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Ramblings on life

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It's been a matter of comment for some years now that the number of people homeless or inadequately housed is rising.  I've commented on it.  I think it's an indictment of UK society and government, both national and local, that in one of the richest countries in the world, this is happening.

  AND NOTHING IS BEING DONE ABOUT IT!

ApparentlyCollapse )

  Y'all have a good day now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
angry angry
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Heigh ho!  Look at the 'time of posting', Dear Reader.  I slept last night, right through from going to bed at a sensible time, (that was Wednesday night.)  Sunday night I didn't sleep, early on anyhow.  Tonight, again.  Poo!

  I've been doing all the right things - eating sensibly, not drinking coffee or tea after about 4pm, getting some exercise, getting what passes for fresh air in central Portsmouth - fortunately we live away from the busiest roads, getting up at the same time each morning (despite a friend txting me at 6:17am today!  The alarm went off as I was txting a slightly disgusted reply.)  I've been trying not to nap after 4pm and going to bed at a set, sensible, bed time too.  Or even earlier if I've been nodding off over my knitting and Springwatch.

  I've taken to not having the main light on in the front room - it's an LED bulb; very low power-use but emits 'blue' light.  The TV is in the diagonally opposite corner of the room, so, probably, too far away to matter.  (Is it?)  I'm using the floor-standing anglepoise, it takes a little more power but the light comes from behind me, which is very handy for knitting.  I've been knitting something very simple so as not to over-stimulate my pre-bedtime mind.  And once in bed, complete with bed socks and hot-water bottle to prevent my toes lying to me that they are 'freezing' and thus keeping me awake, I really do try to relax, breathe deeply, unwind and drift off.

  Hah!

  And still the ol' Sandman only stops one night in three.  I am not impressed, but will continue with the above.  Further ideas which you know work would be appreciated, Dear Reader.

  Why am I playing here now?  Because after an hour of not drifting off, often with H quietly snoring away beside me, I give up and get up for a while.   I don't have any knitting with a near deadline at present so I come here.  It saves me getting angry because lack of sleepfulness.  And yes, I know I'll be tired later on today, when it really is 'today', but I'll carry on trying.  To those worried about blue light from the computer screen, I refer you to H, still quietly snoring away.  He spends most of most evenings with his head in the computer and it doesn't stop him dropping off!

  Hope not to see you around silly o'clock tomorrow night, Dear Reader.


  *From the 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  Contains the line - "It is an ancient mariner, he stoppeth one in three."  This is not an improvement.
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
disappointed disappointed
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Yesterday, as part of her Swan Song ahead of the Fight for The Top Job which starts today, soon-to-be-ex-Prime Minister Teresa May issued a commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the UK to almost zero by 2050.

  Cue storm.  "But it's impossible!  The timespan is too short!"  "Well done!"  "About time too!"  But it's too expensive!"  "We could do it!  We already have the technology!"  "But it's too expensive!"  "By 2050?  That's far too long!"  "I like to eat meat!"  "I like to fly places!"  "We have to do it, we only have this planet!"  etc.  Write your own, Dear Reader.

How?Collapse )

  We only have the one planet after all, and Climate Change isn't just biting equatorial countries any more.

  Y'all have a good, planet saving, day now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
determined determined
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Sunday was Pentecost - the birthday of the Church.

Birthday PartyCollapse )

  Y'all have a good day now!

Current Location:
as usual
Current Music:
How Great Thou Art
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Regular Readers may know we have a Niece, Sis's daughter.  She's a good lass and a Christian woman.  She also turned 30 last October.

  When I visited Mum last August Sis took us (Mum, Niece and me) out to a very nice restaurant on the banks of the River Severn.  Part of the conversation before, during and after that meal consisted of Niece bemoaning the fact that there wasn't even the faintest sniff of even a remotely suitable man around.  'Suitable' being a good Christian man.  Such beings are 'out there', just not in the circles in which she moved.

  We all encouraged her to hang in there, that we were praying for her, that we were praying for a suitable man (good Christain) for her.  I also mentioned that if God had a man lined up for her then she'd meet him at the right time.  And that if He didn't, then she wouldn't, and that would be for the Best anyway.  No man is better than the wrong man - ask any woman who's trying to survive a failed marriage!

And Then . . .Collapse )

  Y'all have a good day now!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
creative creative
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We had a very pleasant day at home yesterday, H and me.  I went and Pilates-ed as per usual of a Monday morning, then had coffee with four of the group (also as usual, though the number varies.)

  Not having been since last Monday, I needed that class.  I even managed to balance when on tiptoes, something I can't normally do - I've 'only' been going 20 months, twice a week most weeks!  As I may have mentioned before, I can balance, just not stood on two feet, let alone one!  

  Then back home.  It's H's birthday today.  Next year he gets to ask the Big Question, which I shall answer, and that'll be his birthday card sorted!

  H is at work today.  On his 60th birthday he took in a selection of cheeses.  They went down well and it's become a bit of a tradition.  Fortunately the rest of the 'group' (apparently now around 60 of them) have also taken to bringing in things other than packets of donuts.  With that many people, there are birthday 'eats' most weeks.

  Today rain was threatened forecast sometime around now.  It isn't happening, the washing is drying well.  So, having checked that buses are actually still running tomorrow and that the baths are open, I shall swim tomorrow.  Why should things be different tomorrow?  We live in Portsmouth.  Go figure, Dear Reader.  I might watch from a safe distance. I'll definitely honour them, if not some who will also be there!

  I merely mention that this week they'll be Heroes.  Next week, or next month if they're lucky, they'll be 'burdens on the state', 'costing more money for NHS care', (many) non-tax-payers - and thus even less 'worthwhile people', etc, etc. Quite a few of them will return to obscurity, loneliness and, possibly, trying to survive on inadequate income in 'the deliberately uncaring ethos' with which the government has replaced what they actually fought for.

  Ahem.

  No, I'm not apologising for that.  The Veterans deserve better!

  *Quick, change subject*

  Today I was looking for my (mobile) phone - which has a bright pink and turquoise 'sock' I knitted.  Couldn't see it.  Should be somewhere around here.  So I picked up the landline phone, dialled my number (which is the one number I can/have to remember.)

  "Bingly bingly" went my mobile - it was only there on the desk, in its brightly coloured knitted phonesock, right in front of me!

  Even if I can now balance on my toes (just a bit) I am evidently falling apart in other ways!  Hmmm, it'll be my birthday in October.  Wonder how I'll be then!

  Meanwhile I'd better go chase dust.  H managed to patch the Dyson so it still sucks.  It had turned Socialist and was merely redistributing bits evenly across the carpet.  Not what a vacuum cleaner is supposed to do.  Though after nearly 25 years I suppose I shouldn't complain.

  Happy Birthday H!

  Y'all have a wonderful day, Dear Reader!
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music:
Raise a Hallelujah! - Bethel Music
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Getting off to sleep of a night has become a problem.  I go to bed at a sensible time of night, aiming to be in bed before 10.30pm.  I get up 6.30am every morning, regardless; Sunday's it's 7am.

  Dropping off has always been a bit of an issue, maybe once a week.  But the once has become twice, then three times, and this week it's four consecutive nights.  In fact Thursday night I was dozing off over Springwatch and my current sock project.  So I called it a night and was in bed by 8.15pm, which was nice.

  I relaxed, I even dozed a bit.  I had to get up to visit the loo once.  No problem.  H came to bed at the usual time.  No problem.  Then I got all fidgety and woke up good and proper.  Result - get up for a couple of hours.  Then back to bed and, finally, sleep.

  *Checks time*  Yesterday we went to the West Dean Gardens Festival of Arts and Craft.  We went last year.  It was excellent.  The setting - among the South Downs, the crafts - jewellery to paper-making via embroidery (hand and machine), various styles of pottery, paper cutting . . .  And all to such a high standard.

  What's even better is that the stall holders are willing to chat with you about their craft, their design processes, and, if things are a little slow, talk you through their current project.  It's fascinating.

  "Are you a Maker?"  They then ask.

  I spread my latest cardigan, Hitofude.*  "I knit."  I say.  Many of them look suitably impressed.  We Makers recognise good work (was going to write 'workmanship', but a lot of us are women.  Yay 21st Century English!)

  I also made a sort of beaded tube, which could be used as a bead, in one of the 'have a go' stalls set up specially for the weekend.  I made a necklace at a similar stall last year.  I've gotten a lot of wear from it the past year.  Not sure what I'll do with the 'bead'-made-of-beads, but it's an interesting technique and I still don't need glasses for close work.

  And the trains and buses were (more or less) to time.

  I thoroughly recommend the West Dean Gardens Festival of Arts and Crafts, Dear Reader.  It's a very pleasant day out, the Singleton Weald and Downland Museum is but a few stops further on.  The standard of craftspersonship is amazingly high, the stuff on offer amazing and the setting - in a valley in the South Downs National Park - is stunning.  Plus there are the plant sales for those who go for the actual Gardens, which are lovely.

  We were in bed by 10.30pm tonight, thinking maybe that fresh Sussex air, walking about and three previous go-to-bed-wake-get-up-for-a-while-again nights might make dropping off easier.  Dear Reader, look at the 'time of posting'.  I give up!

  Y'all have a good day now, and hope you sleep better that I've done recently.  I'm back off to try again.
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
Slightly fed up
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We visited Houghton Lodge Gardens Bank Holiday Monday, and very lovely they were too.

  We'd gone to Romsey station with the idea of catching the Free Bus to Hillier's Gardens and having a look around there.  Only Hillier's was Very Busy, and the bus itinerary listed Houghton Lodge Gardens, so we went there instead, as we'd have never gotten there otherwise (no regular bus 'service'.)

  It was a gorgeous day, the sun shone, there was a pleasant breeze, there was a major road but so far in the distance that the breeze in the trees generally masked it.  The gardens were beautiful, the scenery was lovely, the birds were singing, lots of them, and H took a lot of pictures.

HereCollapse )

  And I only had this morning free to faff about with photos because the Dyson, which has been a bit sick ever since H waged war on the dust bunnies in part of the bedroom, has finally given up the ghost.  It still sucks up bits off the carpet, but promptly spits them back out again in slightly different places.

  Consequently I shan't waste time on even thinking about vacuuming the floor until it is either FIXED or REPLACED.  I'm hoping that'll be sometime soon.

  Y'all have a good day now!

 
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
frustrated frustrated
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'S ok, Dear Reader.  I am as fit and healthy as ever (for a given value of 'fit') but the local Council declared our fair city to be in Climate Crisis back before the local elections . . .  I'm waiting to see what the new (still 'hung') Council is going to actually do about it all.

  Let's just say I'm glad I don't live right on the most congested roads, though the traffic round here gets busier at rush hours.  The air on the really busy roads in the city has been tested, and it's way above the current limits for 'safe' in carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides and carbon particulates; not to mention rubber particulates (from car tyres etc) and other nasties.

  I feel sorry for children growing up round here.  The air they have to breathe, particularly the small children and those in buggies who are nearer exhaust-level, is dangerous, if not actively killing them.  This on top of government and council cutbacks to child care, early years encouragement, school spending, spending on Healthcare, spending on libraries, spending on youthclubs, spending on youth engagement services, spending on 'Special Needs' provision, spending on mental ill-health care, etc.  As for what will happen post-Brexit . . .

  Anyhew, remember the Exctinction Rebellion protests which brought Central London, and other cities, to a standstill last month?  All down to ordinary people being worried about Climate Change and what isn't being done about it.  Apparently the Metropolitan Police are pushing for the prosecution of more than 1,100 people they arrested during the Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

  This is precisely what Extinction Rebellion was aiming for.  Hold up cities, create delays which can't be ignored, get arrested.  Then get prosecuted.  That way Climate Change and What We Need To Do About It NOW remains in the News and gets discussed further.  Yay!

  Of course with the Prime Minister saying she'll go Friday week (7th June), the Conservative party is even less likely to consider matters like the future of the planet.  They have their political futures to consider.  Will they remain in power?  For how long?  Who will be the next Conservative Prime Minister?  For how long?  And can they wangle it so that the Conservative party comes out of the whole Brexit debacle of the past three years not looking complete and utter incompetent, 'haven't got a clue', self-interested prats?

  What do you think, boys and girls?

  Meanwhile the media circus is going to focus on that because it's easier to report and easier to get our head around than the whole Climate Change thing.  Plus we won't actually have to do anything about it; the next Conservative Prime Minister will be chosen by the Conservative party, guided by Those at The Top.

  So if you're more concerned about being able to breathe clean(er) air, not to mention for your and everyone's children and grand-children there is Clean Air Day, Thursday 20th June 2019.*

  And if you don't live in a city, be grateful, and maybe do something anyway.  As so many have pointed out, We Only Have The One Planet.

  Y'all have a good, and easy breathing, day now!






  *This is a UK-wide event.  Readers in other countries might find there's an event available for them, or might like to organise an event.  Cities worldwide have grotty air, if not actually lethal.
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
concerned
Current Music:
Violin Concerto (3) - Tchaikovsky played by Tasmin Little
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A UN report has been published which reckons there are around 14 million people in the UK living in poverty, far too many of them children.

  That's 14 million out of around 60 million.  23.333333%.

  In the UK, one of the 25 richest countries in the world, almost one in four people is living in poverty.

  This, the UN report says, is due to Government cuts in anti-poverty measures, where the UK's social safety net has been "deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos."

  Apparently a Government spokesperson has said that this statistic is 'barely believeable', I'm inclined to agree with them though possibly not for the same reasons.

  And with British Steel failing, those statistics are going to get worse.  Particularly in Scunthorpe, where it's the principal employer, with many other businesses, customers and suppliers, and all the local shops dependent upon it.

  Hey, Dear Reader, this is what ten years of Conservative 'Austerity' can do for a country.  Particularly as for the past three years the Government has been so busy in-fighting over Brexit that it seems to have forgotten it's supposed to be governing the country for everyone in it, including that 14 million.  Not that any of their policies seem to be in favour of anyone who earns less than £50,000 per year.  And that's a lot more than 14 million of us.

  Alas, there is little prospect of improvement in the near future as various politicians will be jockeying for position, possibly the position of Prime Minister.  Or at least to try and look as if they're not (too much) to blame for the impending crash.  The way things are going, there will be a General Election sooner or later.

  So it's high time Other Parties (looking at Labour here particularly) got themselves organised and started looking like a creditable Opposition now - which they haven't done for years now as the Labour Party has been to busy fighting against itself.  Because if they hadn't been, had been 'on the ball' and been a real Opposition, maybe the country wouldn't be in the current mess.

  As the saying goes, "Don't put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there."  Psalm 146:3.  Clearly this has been a problem for a looooong time**; thousands of years.

  Fourteen Million!  Who probably won't be having such a good day.  Dear Reader, hope yours is better.



   * Too many of them are only in it for the power trip.

  ** "Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God."  Psalm 146:5  He's available to everyone, wealthy, in poverty, destitute, Just About Managing, whomever.
Current Location:
as usual
Current Mood:
angry angry
Current Music:
Song for Europe - Roxy Music
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