong position and if possible make it look as though it's "Not Me!" It's someone else...the fact that an election is coming has nothing to do with this...of course not...(My tongue is firmly in my cheek)

In reality the problem started in the US with the Sub Prime fiasco and people borrowing too much to buy properties that could not in reality be afforded. The problem is that business is global so everyone is investing in each others economy so sooner or later everyone was going to get stung.

So no one was going to get off scott free...

Unfortunately, those who supposedly knew what they were doing didn't(and I'm not sure that any of them do now)but we're stuck with it. It's the model we have. However, people that have nothing to do with what's going on are paying the price in worry and stress. And in the meantime the same people and organisations/Governments are still trying to run things and fix the problem.

But we're all in this together and probably for many, many years to come...

I'm writing this but what do I know?

I wasn't always this cynical...and I hope that I won't always be so...

The Crisis Did Not Start In Europe...

And just in case it sounds as though Bankers always are criticised, many connected to the media and business world, appear to be connected to the group I link to below. I don't know if this is a conspiracy, something to worry about. You'll have to decide. This magazine obviously decided to print an article. If it is, that printed think so, If true, I may be in trouble...so if I suddenly go quiet...

The Bilderberg Group